I was so honoured to have been asked to be a host for the amazing Global LGBT+ Innovation Jam, leading one of the Allyship workstreams (for 7 out of the 34 continuous hour event), for the event that inspired this new report from IBM – Striving for authenticity.
You can read about it in this excellent USA Today coverage.
The article highlights how employees who identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual also had a more difficult time juggling remote work with their caretaking responsibilities during the pandemic, with 43% saying it was a challenge as compared with 34% of non-LGB workers.
“That may be because employees who hid parts of their identity at the office now found themselves having to put their home life on display via Zoom”, says Ella Slade (they/them), IBM’s Global LGBT+ Leader.
I took away so many learnings from the Global JAM, including how wonderfully comfortable it seemed in this safe virtual environment for individuals across the globe to participate, inform and educate each other about critical issues being faced.
On Friday 18th June I hosted a LinkedIn Live discussion with two authors of the IBM report, Anthony Marshall and Ella Slade:
There were so many key points for us all to consider in our roles within and as allies to, the LGBT+ community. Surprises within the report, “Striving for authenticity – LGBT+ views on enduring discrimination and expanding inclusion”, including the high percentage of LGBT responders (to the research) who said that they felt they are still discriminated against in the workplace and especially alarming that 20% of LGBT+ people of colour said they had experienced extreme discrimination.
Also surprising, and again concerning, is that for LGBT+ individuals, the main focus of discrimination has not been the workplace, but higher education.
We also learned the importance of new approaches to championing and cheerleading plus some top tips around defeating imposter syndrome.
On Monday 28th June I hosted another LinkedIn Live with my former Chief of Staff, Miroslav (Mirek) Hazer. We discussed the key findings from the IBM LGBT+ report with important insights from Mirek on the importance of allyship, being seen as a role model in a world that is globally connected and the inequality of opportunity for the LGBT+ community:
What wonderful insights and advice, and great questions from those who joined the live sessions. Thank you.
Every year I restate my pledge made over 30 years ago, and this feels like the right moment as I breathe life into my allyship every day of the year:
“I commit to do all within my power to actively and publicly support and mentor as a passionate ally all within the LGBT+ community such that our unique differences are cherished. That it is because of this uniqueness of age, sex, colour, creed, sexuality, and physical ability that we thrive, not despite them.”