How to navigate the gender landscape at work

first_img Islamic studies scholar addresses myths and mores behind the veil Queer.Some still bristle when they hear it, but in 2019, when used to describe a gay person, “queer” doesn’t carry the same pejorative connotations that it might have 25 or 30 years ago.Still, it’s important to know your audience before using it, said Stephanie Huckel, senior global program manager of diversity and inclusion at IGT. Huckel recently spoke at a Faculty of Arts and Sciences Diversity Dialogue, “Achieving Greater Workplace Equity for LGBTQ Employees,” at Harvard Hillel.“Don’t use it unless you feel comfortable explaining why you’re using it,” she said in explaining the importance of using the appropriate language to describe nonbinary people. “If you don’t get it, ask, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable.”Huckel pointed out that “queer” was “an ‘in group’ word for a long time — if you were a part of that community.” And even though it has evolved and become more generally accepted, she admitted that she’s cautious when using the word in front of an audience of “gay and lesbian elders.”Speaking to a full house, Huckel’s broad, comprehensive talk was a tutorial in how to be sensitive to everyone while navigating the gender landscape in the workplace. She provided “approaches and tools for communicating with — and to — the LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer] employees in a way that sends the message, ‘You are welcome here.’”Getting down to the very basics and recognizing that members of her audience might fall anywhere on the spectrum of knowledge of the LGBTQ community, Huckel said that “queer” is an umbrella term under which numerous identities may reside. She said people often use that all-encompassing word because the list of letters keeps growing.“Gender is one of those things everyone thinks they understand, but most people don’t,” she said. “It’s not binary. It’s not either/or. In many cases, it’s both/and. It’s a bit of this and a dash of that.“Fifty percent of non-LGBT workers don’t think there are any LGBTQ people at their workplace,” Huckel said. “I guarantee you, they are wrong. And, even if they are not wrong, they don’t know for sure … unless someone has been very direct and honest.”,For example, she pointed out that because someone has been married to someone of the opposite gender for 30 years, does not necessarily mean they are heterosexual. “It does not speak to their attractions or connections to other people,” she said.“Forty-six percent of LGBTQ people hide who they are at work,” said Huckel. Thirty-eight percent do so because they are afraid of being stereotyped, 36 percent think they may make others uncomfortable, 31 percent worry about losing relationships with co-workers, and 27 percent are concerned that a co-worker may think that they’re attracted to them just because they are LGBTQ, she explained.What happens in the workplace when people hide some of the elements of who they are is that they do not bring their whole selves to work, and may not be as productive. “I am talking about people who are hiding in a very deliberate way: people who pretend they don’t have a partner, change the pronoun of their partner, people who lie about their experience over a weekend because it might reveal that they are gay or trans,” she said. “When they are spending so much energy literally hiding, that has real impact on individuals and their ability to show up.”Citing Human Rights Campaign Foundation statistics, she said, “Twenty-five percent feel distracted from their work, 28 percent lie about their personal life, 17 percent feel exhausted from spending time and energy hiding their gender identity, and 31 percent feel unhappy or depressed at work.”How does one avoid the pitfalls? Avoid heterosexualism, “which comes from default thinking” — assuming a person is heterosexual unless there is a major visual clue to the contrary. “Our brains do this as part of our unconscious bias,” Huckel said.If, for example, “we see a feminine person with a wedding ring, we ask them what their husband’s name is. Now, that person, who does not have a husband, is thinking, ‘OK, I was not planning on coming out today, so my options are, I’m going to lie about it … or suggest that it is not a wedding ring, or [I] may jump right in and come out and hope that this goes OK.”Huckel warned against using words such as “he-she,” “it,” or “tranny.” Don’t share a person’s LGBTQ identity with others, unless specifically given permission to do so. And never “ask about a person’s body parts, sexual practices, or medical information.” Aiming for both diversity, success Fostering it in the workplace is a keystone to cultural competence, expert says Anthony Peterson explains why race needs a new narrative, now Related In role-playing session, actors outline common work issues, team obstacles The gains from diversity ‘Am I black or am I white?’ Celene Ibrahim shares insight on the stereotypes at ‘Muslim Feminism’ discussion Huckel suggested a variety of practices to improve the environment for LGBTQ people in the workplace. In addition to language, she said human resource departments should look carefully at policies and procedures, including EEO and anti-harassment policies. “Are they inclusive? What do your dress codes say? How do we neutralize those?” In recruiting and onboarding, “Make sure that LGBTQ folks feel welcomed and valued even if you don’t know if they are LGBTQ.” Know what level of benefits LGBTQ employees receive in comparison to their heterosexual counterparts.Huckel ended on a positive note. “We’re seeing more and more — as a best practice — workplace gender-transition guidelines … a document that outlines what happens when a newly out transgender person … or person who is newly transitioning” comes out. The purpose of such a policy is to “make sure trans folks feel supported, that there is a transparent process that is accessible to them and they know what to expect before approaching that conversation with a superior or someone from HR. It also helps the HR folks know what to do.”Sonia David, administrative coordinator for the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, agreed. “I think discussing the language of LGBTQ inclusion will be helpful in developing a leading-edge approach to creating effective inclusion and belonging initiatives at Harvard. Participants were empowered to engage in the process of self-education, which is a first step toward cultural change,” she said.Sheehan Scarborough, director of Harvard College BGLTQ Student Life, said the dialogue “gave us an opportunity to see how people are thinking about LGBTQ inclusion across the University. There was a lot of enthusiasm in the room, so I know folks are ready to go deeper. The next step is to begin centralizing our resources so that LGBTQ support is easily accessible campus-wide, with a clear point of reference for our best practices.”On April 25, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences will present “From Diversity to Inclusion: 10 Years of Dialogue.” In addition to keynote speaker Tim Wise, a prominent activist, there will also be a panel discussion. For more information, visit the website.last_img read more

