January 7, 2021
(updated January 7, 2021)
Published by Dennis Velco
In this episode of OutBüro Voices featuring LGBTQ professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders from around the world, host Dennis Velco chats with Scott Ballina, Senior Director, Diversity, Belonging & Giving for a global technology company.
Scott learned the value of diversity while serving in the US Navy as an officer leading a diverse group of sailors from all walks of life. It was also in this role where he experienced living double life hiding his sexual orientation through avoidance, double-speak, and living if needed to keep his identity a secret. While working as a technology consultant at Deloitte, Scott started working on diversity and inclusion in a part-time capacity. His passion for the work and its impact grew and he moved into the role full-time as soon as he was able.
The role of diversity and inclusion can be challenging since it is dealing with all employees who have their conscience and unconscious biases. Scott shares how in his current company they wanted to provide all employees the ability to self-identify their sexual orientation and gender identity. He explains that he had to partner closely with the legal team to assess each country’s laws where they operate. That process took just over a year to complete. Having this data will allow him an analyze promotions, attrition, how engaged the employees are and how their sexual orientation and gender identity may be impacting their experience and allow the company to have metrics around their efforts to improve the culture.
Towards improving the culture, Scott and the company worked on having out gay employees who are in leadership positions. When employees see persons in leadership who they identify with it provides strength to all employees. Studies have demonstrated that when there is more diversity in leadership, it fosters a culture of support for all.
Scott offers advice for organizations starting on their path to creating an inclusive work culture including reaching out to him. To connect with Scott find him on OutBüro here. https://outburo.com/profile/sballina/
Join me and Bruce on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online community network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, allies and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com
December 18, 2020
(updated December 19, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
In this episode of OutBüro Voices featuring LGBTQ professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders from around the world, host Dennis Velco chats with Gina Battye, out lesbian entrepreneur in corporate diversity and inclusion with a keen focus on psychological safety.
This short description nearly does this robust and in-depth conversation justice. This is a must-watch or listen to casual interview chock full of insights, examples, and personal stories you might relate to.
Gina Battye created the blueprint for psychological safety. From Gina’s observations working with ex-offenders, through consulting and training multinational corporations on psychological safety and LGBT+ inclusion, she could see very clearly that there are 5 key areas that organizations need to address, to ensure everyone can bring their whole self into the workplace.
These are referred to as The 5 Pillars of Psychological Safety.
The Authentic Self Process is the first of the 5 Pillars of Psychological Safety. By raising your awareness about your SELF, you will feel confident and empowered to bring all of who you are into the workplace.
These 5 Pillars of Psychological Safety are the foundations and building blocks being used around the world to create fully inclusive workplaces.
PILLAR 1 – SELF SELF refers to you. Who you are. What influences your thoughts and behavior. How you cope with life. How you show up in the workplace. The first pillar centers around Gina’s signature Authentic Self Process. The Authentic Self Process is a powerful 3 step system to release the masks you wear and the stories you have created – so you can bring ALL of who you are to work and life.
PILLAR 2. SOCIAL SOCIAL explores how you interact with colleagues, managers and leadership teams. Imagine everything you have just uncovered about your SELF. The person at the next desk to you has all that going on within them too! Now you know all this, SOCIAL takes you through what is going on behind the scenes of your interactions with others, what influences how you respond and react in conversations and how to use this knowledge to strengthen your interactions and connection with other people.
PILLAR 3. COLLABORATION COLLABORATION delves into the nuts and bolts of team working and how to cultivate trust and work in collaboration with others. In COLLABORATION you explore the environment, the culture of the organization, and how to empower and enable effective collaboration in teams. Gina takes you through safe spaces, ground rules, conflict resolution plans, the 4 steps to effective communication, and the foundations for exceptional team working – all of which are integral to powerful COLLABORATION.
PILLAR 4. CURIOSITY CURIOSITY. Didn’t kill the cat. It made the cat wiser. Gina delves into how to create a culture of experimentation, contribution, and reflective questioning. Here mistakes are made and lessons are learned. Constructive and active feedback is sought and received and there is a willingness to learn, both professionally and personally. This is not only actively encouraged but positively practiced – creating a culture of innovation.
PILLAR 5. CREATIVITY CREATIVITY. “I can’t draw”. No worries, you don’t need to be able to. Everyone is born with innate creativity. But over the years you have been told to “keep your ideas to yourself” and to “not make a fuss.” Hearing these messages you suppress your creativity and don’t speak up. In CREATIVITY you explore how to create a culture where new ideas and alternative perspectives are welcomed. One where everyone has a voice and all ideas are valued, considered, and discussed openly.
Join me and Gina on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online community network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, allies and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com
July 13, 2020
(updated July 13, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
When it’s time to update your resume/CV preparing for a job search, it can be tough to know if you should be out as LGBTQ on it. We don’t believe you will find anyone who would suggest putting “I’m queer – get used to it” in bold pink letter sprinkled with glitter on the top of your resume/CV.
So, should you come out on your resume?
No one can answer that question for you. It is your life, your career, your sexuality, your gender identity, and therefore your choice rests squarely on your shoulders. However, read on for insights to help you make an informed decision.
