Happy New Year!! My top seven blogs of 2016

My fifth most popular blog told the inspirational story of young figure skater Eric Sjoberg

My fifth most popular blog told the inspirational story of young figure skater Eric Sjoberg

This is now becoming an annual tradition – looking at my website statistics for the past entire year and listing my top seven most read blogs as a New Year feature. I normally blog about my two areas of consulting a few times each month: Diversity with a specialization in the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) workplace and marketplace; and career and skills development based on my innovative Total Engagement Career Mapping process. And once in a while I throw in a more personal blog or rant about something that is irking me.

In 2016, six of my seven most read blogs dealt with some sort of diversity topic, while one featured a young teen who demonstrated what determination and leadership is really about.

Here are the “Top 7 of 2016” in reverse order:

7. The seventh most read blog, “North Carolina’s HB2 – don’t boycott us, Cyndi Lauper-ize us!” was published in June as a result of multiple boycotts because of North Carolina’s repressive anti-LGBT HB2 legislation. Though I respect performers’ decisions to boycott NC over HB2, what Cyndi Lauper did was so much more profound and impactful.

6. From March, “Why do we all need someone to hate on? … and now in North Carolina, it’s transgender people.” After so much had been written locally and nationally about the “anti-LGBT / transgender restroom” bill HB2 that had just passed in North Carolina, I decided to blog about the larger systemic societal and political issue that led to this, the fact that it seem society always needs some group to demonize.

5. My fifth most popular blog featured a young teen with great determination. In “Lessons from a Young Teen,” I ask how my readers would you handle going from second place to second from the bottom in one year in a sports competition. This inspirational short piece shares how a young figure skating athlete handled this challenge.

My fourth most popular blog was guest written by Elsa Maria Jimenez Salgado (here pictured with her husband Richard Horvath), part time bilingual consultant on my team

My fourth most popular blog was guest written by Elsa Maria Jimenez Salgado (here pictured with her husband Richard Horvath), part time bilingual consultant on my team

4. This blog, “Seven Misconceptions or Stereotypes of Hispanic People” was a guest piece written by my part-time bilingual consultant on staff, Elsa Maria Jimenez Salgado.

3. In “Diversity and Straight White Men – Four Key Thoughts,”I address the issue that, so often, straight white men may feel left out, marginalized or even “the problem” within diversity and inclusion discussions. I offer four constructive points for discussion and consideration in this blog.

2. My second most read blog of the year was a personal labor of love which included several personal photos that I took, “Seven Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating.”

1. And finally, the top most read blog for the third year in a row was actually published way back in 2011! As many people search for online resources about diversity training, they found and read my 2011 blog “Three Components of Diversity Training,” where I discuss three major components required for diversity training and exactly who within an enterprise should be trained. I have also updated that blog to include links to more resources including to a blog sharing a sample outline of diversity and inclusion training contents.

Thanks to all the readers who enjoy and share my blogs. In 2017, if you want to be notified each time I do publish, you can like my business facebook page (Link), or if you subscribe to my monthly e-newsletter, I include a short summary and links to the past month’s writings.

Wishing all my readers a wonderful 2017 filled with much contentment and success!

A superb transgender awareness keynote from Janet Mock

Janet Mock, 2016 NC State SHRM Conference Keynote Speaker (photo from NC SHRM Conference website)

Janet Mock, 2016 NC State SHRM Conference Keynote Speaker (photo from NC SHRM Conference website)

As a diversity consultant with a deep expertise in LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) diversity, I have often heard of young transgender activist and media superstar Janet Mock, but had never seen her. Therefore, I was thrilled with our North Carolina SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) Conference planning committee scheduling Janet as this year’s North Carolina kickoff keynote speaker. And the timing is perfect as more transgender people are visible in our work places and as North Carolina continues to struggle with the negative impacts of our horrific anti-trans, anti-gay HB2 bill. (see my recent blog on the five impacts of HB2 on our state.)

Janet’s talk and her gracious telling of her personal story truly helped raise the awareness of what transgender lives are really about. I heard so many attendees exclaim that they were so moved and learned so much from Janet’s keynote. Particularly poignant was her vulnerability in sharing her personal story, including how she totally lived as a woman in graduate school and early career before even disclosing she was transgender.

Some of Janet’s key points included:

• That HR professionals need to take the lead in embracing the differences of others, building coalitions across differences, building a culture where differences are valued … this can be a huge strategic business advantage.

• In our ever increasing multi-cultural world, being different is becoming “the new normal.” More people are embracing their difference instead of minimizing their differences to blend in.

• As a black, female, native-Hawaiian transgender millenial, Janet shared that she cannot fit into “one box” as which often happens with identifying someone’s diversity. Many people now incorporate several aspects of diversity and difference.

• Transgender individuals often have very difficult lives as they are thrown out of their homes and end up unemployed on the streets and in prison.

• Issues are so often not addressed because we are afraid of difference. Instead we should ask “who is not in the room” and create a space where there can be open dialogue among a diverse set up people.

• HR professionals should invest time in reading about and learning about people living in their “other-ness.”

I join many others in thanking Janet for making her first trip to North Carolina during a time when our state laws are unwelcoming to and creating a hostile environment for transgender people.

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From the NC State SHRM conference website with lots of links: Janet Mock is the New York Times bestselling author of Redefining Realness and the host of So POPular! — a weekly MSNBC digital series about culture. One of Oprah’s “Supersoul 100,” she is a sought-after speaker and the founder of #GirlsLikeUs, a social media project that empowers trans women. Since 2011, she’s become one of the most influential trans women and millennial leaders in media.

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Take my 12-question organizational transgender awareness self-assessment to gauge how trans-inclusive your organization is.