Celebrate LGBT Pride 2017 with a new book: “Beyond the Rainbow” by Jenn T. Grace

Jenn T. Grace, author of “Beyond the Rainbow” and three other LGBT-themed business marketing books

Check out Jenn’s Amazon.com page and order her book after reading this blog!

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This month, one of the world’s leading LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) marketing experts, who I have known for over 5 years, has released her fourth book, “Beyond the Rainbow,” which ties together much of her previous knowledge to present a holistic approach to maximizing effectiveness within the LGBT market place.

After reading an early version, I provided this short summary review, “From being IBM’s Global Corporate LGBT Diversity Manager to now running my own boutique diversity consulting firm, I get the importance of understanding both the LGBTQ marketplace and workplace. Jenn T. Grace’s latest book, “Beyond the Rainbow,” which uniquely combines practical business strategies and poignant personal stories, is the ideal read for business leaders from small entrepreneurships up to Fortune 500 global mega-companies for launching or growing their LGBTQ marketing efforts.”

What is so special about this book is that it is quite interesting and fascinating. Instead of presenting a bunch of dry facts and strategies, Jenn shares much of her journey as an LGBT professional and marketing guru with interspersed stories and experiences that make you want to turn to the next page.

Celebrate LGBT Pride Month by buying and reading Jenn T. Grace’s latest book!

Some of the key principles in the book (and do buy it so you can read all the details) include:

• The importance of assuring that your motivation for reaching out to the LGBT market are good and that you back up your sales efforts with personal actions and business strategies that are sincere and authentic.

• The importance of allies, and that allies too can lead efforts to sell to and engage the LGBT market.

• There is a respectful way in which to engage the fast growing transgender community. The book provides a good primer on terms and definitions within the trans area.

• The importance of all people in an organization being trained and knowing how to respectfully interact with LGBT people. (My recent blog “Three Key Lessons from a Diversity Mishap” reinforces this key point.)

• Finally, with the recent sting of the killings at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Jenn addresses dealing with adversity and the importance of supporting a community in times of tragedy.

So get your copy today! Link to Jenn’s page on Amazon.

An Interview from Mexico: The Corporate Social Responsibility in Regards to HIV and Sexual Diversity

Last summer, I was interviewed for this article which was published online in Mexico. Authored by Andoni Bello Lanestosa ([email protected]), translated into English by my business partner Elsa Maria Jimenez-Salgado, minor editing and links added by myself.

Link to the original article in Spanish.

Stan Kimer serving on a panel at the 2014 NGLCC Mexico Trade Mission sharing how IBM took its LGBT diversity initiatives global. (Photo by Abraham Saraya Photography)

Stan Kimer serving on a panel at the 2014 NGLCC Mexico Trade Mission sharing how IBM took its LGBT diversity initiatives global. (Photo by Abraham Saraya Photography)

This year’s (2014) LGBT Trade Mission to Mexico was a success. However, the topic of social responsibility of LGBT-owned businesses in regards to the LGBT population with respect to HIV was not covered. “Corresponsales Clave” (Key Correspondents in English) recently had a conversation with Stan Kimer, a corporate consultant about the topic.

The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce was formed with the objective of positively affecting economically the sexual diversity community through the formation of a Global Network of LGBT Chambers of Commerce in an attempt to identify and grow the businesses of this community.

The acquisition power of the adult population of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans (LGBT) in the United States represents 790 billion dollars. The LGBT market for travel alone represents 84.5 billion dollars globally; 10% of the total market comes from the U.S. The population of the LGBT constituency is the third minority in the U.S. right after African Americans and Hispanics, with an estimated population of 10 to 16 million people. There are also thousands of companies with over 50% LGBT ownership.

In this context, business people of the Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce visited Mexico a few months ago for the second LGBT Trade Mission in order to promote the growth of small businesses in our country. The organizers of that event indicated that this is the most effective path for economic progress and empowerment of the LGBT global economy.

After looking for ways to enhance the economic progress and empowerment of the global LGBT community, connections were established between the Mexican LGBT companies and the American companies, corporate leaders on a regional and worldwide setting, trade officials and the U.S. government. The Trade Mission that took place on April of 2014 opened a space for collaboration between the LGBT business leaders that represent several of the leading communities in America including Canada, Chile Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Peru and Uruguay.

The topics covered in this Trade Mission included trade and businesses opportunities, the best practices of support for LGBT companies, and next steps for the establishment of the local and national LGBT chambers acrosss Latin America.

Also reviewed was the importance of establishing a path of virtual communication with the LGBT business clients, the growth of the LGBT traveling business, the inclusion of the LGBT in the business and company markets and supply chain, and the ties that can be established within American and Mexican companies.

While participating in the NGLCC Trade Mission to Mexico, did get to tour some of the historic sites with other delegates and local business leaders.

While participating in the NGLCC Trade Mission to Mexico, did get to tour some of the historic sites with other delegates and local business leaders.

One subject that was not covered was the social responsibility of LGBT and non-LGBT companies in regards to HIV/AIDS. This is why Corresponsales Clave had a conversation with the organizers of the Congress. These were their reactions:

Stan C. Kimer, President of Total Engagement Consulting by Kimer thinks that all the companies should get involved with activities focused with sexual diversity as a part of their business strategies, particularly those companies that are LGBT-owned. These LGBT owners should prioritize their focus of social responsibility in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS in their communities, taking into account that in this moment, most of the LGBT companies are PYMES (small and medium companies). In this sense Total Engagement Consulting by Kimer, located in Raleigh NC, sponsors the Alliance for the AIDS Services – Carolina, an NGO (global term for non-profits) in the Carolinas.

With this respect, people who live with HIV should have the same opportunities to work as people who live without the virus. Corporations need to provide adequate health insurance in countries that don’t provide universal healthcare. While this epidemic continues to develop, people can live healthy lives for twenty, thirty or even more years. Even with the virus they are totally capable of working full-time. People that live with AIDS still want to be productive, and thus why companies should also consider generating part time positions.

The NGOs that work with HIV/AIDS should get close to the companies to ask for their support and financing, and to educate directors and employees about HIV and AIDS. Stan makes a strong point that the LGBT companies and the NGOs should highlight that AIDS is not a gay disease, but is something that affects everyone. In our countries most of the affected people are LGBT population, but there are countries where the heterosexual population is the most affected. This is why financing shouldn’t be only a responsibility of the LGBT population.

For example, Stan’s company supports a community center that offers prevention and training on HIV/AIDS in Mtito Andei, Kenya. This community lives in poverty despite being a major center for transportation. Many single mothers work as sexual workers with the truck drivers because it’s the only way they can support their families. Mtito Andei has a high index of HIV/AIDS, affecting mostly kids and women.

NGLCC is the only non-profit of the United States devoted to improving economic and development opportunities for the LGBT business community. This organization has more than 140 corporate partners and 52 chambers affiliated on a local, state and international level. NGLCC is the biggest organization devoted to company development and advocacy in economic matters on a worldwide level.

It is clear that companies, especially those where the owners are part of the LGBT population, have a very important role on the reduction of stigma and discrimination toward the sexually-diverse population, including education and treatment of HIV/AIDS. To an extent that we are more integrated and educated as a society, our differences shouldn’t be taken as a pretext for discrimination that causes so much damage to all.

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Stan’s blog about his personal experience with the NLGCC Trade Mission to Mexico in 2014.