Many in the LGBTQ community disagree about what you should reveal on your resume/CV. Some say to be out being your full and authentic self, while others argue that you should remain in the closet, grit your teeth to land the job and then slowly come out to co-workers as you get to know them individually.
Many people have acquired significant volunteer and work experience from obviously LGTBQ-oriented organizations. Other people struggle with how transparent they should be on their resume or job application when asked about other interests. Knowing what to say, and how much to disclose to a complete stranger with the power to provide or decline a job offer can be cause for worry. It can often feel like living in the closet and being judged for who you are as a person.
How much experience is related?
Not much but it’s close to my heart
You are such a wonderful person for volunteering. If your past experience related to LGBTQ non-profits/NGOs is not really central to the job you are applying for, we’d recommend completely leaving it off your resume/CV. It’s not hiding your sexuality or gender identity, it is just not pertinent. This even includes leaving it out of your resume/CV hobbies/extra activities. If you get a sense during the interview process that the employer and interviewers are LGBTQ friendly you can always bring it up in the course of dialog as appropriate.
Just a bit but it’s important
If some of your experience was acquired from paid or volunteering for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer non-profits/NGOs no matter if you are LGBTQ a straight ally you might start to wonder if you should put that experience on your resume. This effectively would out you as LGBTQ whether you are LGBTQ or a community ally. Additionally, as you’ll learn below even just the perception of being LGBTQ real or perceived can potentially impact your ability to be hired, promoted and even the salary offered.
Major part of my career
If all your experience is from paid or volunteering at LGBTQ organizations, then it’s pretty clear you have no choice. You have to list the experiences. But you still need to be aware of the issues you may face and be prepared to research employers to find the right match and put your best foot forward with the best employers no matter the size or location of the employer.
If you have worked primarily for LGBTQ or other non-profits/NGOs it can also be difficult to break into the for-profit sector. I have heard of people attempting to do make this transition and being told, “Your qualifications are outstanding, however, you aren’t a right fit for this company we are about making money not helping people/the environment/animals.” – true story. So if your work experience has been 50%+ with a non-profit organization no matter the focus LGBTQ or not, be prepared to address this disqualifying mindset proactively in your cover letter and in the every interview conversation if you get that far.
LGBTQ workplace policies are good yet not a 100% guarantee
Reality is even if an employer boasts being a welcoming LGBTQ workplace with LGBT friendly policies and benefits, there are many people involved in the resume/cv review and interview process. Depending on the size of the employer, that may be a few people or in best case scenario it will be a review committee to reduce the chances of one person’s learned prejudices and ignorance to discriminate and disqualify you based on you being LGBT. In any case, it still can be risky. You want to list all your great experience and qualifications to land that new job yet you are also putting trust in the employer company/organization and the individuals in the hiring process.
At what point should I come “out” in the workplace?
It is important to know that you do NOT have to disclose your sexual orientation or gender identity at any point in the resume/cv submission, job application or interview process. This decision is entirely up to you and how comfortable you feel disclosing your sexual orientation, sex, or gender expression. If you do choose to disclose, there are generally three opportunities to “come out” to an employer?
On your resume
In an interview
After you start working for the organization
Many believe that no job is so great that it’s worth hiding who you are and selling yourself short by leaving out all the organizations you volunteered time with, just-just to hide your sexual identity. That volunteer work could have provided many skills and demonstrate your community involvement beyond the workplace showing a well-rounded individual with character.
Some feel that it is more important to get the job first, and then come out after people get to know you. “I’m here. I’m queer. I’m in the next cubicle” approach.
Others strive for a middle ground in where they list their LGBT activities on their resumes but don’t draw attention to it. They might list PFLG, HRC or NGLCC without going into additional details or spelling out the acronym. They might list the abbreviation of a student campus LGBT group and that they were the vice president such as Berkely LGSA Vice President instead of Berkely Lesbian & Gay Student Alliance Vice President. If asked about the entry it’s an opportunity for discussion to expand upon it in person versus potentially being tossed way by someone along the candidate review path who might hold prejudices. such as “vice president of gay campus group.” The rest, says Woog, is left to the interviewer. If she says, “The Rainbow Alliance –- tell me more about that,” it’s an opportunity to expand on it and judge her reaction.
Still, others hold firm that it is inappropriate to come out on one’s resume as it is to mark down one’s religious or political affiliations. We suggest talking with your both LGBT and straight close friends and family who also have a history of volunteer and community work.
As LGBTQ professionals we cannot live in a vacuum and our straight college have no problem listing their volunteer and community activities that might hint at their heterosexuality. It’s accepted.
At OutBüro we believe a resume should be honest and comprehensive. If a person has done work with GLAAD or Lambda Legal for example – and the reader even knows what these things are – certain presumptions can be made or not. We know many straight people who work at LGBTQ organizations too. Putting your volunteer work in the LGBTQ community on your resume is no different than others who may indicate they are a deacon in the church or a Hebrew school teacher on the weekends.
