The Supreme Court recently handed down a landmark Federal civil rights law that protects gay, lesbian and transgender workers from workplace discrimination based on sex, including gender identity and sexual orientation. The ruling extends protections to millions of workers nationwide, and it’s an incredible victory for inclusiveness and diversity. But on a day to day level, we have a lot of work to do. Even in workplaces that consider themselves inclusive, coexistence can be harrowing for those whose identity doesn’t conform to gender stereotypes.
In many ways and on many levels, we so often don’t know what our fellow coworkers are going through. We don’t see their struggles — and in some cases, that ignorance can make it worse. Since bias, diversity and inclusiveness are very much front and center for so many conversations about work, and they should be, I wanted to make sure we looked at how it is for LGBTQ employees. That’s a segment of diversity and inclusion we don’t focus on enough. So we’re going to head from an expert on the issue who’s developed a very effective methodology for increasing empathy and self-awareness. It’s a tool for reducing unconscious bias, microaggressions, and other challenges that LGBTQ employees face all too often, and creating a sense of camaraderie, collaboration and support that truly includes everyone.
Today I’m welcoming Elena Joy Thurston to #WorkTrends. Elena is an inspirational speaker and founder of the PRIDE and Joy Foundation, and she has an incredible life story. She’s here to talk about the connection between growing our self-awareness and making our work cultures truly inclusive.