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Hazard tipped for top PFA award

first_img PFA Player of the Year award nominees: Diego Costa, David De Gea, Philippe Coutinho, Eden Hazard, Harry Kane, Alexis Sanchez. PFA Young Player of the Year award nominees: Thibaut Courtois, Philippe Coutinho, David De Gea, Eden Hazard, Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling. PFA Women’s Player of the Year award nominees: Eni Aluko, Lucy Bronze, Jess Clarke, Karen Carney, Kelly Smith, Ji So-yun. PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year award nominees: Freda Ayisi, Hannah Blundell, Aoife Mannion, Nikita Parris, Amy Turner, Leah Williamson. But, ahead of the 42nd PFA awards presentation on April 26, Dalglish, who landed the award for the 1982/83 season, has backed Hazard’s claim. “Eden Hazard is not the only option when it comes to who should be crowned PFA player of the year on Sunday, as Jose Mourinho suggested. But he is the best option of a very good bunch,” Dalglish said in the Daily Mirror. “The six are all very credible candidates and I wouldn’t like to undermine the other five… They all had a shout. “But at the time the voting is done, around January, February, the favourites would be players who were flying for their club. “Chelsea were certainly flying at that time, especially Hazard and Costa. And, for me, the team that has done the best must have the best players as that moment in time.” Hazard, who won the young player accolade last year, is once again nominated for that award, along with Coutinho, Kane, De Gea, Thibaut Courtois and Raheem Sterling. Lucy Bronze, who picked up the PFA women’s award last year, is once again among the nominees this year alongside Eni Aluko, Jess Clarke, Karen Carney, Kelly Smith and Ji So-yun. The ceremony will also see a PFA women’s young player of the year announced, a PFA merit award, and the unveiling of the PFA divisional teams of the year. Former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has backed Chelsea star Eden Hazard to be named player of the year at the Professional Footballers’ Association awards night on Sunday. The 24-year-old Belgian has been in sparkling form for Jose Mourinho’s side, with his 13 goals and eight assists helping the Blues into a commanding position at the top of the Premier League table with six games to go. Hazard is nominated for the top prize alongside team-mate Diego Costa, Manchester United’s David De Gea, Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez. Press Associationlast_img read more

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