Why should you hide what you value and has contributed to your life, character, your local community and the community at large? It’s unfortunate that all companies do not have sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination policies. Luckily many companies and organizations do
Questions to ask
Is the company you are interested in an LGBTQ workplace friendly employer?
Do you feel comfortable disclosing that you are currently or have in your past held a paid positions or volunteered for an LGBT community organization?
Do you include previous work experiences (internships, etc.) that occurred at an LGBT advocacy organization(s)?
Is that current or past experience relevant to the job you are applying for?
How do you list your achievements from an LGBT organization on your resume?
Do you list it as for example an LGBT youth organization or simply a youth organization and if asked which one in the interview process disclose it if you feel comfortable doing so at that time?
Questions you can ask an employer in an interview if their employer website does not specifically state it:
Would you say that your company has a diverse employee base?
Do you offer domestic partner benefits and or other LGBT related benefits and policies? (if not clearly stated on their website)
Does your company/organization have an LGBTQ employee resource support or social group?
Additional considerations for transgender job seekers
Is it OK to use my chosen name on a resume and cover letters are not legal documents? You are not required to list your legal name on either document.
Let’s say your legal name is Stephanie Smith and your chosen name is Darrel Smith. You might consider listing your name as S. Darrel Smith on the resume and cover letter.
Will I have to use my legal name during the Job Search
Unless you have made legal arrangements to change your name, unfortunately, you will need to provide your legal name for the actual job application, background checks, social security documents, and insurance forms. However, most organizations will allow you to use your preferred name for company contact information, email, and phone directory. Human resource professionals are bound by confidentiality and can be a good source of information.
When it comes to dressing for an interview, it is important that you present yourself in a manner that is consistent with the position for which you are applying. Dress professionally for the gender for which you wish to be seen as. This can also help your employer understand which pronouns you wish to use.
The world has changed but not enough
A recent study conducted by the University of Surry demonstrates that discrimination in the hiring process still exists. In that study the presented the participants with headshot images with the backgrounds removed along with voice samples. The found that just based on those two bits of information that the participants indicated they were less likely to hire the person and if they did hire them the candidate would be offered less money for the same job with the same skills as someone they perceived as heterosexual. Additionally, the participants indicated if the candidate already worked for the employer, they would likely be passed over for promotion preferring to promote a heterosexual.
According to a 2013 Queer in STEM study (science, technology, engineering, and math) found that more than 40% of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer people are not out as LGBTQ in the workplace.
No matter how you decide to proceed regarding your sexual orientation on your resume, you should do your homework on the employer’s LGBTQ workplace equality you before submitting your application.
Do research on the company’s website as well as other websites listing the company is important to know as much about them and their LGBTQ stance as possible. Know what legal protections are in place in your city, county, state, and country.
Network with other LGBT professionals of all levels
One of the best ways to get the inside scoop on an employer’s workplace LGBT friendliness is to connect with and communicate with an LGBT employee who currently or recently worked there. Don’t know anyone? No problem. Join the OutBüro on the LinkedIn LGBT professional networking group. It was the first and remains the largest LGBT+ professional networking group on LinkedIn with currently over 46,000 global members.
Like the OutBüro Facebook page and message others who like it. We’ll be considering starting an OutBüro on Facebook group shortly and then you’ll be right there ready to jump in.
It needs people just like you to participate. It’s fairly new and we would appreciate you taking a few moments to add reviews/rating of your current and recent past employers. It’s at no cost to you as an employee and it’s anonymous. Your review/rating will help other LGBTQ job seekers in the future during their job hunt company/organization research.
Search to see if your current or recent past employer(s) are present already in the system. If not, you may add it with limited features and then review/rate them.
Check out the below article and user guides to get started:
If interested in a job at a US Fortune 1000 level company one source is the HRC Corporate Equality Index. This organization and report have been instrumental in moving large companies forward in creating LGBTQ workplace equality. It is however as mentioned limited only to US Fortune 1000. It is also self-reported by those company HR departments with no employee input to our knowledge and definitely, no direct employee feedback on the actual workplace equality and general work culture.
Although not all, OutBüro has heard personally from many LGBT employees over the past few years that once their employer achieved the coveted 100% HRC Corporate Equality Index score that management backs off and the internal efforts dwindle to barely an acceptable level at best. It is awesome and we applaud HRC and all organizations who have achieved and maintain a 100% score. This report is but one view of the employer’s benefits, policies, business practices, and the potential of an LGBT friendly workplace environment. Don’t rely on it as your only.
If outside the United States
As of the updating of this LGBT employee resource article, OutBüro is only aware of one other corporate equality scoring report.
If you are aware of other studies and reports please contact us with a URL to the site so that we may include it within this article and other resource guides on the OutBüro site.
The Rainbow Tick is a New Zealand national accreditation program for organizations that are committed to safe and inclusive practice, and service delivery for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) people. Organizations wishing to receive a Rainbow Tick are required to undergo accreditation against the Rainbow Tick Standards, owned and developed by Rainbow Health Victoria (formerly GLHV).
Stonewall UK Workplace Equality Index
Participating employers demonstrate their work in 10 areas of employment policy and practice. Staff from across the organization also complete an anonymous survey about their experiences of diversity and inclusion at work.
