Diversity Guides

Brian McNaught's Gay & Transgender Issues in the Workplace Blog

Archive for October, 2008

A Sad Farewell to a Great Client

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

My last visit to Canada to work with Toronto Dominion (TD) Bank executives on gay and transgender issues has been a sad one for me. I love the people in the sessions, I love the work, and I’m very grateful for the good care the company takes of me. I’m going to miss them all a great deal, but will always cherish the memories of powerfully impacting their corporate culture. Read more…

Save Your Money But Not Your Breath

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

At lunch today, I asked a group of gay men what changes they were going to make in their lives in response to the collapse of the global economy. Everyone agreed that changes would have to be made.

The next year, at least, is going to be a very challenging one financially for us all, including for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and for our local and national organizations. There is an orgy of spending going on right now because of the marriage amendments in Florida, Arizona, and California and because of the election campaigns. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being collected and spent, mostly on media advertising. But no one should think that those dollars will continue to flow after November 4.

Money is very tight today and it’s only going to get worse. Funding will be cut or dry up for corporate speakers and training, and for donations to gay and transgender organizations. It will be a time for all of us to tighten our belts but not our fists, to save our money but not our breath. Read more…

Tears of Fear, Tears of Joy

Friday, October 17th, 2008

After everyone else had left the room, the young banking executive pulled me aside and said with tears in his eyes, "I think my father is transsexual." He stopped to regain his composure and added, "I don’t know what to do."

I had covered "gender identity" and "gender role" and "gender expression" extensively with the 60 assembled senior managers, explaining the meaning of and differences between the terms, the etiology of gender awareness, the process of "transitioning," and the relevance of it all to the profitability of the company.

"Thank you for sharing that with me," I said.

"What do I do?" he asked. "I love him." Read more…

Surviving This Mess

Saturday, October 11th, 2008

As I sat in the hospital lobby waiting to be called to go be with Ray before his shoulder surgery, President Bush was on the television on the wall, looking down on us and explaining why we’re in a financial meltdown and what he is going to do about it. The stock market immediately dropped an additional 107 points.

"We’re in real trouble if he’s in charge" quipped a woman eating a Dunkin’ Donuts pumpkin muffin. The common consensus on her observation was established with nods and grunts by everyone else waiting for a loved one in surgery. Read more…

Penny Rich, Pound Poor

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

In the midst of this global financial crisis, it would be very tempting for corporations to cut back on diversity initiatives, particularly training, but that would be the worst possible response to the problem of limited budgets. If they can’t afford to increase training at this time, they would be wise, at the very least, to maintain their current level of commitment. Diversity training is needed now more than ever. Read more…