New Consultant Joining Total Engagement Consulting to Assist with Transgender Diversity

Elaine Martin is joining Total Engagement Consulting to assist with work in the transgender diversity area

Elaine Martin is joining Total Engagement Consulting to assist with work in the transgender diversity area

Over the past few years, there has been a tremendous growth in the business diversity field for a deeper understanding of transgender individuals and how to best support transgender employees in the workplace. I am very pleased to announce that Elaine Martin is joining the Total Engagement Consulting by Kimer team as a part-time consultant on call to assist my clients in this key area.

Ms. Martin frequently speaks on a variety of trans related topics to provide deeper understanding of and support for transgender people. Among them are:
• Transgender 101
• How to Gain Support from Your Spouse and Family
• Trans People … Everything you were afraid to know, but wanted to ask
• Transitioning in the Work Place (augmenting my deep expertise in HR policies and practices to support transgender employees)

Ms. Martin will be available to speak on these topics as well as customizations for your audience, as a solo consultant, as well as team teaching longer workshops with me. She will also be an ideal resource for your enterprise to provide 1-on-1 coaching to assist your employees in transitioning professionally in your workplace.

Ms. Martin believes that the most important step in activism is “showing up.” This is particularly true for transgender people because so few people have ever known or met a transgender person. Familiarity with people different from themselves is very often the key to understanding, respect and support.

With a BA in Psychology and an MBA in Finance, Ms. Martin has a robust professional resume which positions her as an ideal consultant in the workplace arena, including training of senior executive teams. In addition to owning and running her own businesses and being a commercial pilot, she worked in the banking industry as a senior vice president and executive vice president responsible for teams of up to 1,000 people. Positions included responsibility for all operations, IT, lending operations, corporate marketing, government relations, human resources, product development and more.

Within the community, Ms. Martin has served on numerous boards, including most recently as the Board Chair of Equality North Carolina from 2012 – 2014. She is now on the board of the Raleigh Business and Professional Network, which is an affiliate chapter of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

Ms. Martin is Total Engagement Consulting’s second “consultant on call” team member, and can be contacted at [email protected] Elsa Maria Jimenez-Salgado (link to info about her) remains part of the Total Engagement Consulting team with a focus on providing bilingual consulting services including diversity training for clients requiring services in Spanish.

LGBT Pride Month 2015 – The Year of the “T”

IMPORTANT NOTE: Lots of Useful and Interesting LGBT and Pride Month Links at the bottom of the blog! Any many links throughout the main article! Check them out.

The Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York City, Universally considered the beginning of the modern Gay Rights Movement in the US

The Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York City, Universally considered the beginning of the modern Gay Rights Movement in the US


Traditionally, June is LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Pride Month commemorating the “Stonewall Rebellion” in Greenwich Village, New York in late June 1969. Led by a set of brave drag queens, patrons of the Stonewall Tavern boldly stood up to police harassment.

In my annual LGBT Pride Month blog this year I want to focus on the “T” (or transgender) in LGBT. Why? This seems to be a watershed time with a significant increase of focus on the transgender segment of our community.

Over the past 12 months as I delivered LGBT workshops and trainings across the country, mostly in a human resources professional setting, about 80% of the questions during the “Question and Answer” time are about transgender issues. Questions like:
• What do we need to do HR policy-wise to be more supportive of our transgender employees?
• How do we make the business case to our senior executives that we as a company should be providing gender transition health benefits for our transgender employees, and that medical treatments and surgeries should be considered necessary and not “optional” care?
• What kind of training do we need to provide to the co-workers of an employee who may be undergoing gender transition?
• What bathroom should a transgender person be using? What should we do if another employee complains about a transgender employee using a certain bathroom?

I believe there are several reasons for this increased focus:
• High profile celebrity transitions (Chas Bono a few years ago and more recently Bruce (now Caitlyn) Jenner) have made transgender people much more visible. (LATE EDIT: Link to this cool Vanity Fair magazine cover featuring Caitlyn Jenner!)
• Transgender characters are featured as mainstream in a more positive light such as Laverne Cox (link to Time Magazine Interview) in “Orange is the New Black.” In fact Ms. Cox was the first transgender person to be featured on cover of a Time Magazine issue last year with the title “The Transgender Tipping Point – America’s Next Civil Rights Frontier.”

Transgender woman Laverne Cox made history by being the first transgender person on the cover of Time Magazine (May, 2014)

Transgender woman Laverne Cox made history by being the first transgender person on the cover of Time Magazine (May, 2014)


• With a large majority of Fortune 500 companies now providing full inclusion for gay men, lesbian and bisexual people covered under “sexual orientation,” they are now addressing the transgender area (gender identity and expression) that may have not been fully addressed earlier.
• The younger generation now emerging into more leadership roles are much more “gender fluid” and not as tied to strict gender stereotypes and roles.

(NOTE: As a University of Chicago graduate I was delighted and proud as am alumnus to see the Jan-Feb Alumni Magazine include an alumni essay called “On Common Ground” written by transwoman Christina Kahrl AB’90 about her finding acceptance as a transgender women as a baseball writer and television analyst.)

In fact, while I was in the middle of writing this blog, Mr. Val Boston III of Boston and Associates, one of my experienced consulting mentors forwarded me an announcement : Dr. Jamison Green, a pioneering world leader in transgender advocacy (who I even worked with early in IBM’s days of addressing transgender employees) has announced a strategic partnership with the Diversity & Inclusion Center to education organizations about transgender issues in the workplace.

Since it was several transgender people who took the bold lead in the original Stonewall Rebellion in 1969, it is totally fitting that the “T” should be front and center for LGBT Pride 2015!

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Here are some additional past blogs that can serve as LGBT Pride Month Resources:

LINK to last year’s LGBT Pride Month Blog On the Importance of Being a REAL Ally.

LINK: Five things to never say to gay people

LINK: Five things to never say to transgender people

LINK: Five common misconceptions about gay people

LINK: Five Heroes of the early US Gay Rights Movement

LINK: Five Ways CEOs Can Show Support for LGBT Diversity

A Guest Blog: LGBT Gay Diversity in Direct Sales

LINK: Four Quick Points around LGBT Economic Development

LINK: The Intersection of LGBT and Aging

LINK: LGBT and Housing Issues