Organizations then receive their scores, enabling them to understand what’s going well and where they need to focus their efforts, as well as see how they’ve performed in comparison with their sector and region. The 100 best-performing organizations are celebrated publicly.
Stonewall Diversity Champions benefit from in-depth, tailored feedback on their submission.
Free & Equal – United Nations
Violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people cannot be ended by governments alone. Businesses can foster diversity and promote a culture of respect and equality both in the workplace and in the communities where they and their business partners operate.
The United Nations is calling on companies all over the world – big and small, local and multinational – to help move the dial in the direction of greater equality for LGBTI people.
We know from experience that every time discrimination is diminished, everyone benefits.
It’s your life, your sexuality, your gender identity, and your career. Only you can make the choice on how out to be on your resume/CV in your new career job search and in the workplace. It’s your choice.
December 4, 2019
(updated December 4, 2019)
Published by Dennis Velco
OutBüro is your employer branding platform to demonstrate everything your company/organization has and does to support your LGBTQ Corporate Equality efforts supporting your employees, customers, and shareholders. We want you to shine and thrive. No matter your legal status (for-profit, non-profit, government entity or other). Any size of your organization from 5 – 500,000 employees. Anywhere in the world.
If you have LGBTQ employees and/or would like to attract quality candidates www.OutBuro.com is your comprehensive LGBT employer branding platform.
Visit the site to learn more and contact us if you have any questions and would like to talk about how you can leverage the site to grow your presence in the LGBT community.
July 30, 2019
(updated January 7, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
Any employer. Any size. Anywhere in the world. YOUR voice for LGBTQ corporate equality.
This is a transcript of the video and slightly edited for clarity in text form. The text is in the order of the discussion dialog, which is not exactly in the best structure of article content writing. You know, I said “you know” about 1,000 times in the video so I edited those out in the text to make it cleaner, ya know. LOL.
Hi, I’m Dennis Velco founder and CEO of OutBüro as well as founder and moderator of OutBüro on LinkedIn that’s been running around for 11 and a half years. As of the time of this video recording (July 2019) the OutBüro on LinkedIn group has over 46,300 Global members. I am very proud of that. I built that (OutBüro on LinkedIn) 100% voluntarily on my time and my funds. There has been barely a handful of days over the last 11 years where I have not been actively working inside of that LinkedIn group to hone it and make sure that it stays on course. That is why it has a high amount of engagement and participation.
Any employer. Any size.
You are tuning into this likely because you are an employer of some type. You are either an entrepreneur or company/organization and you’re wondering, what is OutBüro and what can it do for me and our company/organization? Maybe you have a couple of employees say, you know, 15-16 employees or you’re an employer of 500, 1000, 5000 or 200,000+. That is a key thing about OutBüro, it is for all employers and all types of employers.
You are tuning into this likely because you are an employer of some type. You are either an entrepreneur or company/organization and you’re wondering, what is OutBüro and what can it do for me and our company/organization? Maybe you have a couple of employees say, you know, 15-16 employees or you’re an employer of 500, 1000, 5000 or 200,000+. That is a key thing about OutBüro, it is for all employers and all types of employers.
So let me clarify that for you. And by the way, I’m going to talk more about the actual features for you as an employer and having your listing on OutBüro in the next video. So I’m going to try really really, really, really hard not to get into the nitty gritties of features in this particular video here.
OutBüro is pronounced just like “out bureau”. Büro with the umlaut, which is the two dots, is German meaning office. So “out office” also, of course, hearing the words “out büro” you can think of newsdesk reporting and so forth. So I wanted, an English / American word as well as a more European based word. I happen to have lived in Germany serving in the US Military (Army) and as a US Department of Defense civilian for five and a half years. That’s why I chose that word. Also, it is a nice, short and sweet URL so that you can type it very quickly and get to it.
Back to the who
So getting back to who it’s for – it is for any employer any size anywhere in the world. So let’s talk about for first types of employers. Okay, so you could be a for-profit entity of any size, again one-three people all the way to a huge organization with 200, 250, 300 thousand employees globally. The platform as it grows and adapts will be trying to fit all different levels. We’ll be honing it to try to tailor the interface based on the size of company/organization as well as we move forward.
Tech issues addressed – focused on building value
It’s a fairly new site in that it’s about a year and a half old. Recently we overcame some technical difficulties that I was having (not being a “real developer myself) and had to bring in a web applications developer earlier this year to assist. Since those issues were solved, over the last three months (as of this taping) we have been focused on honing the site toward its vision. We’ve been zeroing in on getting it down to something of value for both the employees as well as the employers. Hopefully, after this dialogue and learning a little bit more in the next video, you will hear an overview of the current set of features for you as an employer. My goal for this video is to convey its intent and value.
I’m always open to constructive feedback on how to make it more useful and beneficial for you. So when you’re reviewing it adding your Employer listing, if you have ideas and you think things should be done this way or that way or added additional fields for input and so forth please let me know. Contact me through our support contact form. Once you get to know me a little bit, shoot me a direct email and let me know what your thoughts are providing the constructive feedback for us to make a make the system more effective for you because it’s for you.
