Friday, June 02, 2017

Diversity

When I was in grad school we were discussing diversity and I brought up Lynn Conway and her career, how IBM let her go and it was their loss. Back then IBM was a white male bastion and you could always tell someone from IBM with their flat top haircuts, blue jackets, white shirts and a blue tie.

It was just Ms. Conway that was snubbed but also two long hair hippie type men with this new idea… a desk top computer and IBM thought that desk top computers were just toys and that real computers took up a whole room.
Transgender inclusion is good for business
American City Business Journals.
By Gabrielle Claiborne
June 2, 2017

Forward-thinking Atlanta companies recognize that transgender inclusion is good for business. They know North Carolina lost nearly $400 million in revenue as a result of exclusionary legislation. Consequently, Georgia businesses are taking action to let transgender workers and customers know they are valued.

“We are renovating our customer restrooms and the employee locker rooms. How can we make them more trans-friendly?” The manager of the Atlanta Ikea store recently reached out to my transgender diversity consulting firm with this question.
[...]
Training initiatives at progressive companies are being driven by an awareness that Georgia is one of four states with the highest population of trans people. According to a 2016 Williams Institute report, 0.08 percent of Georgia’s citizens, approximately 7,750 residents, are transgender.

Trans-inclusive local, national and international companies not only seek to provide customer service training; they also recognize transgender people in their marketing. Hallmark now has a greeting card celebrating a person’s gender transition. During the 2016 Summer Olympics, Nike aired a commercial featuring the first transgender athlete to make the U.S. men’s team. This year, Vicks released an advertisement highlighting the motherly love of a transgender woman in India.
When you have a homogeneous company everyone tends to think the same way, but in a diverse company people from different cultures think differently which allows it to think outside of the box.

But one thing that companies need to be aware of, diversity is much more that commercials with trans people in them or making gender neutral bathrooms. It also means hiring and promoting us.

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