I hope your 2022 is starting off well!
I’m always motivated at the start of a new year. There are new opportunities to connect, new priorities to focus on, and new goals to achieve.
If the last two years have taught us nothing else, it’s that our world can change overnight and commitments we intend to fulfill “tomorrow,” are only as strong as our urgent drive today.
We do not have the luxury of time. Our community does not have full legal equality. Here in the United States and around the world LGBTQ people face discrimination, job loss, and threats to safety. The work of creating cultures of belonging in global workplaces, building strong allies, and changing hearts and minds is urgent because it is literally lifechanging.
The work to create cultures of inclusion is urgent. And this work isn’t only urgent for LGBTQ people themselves, but for employers to remain competitive. Those in the business community that are vocal and powerful advocates for inclusion are proven leaders in the retention of talent, high performance, and innovation. LGBTQ people are choosing workplaces where they can be their authentic selves and be celebrated for it. We won’t settle for less.
Centering intersectionality is urgent. Workplaces that are shifting to meet the needs of a new generation that looks, acts, and loves differently than previous generations are the workplaces that are thriving. LGBTQ people, people of color, the disability community, and so many other groups are making intersectionality a living, breathing part of their personal and professional lives. And they are refusing to compromise on any part of their identity.
The mental health and wellbeing of employees is urgent. Affirming LGBTQ people’s mental health and fostering cultures of support can be a matter of life and death. I don’t think anyone has gone through the last two years of the pandemic without feeling the effects of isolation, grief, and the stress of trying to stay healthy. We are choosing workplaces that support people living with mental illnesses and encourage positive mental health practices among their employees.
The urgent work to create a better, sustainable, and welcoming workplace is tough. Old power structures must be torn down and replaced by systems of belonging and acceptance. The good news is that you are not alone in this work. Out & Equal is a global community thousands of people strong who are working every single day to create more sustainable, accepting, and supportive workplaces for LGBTQ people.
I hope you share my urgency to hit the ground running in this new year.
Thank you for everything that you do for LGBTQ inclusion. Let’s get to work.
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates