Mobility - April 2021 - 42

While much must still be done in the areas of
LGBTQ+ discrimination protections and inclusivity issues in the workplace, more organizations are
realizing that fully embracing diversity, equity, and
inclusion translates to a happier workforce-and a
better bottom line.
" The conversation [about diversity and inclusion] has gotten significantly louder, and [it
happens] with greater frequency, " says Victoria
Pelletier, who leads IBM's North American Talent
& Transformation business unit, the division that
supports clients with all things workforce-related,
including diversity, equity, and inclusion solutions.
She is also one of IBM's out executives. " It used
to be a bullet point you put on your webpage, but
now companies are actively looking to move the
needle demonstrably. And not just in terms of
diversity, but more so in inclusiveness. "

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42

ACCEPTED AT WORK
A 2020 workforce survey by Boston Consulting
Group and New York City's Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
revealed LGBTQ employees in the U.S. who are
out at work feel twice as safe psychologically and
1.5 times more empowered to flex their professional skills and take creative risks than their
closeted colleagues.
Sarah says she has felt far more productive since
coming out and being recognized and accepted
at work. " You're not using all that energy to hide
anything anymore, you're just being yourself. It frees
up all that mental space, " she says. " I'm starting to
feel what cis people feel-because I think about my
gender only a tenth of how much I used to. "
Pelletier says top-level management is recognizing that if they're not making people feel welcome
and able to bring their whole selves to work every
day, their business will suffer. " Employee satisfaction drives productivity, and that drives profitability, " she says.
Corporate boardroom changes seem to reflect
this realization: LinkedIn analyzed nearly 100,000
C-suite hires in the U.S. from January to October
2020 and found the fastest-growing senior executive hire was " chief diversity officer. " It's an essential role in today's business world, Pelletier says,

but one that needs to be filled by someone who has
the experience the job requires, not just looks the
part. " Ideally they look like the diverse populations
they represent and have experience leading these
types of programs, " she says.
Pelletier, who has been in the LGBTQ+
advocacy arena within the corporate space for two
decades, says an area of lingering concern is at the
middle management level.
" Where organizations fall down is in this move
to create demonstrable diversity at the board or
executive level, the EVP level, " she says, but not
having a strategy for building diversity among
midlevel management. It's important for people
with privilege-and in privileged positions-to
begin mentoring or sponsoring the next crop of
diverse talent and to be open to learning from
diverse employees at all levels. To help guide that,
IBM offers reverse mentorships, in which underrepresented minorities in the company mentor
executives, giving both parties a chance to learn
through sharing their lived experiences.
In 2020, management consulting firm McKinsey
& Company conducted a variety of surveys and
interviews worldwide to discern the state of the
LGBTQ+ experience in the workplace, and they
discovered that junior employees have the hardest
time coming out. Only 32% of junior employees
were broadly out at work, compared with 80% of
senior leaders.
Not only is coming out a difficult endeavor,
but it's one that many say they have to do again
and again. Around 50% of LGBTQ+ employees
McKinsey surveyed said they have to come out at
work at least once a week, every time a co-worker
misgenders their partner or makes an assumption
about their personal life or preferences.
Still, being out does not feel safe everywhere. The
BCG survey found that 40% of LGBTQ employees
were not out at work, and 26% of those closeted
employees wish they could be out. In addition, 75%
of those surveyed reported experiencing at least one
negative interaction at work last year related to their
LGBTQ identity; 41% experienced more than 10
negative interactions in a year.
Coming out is even more difficult for people
outside Europe and North America. McKinsey's


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Mobility - April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mobility - April 2021

Mobility - April 2021 - Cover1
Mobility - April 2021 - Cover2
Mobility - April 2021 - 1
Mobility - April 2021 - 2
Mobility - April 2021 - 3
Mobility - April 2021 - 4
Mobility - April 2021 - 5
Mobility - April 2021 - 6
Mobility - April 2021 - 7
Mobility - April 2021 - 8
Mobility - April 2021 - 9
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Mobility - April 2021 - 12
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Mobility - April 2021 - 21
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Mobility - April 2021 - 27
Mobility - April 2021 - 28
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Mobility - April 2021 - 30
Mobility - April 2021 - 31
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Mobility - April 2021 - 36
Mobility - April 2021 - 37
Mobility - April 2021 - 38
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Mobility - April 2021 - 40
Mobility - April 2021 - 41
Mobility - April 2021 - 42
Mobility - April 2021 - 43
Mobility - April 2021 - 44
Mobility - April 2021 - 45
Mobility - April 2021 - 46
Mobility - April 2021 - 47
Mobility - April 2021 - 48
Mobility - April 2021 - 49
Mobility - April 2021 - 50
Mobility - April 2021 - 51
Mobility - April 2021 - 52
Mobility - April 2021 - Cover3
Mobility - April 2021 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-may-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-march-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-february-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_122020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_112020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_102020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_092020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_082020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_072020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_062020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_052020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_042020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_032020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_022020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_012020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_122019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_112019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_102019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_092019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_082019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_072019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_062019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_052019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_042019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_032019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_022019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_012019
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com