A Brain to Pick, An Ear to Listen, and a Push in the Right Direction

“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see, and to help them navigate a course to their destination.” – John C. Maxwell

As a former diversity & inclusion senior executive, I understand the pressures and competing priorities that can make it feel overwhelming when trying to include LGBTQ people and perspectives into the workplace diversity & inclusion framework. This feeling coupled with the uncertainty on where to find experts who can support us often leads to getting stuck, which zaps the forward momentum needed for any diversity & inclusion intervention. While there are a number of outstanding organizations ready, willing, and able to offer a wide variety of workplace diversity trainings, research continues to remind us that trainings alone are not a panacea to transforming workplace culture.

During my days working as a diversity & inclusion senior executive, I had a former supervisor who was so pleased with my performance; however, when I requested additional support, guidance, or even a recommendation for a mentorship program like the LGBTQ A-Z Certification, she said she had no idea on how to support me or knowledge of relevant mentorship programs. Fortunately, I was plugged into a community of LGBTQ advocates and diversity & inclusion practitioners who supported me every step of the way, and helped me bootstrap solutions to some of my greatest challenges.

And here’s what I learned while bootstrapping it:

1.     It Works, but There’s a Caveat. This approach can work only with the right balance of knowing where to find relevant LGBTQ research, having the confidence to apply this research when designing a holistic diversity & inclusion framework, and being connected to LGBTQ diversity & inclusion insiders who have the time and willingness to support these efforts.

2.     It Takes Time & Tenacity. This approach takes massive amounts of energy, grit, and determination - not to mention a significant amount of valuable time that most of us are extremely short on.

3.     It Feels Like Twisting in the Wind. There’s a significant gap in the market for affordable diversity & inclusion mentorship programs that require a limited amount of time, while delivering maximum value. Not to mention, making sure this type of 1:1 mentorship doesn't break your bank. The absence of such programs results in most professionals going it alone.

My bootstrapping experiences shaped why I was so determined to design a mentorship program that had my peers in mind. I understood first hand how these pain points created significant barriers to building the types of workplaces we know attract the best, brightest, and most innovative workers, loyal markets, and dynamic suppliers. In my consultancy, I wanted to expand my reach and connect with those leaders in organizations both large and small eager to do the work, but have budget constraints that limit affording existing solutions.

Last month, I was very pleased to announce the open enrollment of a new mentorship program that supports my peers who work as executive, HR, and diversity professionals. The program specifically helps these professionals by delivering strategies and offering guidance on how to include LGBTQ people and perspectives into the workplace’s broader diversity & inclusion framework. The program is entitled the LGBTQ A-Z Certification, and I recently hosted a live webinar to answer all of the frequently asked questions people had about the program.

The webinar conversation was informed by a participant pre-survey, where those who registered opened-up about some of their greatest pain points when it comes to designing and implementing a workplace diversity & inclusion framework. The opinions shared by participants included two key findings:

1.     Lack of Formal Mentorship. Every single respondent stated that they had never participated in a general diversity & inclusion mentorship program, let alone one that is specifically geared for LGBTQ diversity & inclusion interventions.

2.     Desire to be Mentored. Every single respondent desired to participate in a LGBTQ diversity & inclusion mentorship program designed specifically to gain concrete skills, increase confidence, and have access to a community of like-minded professionals

These findings suggest that despite the lack of diversity & inclusion mentorship programs, there continues to be a growing demand for such programs. The LGBTQ A-Z Certification was created specifically to meet this demand, and support those professionals who desire this level of mentorship and accountability, since they are responsible for shaping the workplace culture into one that is more inclusive.

So here’s my question for you. Are you thinking about how to fit LGBTQ people and perspectives into your workplace’s diversity & inclusion framework? If so, where are you turning to for support? Are you simply relying on your colleagues, or are you determined to bootstrap your own solutions? Have you arrived at a place where you are now seeking proven solutions that don’t break the bank, and connects you to a community of like-minded professionals?

If you’re struggling with answering these questions, look no further. The LGBTQ A-Z Certification will deliver affordable solutions, and increase your confidence in implementing proven interventions. If you’re interested in learning more about this mentorship opportunity, watch this free webinar all about the program here, http://www.rhodesperry.com/webinar, and consider enrolling by visiting, www.rhodesperry.com/mentorship. Once you’re enrolled, prepare to gain the mentorship you seek, gain a community of like-minded professionals, and learn how to transform your workplace culture into one that is more inclusive.

If you have questions, or would like to schedule a call to talk more about the program and explore available team packages, please contact RPC at: http://www.rhodesperry.com/contact/.  

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Rhodes Perry

Rhodes Perry is a nationally recognized expert on LGBTQ and social justice public policy matters, with two decades of leadership experience innovating strategy management, policy and program solutions for corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. At his core, Rhodes is an entrepreneur, where he most recently established Rhodes Perry Consulting, LLC, a national diversity and inclusion consulting firm that uses an intersectional approach to collaborate with leaders on creating solutions in the practice areas of strategy management, issue advocacy, and stakeholder engagement. Previously, Rhodes founded the Office of LGBTQ Policy & Practice at the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, and prior to this assignment he served as the founding Director of Policy at PFLAG National where he led the policy strategy and advocacy efforts for the organization’s 350 chapters. He cut his teeth serving as a Program Examiner at the White House Office of Management & Budget, where he improved upon federal benefit programs designed to provide assistance to low-income communities. Rhodes earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Gender Studies from the University of Notre Dame, and obtained a Master of Public Administration from New York University.