A conversation around the importance of representation in products, media and leadership, and a means to create genuine allyship towards the gender expansive community.
- Even with modern successes in the fight for equality, the workplace can still be a tricky space to navigate coming out in
Devin-Norelle spoke to the challenges he felt while transitioning during work, and how many obstacles there seemed to be, especially within feeling supported and normal in ways such as bathroom usage and pronoun shifting. It is more essential than ever before that companies are searching for ways to make their LGBTQ supported, something that Devin-Norelle didn’t feel until ze left the corporate banking world and moved into journalism.
- Visibility and representation are tenets of how companies have to interact with their consumers
Culmone spoke to Barbie’s initiatives to create more gender-expansive and differently-abled representation in their line of work, and the profound impact that that had created in families and children. When doing research, Mattel found that all kids wanted freedom in their toy choice not just kids within the gender-expansive world.
- Brands need to figure out their ‘why’
Representation that moves past the surface level needs to fully grasp why the company is engaging with diversity. Anything else will feel hollow. Miller spoke to the Gillette ad that he worked with that depicted a man in transition having his first shave as a great example of knowing his company’s ‘why.’
- Genuine allyship is key to working authentically
True allyship means a commitment to be educated and to change meaningfully with feedback and without. Corporations have an incredible opportunity to be genuine allies for both Black and LGBTQ people in the workplace, but if they don’t make any efforts in addressing diversity past an ad campaign, they are not showing authentic, meaningful allyship
- You are the first person who should educate yourself
First and foremost, education on allyship and diversity should be a personal drive, not something that needs to be taught to you by those communities. Devin-Norelle talks about the need for people to understand that Black and LGBTQ communities cannot carry all of the weight in educating others, and the power of the internet as a source of self-education.