Diversity Guides

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

Archive for September, 2009

Getting to Know a Transgender Person

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

In response to a corporate diversity presentation I gave awhile back, a transsexual employee got very upset that I suggested to the audience that our awareness of gender identity issues was probably about 10 years behind our awareness of issues of sexual orientation. She felt I was diminishing the importance of transgender concerns with her peers. While I understood her heightened sensitivity, the reality is that while most Americans say they know someone who is gay or lesbian, most Americans don’t know someone who is transgender. In fact, most Americans—even those in corporations that have policies protecting transgender people from discrimination—don’t even know what the word "transgender" actually means. Read more…

Before Litigation is Necessary

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

A reporter from the Wall Street Journal contacted me a few days ago regarding a lawsuit based on sexual orientation discrimination. This was within a few days of me hearing from a gay man who felt harassed at work by unwelcome gay-oriented "humor". Both e-mails suggest a couple of things to me. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which is allegedly going to be passed into law soon, is much needed. Secondly, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender employees have become impatient with the time it’s taking companies to create a safe and productive workplace for them. Read more…

Innovate or Bust

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Years ago, when I was a teenager, I urged my General Motors executive father to have the world’s largest and most powerful corporation design a jazzy new car and market it to my age group as chief rival Ford Motor Company had just done with the Mustang.

Dad dismissed the suggestion and assured me that G.M. had perfected a formula that worked and that they would be sticking with it. I am grateful that he died before his company stock became worthless and the rival Ford didn’t face the same public shame from of the threat of bankruptcy. Read more…