For LGBTQ employees and employers
It’s predominantly geared for the LGBTQ employees as in information service and for companies/organizations as an LGBTQ employer branding and review monitoring system. [Lamp flickers] Okay, and I’m sorry about that. The light keeps flickering. It’s a little distracting for me. But I don’t want to turn it off. Hopefully, just laugh at it or something.
So as an employer, again getting back to that, you can be a for-profit company. You can be a sole proprietor. You can be a non-profit. You can be a political action committee (PAC). That’s what we call here in the United States a political action committee. You can be a government entity federal/national, state/province, county/regions or city/town level government and so forth.
Within that for example, I happen to live in the Fort Lauderdale area. So I’ve already added the City of Fort Lauderdale. I’ll be adding the police department and Fire Department too along with the education department and so forth.
So think about that and think about all the potential employees out there who are affected. So any organization of any size and any type as well also anywhere on the planet. OutBüro is not limited to the United States or to England, India, Australia, or Japan. It’s everywhere. Some of our future features will be making it multilingual as well. I’m going to try not to get into features. I have a really bad habit of doing that.
Why is this important?
So just a little bit about the why. How did this come to be? And why is it important for me, important for you, and your employees? There are several, employers / corporate equality indexes around the globe. From what I have seen and from what I have gathered through various sources my perception is, and I don’t believe I am incorrect and I happily accept additional information, but they are all focused for the most part on the Fortune 1000 level. Obviously, I would love for all of the Global Fortune 1000 level organizations to join and participate OutBüro and be rated by their employees.
Current corporate equality indexes narrow in scope
Here’s the thing, just looking at the United States where I live Fortune 1000 level companies employ approximately eight percent of the United States’ population. What about the other ninety-two percent, right? Granted, I understand why those entities have taken on and focused on the Fortune 1000. I understand. I truly do. Because it is when politics and laws are not moving fast enough, you can still create, protections and so forth for people through their employer. I get that totally 100% and I applaud all of those organizations out there who have been working with the Fortune 1000 because I know it is not easy. My past clients for 13 years was Fortune 1000 level and I consulted on change in processes in and around taking old processes to new processes and then implementing the systems to support those new processes. I totally understand how difficult that that is. But at the same time, focusing for 5, 6 and 10 years on only the fortune 1000 has left 92 plus percent of not only the US population but even more across the globe kind of just out there floating. Who’s paying attention to them and that’s where OutBüro, and I in creating OutBüro predominantly have seen the opportunity. That there’s a huge vast void of an opportunity for all employers to be able to share what they doing the realm of LGBT inclusivity and creating a welcoming and belonging environment.
“(OutBüro) is fascinating and much more aligned with the UN’s Global LGBTI Standards for Business than most indexes! – Fabrice Houdart – Human Rights Officer @UN” user=”OutBuro” hashtags=”#LGBTQ #WorkPlaceEquality #CorporateEquality”
One of the things I like to share and I use it as an example pretty often is while I was living in Clearwater, Florida, there was a small Mexican baker about two blocks from where I lived. I loved their pastries. They were absolutely phenomenal. So I went there about once a week and got friendly with some of the staff. One of the staff was clearly gay – flamboyant. You could tell, you could just tell, that he loved his job. He absolutely loved everyone that he worked with they loved him. There’s nothing at all wrong with that. They probably employed, in and around 12-13 people or so. A company of that size probably didn’t have an official non-discrimination policy. They most likely didn’t have transgender-inclusive health care benefits and so forth. So, under the current equality measurements, they would be dismally scored. They’d be like zero even if they responded to the surveys – but they’d never be included due to their size. At OutBüro yes, we want you to have those policies, procedures and benefits and all of that stuff especially as you’re a larger organization, but, you know even small companies even though they don’t have those in place they can still be an incredible place for an LGBTQ employee to go to work and thrive. On OutBüro that employee can add that employer for at no cost (with limited features), that employer may claim their listing or add their listing themselves and take advantage of all the features and still have a positive employee based review on OutBüro.
A little background
So clarifying a little bit about why and how. As I mentioned over 11 years ago, I started the first LGBTQ group on LinkedIn and that was before they had the blue button to for anyone to start a group. It didn’t exist. I actually contacted LinkedIn customer support and had about two weeks worth of email exchange with them. I basically volunteered to moderate the group and they agreed and started it. As agreed they assigned me as the moderator.
Also for several years, I have been involved at least in a passive capacity and most recently with OutBüro, starting to post in about five or six groups on LinkedIn for diversity and inclusion professionals. These groups represent, I’m sure there’s some member overlap there in the various groups, but they represent in and around 60,000 diversity and inclusion professionals around the globe. So between the OutBüro on LinkedIn LGBTQ professional group and the diversity and inclusion groups, I get a lot of information.
Group members reach out for advice
Over the years I’ve had individual people contact me a couple of times a month asking me for help, advice and so forth. All of that ranges from people seeking asylum and how do they go about it. Business owners both in the United States and around the world will contact me for information, about seeking funding for their business. I’ve also have had people contact me and say, how they work for such and such company. Then when they (the company) reached the 100% score on a current corporate equality index management backs off funding, all the top management who were so focused on that now is off on the next big project/initiative. I get that but it left the employees feeling a little disenfranchised. It caused them concern and to question WTF happened? As a company, many take two steps forward then one step back, two steps forward again and one step back. We all do it. We grow and we make mistakes. So I also want to be very very clear, I don’t expect any business/corporation/organization to be perfect. I’m not perfect. How can I expect you to be perfect? We’re human and businesses/corporations/organizations are made of humans.
US Supreme Court and LGBTQ workplace-corporate equality
So that gets me to the next point as to why OutBüro is so important. Coming up here in December of 2019 there is a US Supreme Court case about LGBTQ protections from employment discrimination. They are supposed to hear that case and possibly vote. I hope they’ll vote positively on this making LGBT discrimination in the workplace across the entire United States illegal. Wonderful. I hope it happens. Currently, in the United States, LGBTQ protection laws are spotty leaving 50% of US LGBTQ vulnerable to legal discrimination.
Sexual harassment and LGBTQ corporate equality
To remind you we have had sexual harassment laws on the federal books since 1978. Most states followed within one to two years of that. If you employ more than say 500 people your organization it likely has a sexual-harassment policy. You likely have anti-sexual harassment training and you likely every year require your employees to sign off affirming awareness. Whether it’s electronic or on paper that they know that sexual harassment will not be tolerated in the workplace. Okay, however, turn on the news almost weekly. It’s really sad how many cases of sexual harassment right here in the United States, almost on a weekly basis, makes prime news. Now if sexual harassment has been illegal for 40 years and almost every call it at least 80% of all employers in the United States has all of those policies and procedures – laws, policies, training, procedures and all that has been going on for 40 years. How come that’s happening?
they found that:
81% of women in the United States experienced workplace sexual harassment according to a 2018 NPR survey
So by that example, it is clear that laws, policies, training, and procedures are not 100% effective at eradicating sexual harassment.
Although having these LGBTQ policies and benefits are absolutely amazing. I applaud you for having them. However, if we just take sexual harassment and the 40 years since that was enacted as an example then it’s going to be decades for full LGBTQ corporate equality. I hope it won’t be that long and I hope OutBüro will be a mechanism to help speed up the process of true LGBTQ corporate equality where LGBTQ employees will feel welcomed, safe and protected in their workplace in the US and everywhere in the world.
Employees have deeply rooted learned prejudices
Let’s say you’re an organization of 10,000 employees. Wow, that’s a lot of people right? If you’re an organization of 50,000 or 100,000 or more just think of the complexities. Here is the thing. You’re employing people. People come with lifelong learned ingrained mindset learned from their parents and their environment. So when they come to work, you might have all these fantastic, policies, benefits, training and specifically LGBT sensitivity training and so forth, but you’re trying to unlearn deeply rooted engrained attitudes. You’re trying to take those employees and erase a lifetime of learned prejudices. That’s really tough. People just don’t switch that off after a mandatory once a year one hour LGBTQ sensitivity training.
Just like when sometimes people will say, “Oh, I’m not racist“. But then you hear the next thing out of their mouth five minutes later. It’s like that or they would never do sexual harassment, but then something falls out of their mouth that makes you go. “Wow. I just can’t believe you said that.” I understand you are working on LGBTQ corporate equality and striving to create a welcoming environment I applaud you because you have a very very tough job. You are trying to create the precedent and the intention of the company, but you have all these people who work for you who bring their discrimination from their learned prejudices and all their baggage to work with them. You are asking and training them and hopefully giving them enough negative incentive that they’re going to realize they need to clamp it. Keep it shut. Keep it to themselves or walk out the door. It’s tough.
OutBüro employer branding timely feedback tool
OutBüro can be a mechanism for you to get timely and frequent feedback. I need to move forward because I’ve already been doing about 22 minutes here, but I wanted you to understand that I understand and I get it’s a tough job. So let’s talk about how you can utilize OutBüro with all that information to benefit your LGBTQ corporate equality efforts.
Customer branding too
Okay, let’s get started on employer branding. What you’re going to see in the next video as we break down is a discussion about the features. OutBüro is a platform where you may consolidate all of your branding messages to your LGBTQ current and prospective employees. Also as a ratings/review site, your customers may also see the content and ratings/reviews. There’s one company added to the site about a month ago that is an online retail company. And all of a sudden recently their listing is receiving like they’re it’s like 5-7 hits a day. Right now that is a lot. I was curious about that. I think it’s because people are coming to OutBüro because they are an online retailer and I think it’s potential customers looking for reviews about that company – [based on web analytics].
LGBTQ employer-corporate rating monitoring
As employees start rating that company for their workplace-corporate equality from the employee perspective current and potential clients/customers are also going to see those ratings. People like to do business with (and shop/purchase from) companies that they can identify with and feel good about. Having a presence on OutBüro and putting your best foot forward on OutBüro not only can be beneficial in your employer branding, but it also can be beneficial in your client/customer marketing and branding as well.
For employers, OutBüro employer branding is one of the main site feature and benefit. It’s also employer review monitoring. As an employer, you won’t be able to edit what a reviewer says but you’ll be able to flag it for a potential administrative review if for some reason you feel a review/rating needs to be brought to our attention for potential moderation. You will be able to after claiming or adding your Employer listing you are in control of the content that is representing your company. You will have a contact record and also will be able to anonymously interact with the raters/reviewers
Timely LGBTQ employer review/rating insight
OutBüro can be a timely pulse on your state of LGBT inclusivity. The reason I say it’s a timely pulse is that once someone posts a review/rating <<BAM>>, it’s instantaneously online. Additionally, an employee reviewer/rater may post a review/rating every 4 months on their own unique timeline.
So let’s say you’re a company/organization of 100,000 employees for simple math sakes. Let’s say 10% of your employee base is LGBTQ, heteroflexible and so forth whether they’re out at work or not. so 10% of 100,000 is 10,000 LGBTQ+ employees. Each of those employees come on board OutBüro partly from you make it known that your company/organization/government/corporation/non-profit/PAC, etc, has claimed/added your Employer listing on OutBüro. Although you don’t incentivize them to leave you a review/rating you make it known you are on OutBüro and you embrace feedback and hope that they will review/rate you in whatever capacity that they see fit. So as each employee begins rating/reviewing you potentially as frequently as every 4 months as your company makes improvements or falls (has an incident). You’re going to see your OutBüro score go potentially up or down based on that immediately and continuously. So it’s a timely pulse for you.
LGBTQ candidate active recruiting
With OutBüro’s employer branding you are able to demonstrate your active recruiting of LGBT employees/candidates/job seekers. Even other LGBTQ workplace/corporate equality indexes around the globe are wanting to see that you are actively recruiting LGBTQ candidates. Social prove it by linking to the job/career fairs you participate in, show your LGBTQ employee testimonials, and link to the LinkedIn profiles of company recruiters focused on LGBTQ candidate/job seeker recruiting.
Social proof of your LGBTQ diversity and inclusion efforts
You’re also able to show off and consolidate your LGBT diversity inclusion messaging as I mentioned earlier by linking/social proving. It’s not you just saying that you have a transgender-inclusive health care benefits for example, but actually linking to your website where that is stated publicly. And so most of the fields on OutBüro you are able to leverage social proof. This is very important because again it’s not just you saying it or it’s not just some report saying that you have it. You are proving it.
LGBTQ Active Recruiting Marketing
LGBTQ Employer Corporate Political Donations
Corporate LGBTQ Community Support
Corporate LGBTQ Inclusive Marketing
LGBTQ Employer Diversity & Inclusion Attributes
Corporate LGBTQ Community Involvement
Pro-LGBTQ and anti-LGBTQ political contributions disclosure
Also on OutBüro, you’re able to annotate your political contributions at a city, county/region state/province and a national/federal level. Very important that both your political contributions to known pro-LGBTQ political candidates or currently in office political folks as well as anti-LGBTQ politicians. Not only indicate that you do donate but you may explain why it was important to your business/organization to do so. We know that sometimes you have to do business with and/or “grease the palm” of politicians that you really don’t necessarily agree with all of their stances on every issue. But because of the position that they’re in such as a chairperson of particular committees, you have to deal with them. All right, it’s okay. We all have to deal with people that we don’t like or we would rather not. But we have to because of our job, company/organization needs. Just give a proactive statement on OutBüro as to why that was important to the company and how that benefits your organization and then therefore how it benefits your employees and your customers.
So, you know, I’m not here to beat you up over donating two and a half million dollars to anti-LGBTQ US congress members AT&T. I know they’re probably sitting on or chairs of committees that affect your business. Okay, you can’t control that that person is still in a position of power and influence. You have to do it. I get it. But then you also now have the opportunity to proactively briefly explain yourself on o OutBüro. Annotate it right next to the positive things that you are doing and the entire record is about the positive and the balance. It’s just reality. None of us can just deal with unicorns and rainbows our entire career/business life and be successful. Sometimes we have to deal with companies/organizations, politicians, people and entities that don’t always follow our own core values, but we still got a deal with them. All right, so just explain it proactively on OutBüro as your space to do that. I recommend that you do it as soon as you know that those donations are happening. Come to your OutBüro Employer listing and make a statement here. Get in front of the conversation before all the reporters and LGBTQ rights activists try to rip you apart. You then say, “Oh I/we have already disclosed that on OutBüro.
LGBTQ inclusive marketing social proof
As part of your LGBTQ employer branding on OutBüro, we also have the ability and want you to include demonstrating your LGBTQ inclusive marketing naturally with social proof. That is the company/organization’s customer-facing marketing. It allows you to indicate the months in which your LGBTQ inclusive market is active. Social prove it by providing links to, videos, websites and uploading images so that a whole picture is seen in a consolidated view.
Bi-directional sponsor and sponsors indication
LGBTQ Own Business and Non-Profit Support/SponsorshipOn OutBüro you may indicate what LGBTQ owned businesses and non-profits you support and sponsor. Then also who sponsors you perhaps you’re a small organization like some friends of mine, Debt-free Guys. They run a personal finance blog for the LGBT community. They are sponsored by some outstanding financial institutions like Prudential, MassMutual, and CaptialOne. Thank you for that. And so those organizations can indicate that they sponsor the Debt-free Guys. Then on Debt-free Guys record, they can indicate who sponsors them. So it’s a cross-reference opportunity that it kind of a little bit of a check and balance there. So that goes both ways.
Seeking Funding and Funding Available
You’re able to indicate whether if you are an organization seeking funding there are multiple types of funding to indicate you are interested in. I’m going to get in the features later and the next video different kinds of funding that you’re seeking grants loans venture capital., etc.
As an organization, if you have funding, grants, provide small business loans, sponsorships, donations, are an investor, etc. I’ll talk about that next but on both sides of the fence whether you need or seeking funding or whether you have funding available you’re able to indicate that on your Employer listing record.
We’ll be adding search features so that if you’re an organization, you could search for a new nonprofit or new small business to support and vice versa if your nonprofit or a small business looking for funding you can then search organizations that have it available
As mention above, indicating who sponsors your company/business/organization is both saying thank you and also helping that organization demonstrate their LGBTQ community support. W
LGBTQ employer reviews monitoring
You’re able to flag reviews if something comes up that you feel needs moderation. We do have employer ratings/reviews guidelines and if you’d like to look at the employee-focused video that I did about posting ratings/reviews. Together they cover the do’s and don’ts and the whys and the how’s and so forth.
There are incredible benefits to being LGBTQ inclusive and welcoming. Not only are you providing a welcoming space for your employees, but there are also many studies about this I wrote about. Organizations no matter what size they are who focus on inclusivity and creating a welcoming space for all their employees, magic and miracles begin to happen because people are able to bring their authentic self to work. They are able to feel that their ideas are welcomed that they don’t have to hold anything back. Communication is improved when you have happy employees. Happy employees create a positive experience for your customers and your clients. You then get repeat business that leads to more money. That is more money in your pocket or more money for your shareholders. Everybody wins. So it’s a lovefest.
No one and no organization is perfect. Learn, adapt and improve.
Focus on LGBTQ workplace and corporate equality utilizing the OutBüro platform to help you get the to your message out in a consolidated platform. Receive that employee provided feedback rating/review as a timely pulse on how you’re doing, learn, adapt and improve. Remember you’re not perfect. I’m not perfect. Your organization isn’t perfect. We all make mistakes. We all make blunders we make errors. That is not what defines us. It’s not what defines me it is not what defines you. It is what we do with that.
OutBüro pricing and value
Let’s talk a little bit about value right here, OutBüro is priced on an annual subscription basis based on the total number of employees. To send our LinkedIn group of 46,000+ global members via LinkedIn’s marketing platform it would cost over $23,000 no matter the size of your organization. OutBüro provides so much more ways to communicate your employer brand to our current and growing LGBTQ professional target audience.
For an organization over 30,000 employees, OutBüro is about half that LinkedIn one-shot price. On OutBüro could build and consolidate your entire LGBTQ employer branding and get all the benefits that are associated for example posting regular articles on the site. So it’s not just about your listing when you are a subscriber you also then can post content. Posting content could be employee features, it could be highlighting a customer, it could be highlighting you at Pride somewhere, quarterly updates on your efforts, OR the quarterly activities of your LGBTQ employee resource group.
The field is open on what you can post but want it to remain, LGBTQ centric. For example, if you work for NASA please don’t post your new rocket system and its propulsion capabilities, unless highlighting LGBTQ employees on the project.
Ratings/reviews will happen. Get in front and shine.
Remember, any current or recent past (up to 5 years) employee may add your company/organization for free with limited feature and then rate/review you. You have no control or input over that. You may claim your employer listing if already present or add it if not already on OutBüro.
It’s your choice whether you are going to be proactive and take control of the conversation/your brand and join us and partnering to help you shine as much as possible understanding that blunders will happen. But it’s what we do with it that matters.
OutBüro Ambassador program
We have an ambassador program. Where if you as an organization, an individual or a company of any size, or a non-profit, or a political action committee (PAC), or a chamber of commerce, or Community Center anyone, anywhere may participate.
Let’s say you have contacts in the business world and you sign up for the OutBüro ambassador program- it is an affiliate marketing system. It is a very transparent system. You have the ability to earn a percentage of the annual subscriptions for those employers that you bring on board to OutBüro. It’s not just the first year. It’s every year that they maintain their subscriptions. So it’s a way to create an immediate income and residual income. So it’s great for organizations that are looking to supplement or increase their revenue.
Thank you so much for tuning in thus far and I hope you will join us. I’m a little I’m a little windy. I hope you can tell I’m just a plain person like you. I’m just trying to do something for my community that benefits the companies/organizations and LGBTQ employee of the world. But you know, hey, I have my issues too and one of them is I’m a bit chatty. So I’m going to end this now and we’ll see you in the next video talking more about the actual features on an employer listing. Thank you so much, and I look forward to getting to know you and your organization better as we move forward in the future. Thank you.