We #PasstheMic to those with enriching perspectives to share their views and goals. Today, Alan Durand, Director of Employee Experience in the US shares his lived experiences and learnings with us.
Pass the Mic
I am a white cisgender man in my late 30s. Representation in the workplace should not be an issue for me. Statistically speaking, I’m in the majority. That is until I mention that I’m gay.
As a gay white cisgender man in my late 30s, the workplace representation story is completely different.
Over the course of my 15+ year career, outside of diversity events, I have been in exactly 2 meetings where the majority of the people in attendance openly identified as part of the LGBT+ community. It was such a rarity, that after each of those meetings, the other LGBT+ attendees sought me out to talk about it.
To put that in perspective, let’s do some maths together.
If I have attended an average of 5 meetings per day, 5 days a week, over my 15-year career, that means I’ve been in about 19,500 meetings (head exploding emoji). In two of those meetings, people who identified as part of the LGBT+ community were in the majority. That equals about 0.01% of the meetings I have attended.
Let’s do one more set of maths together.
If in the course of a week, there were 2 meetings that I attended where one other person openly identified as LGBT, that would mean over my career there were approximately 1,560 meetings where there was someone else like me represented. That equals about 8% of the meetings. Said differently, that would mean 92% of the time I was the only person who openly identified as LGBT.
While I have worked in many places throughout my career where I have felt welcomed and have been encouraged to bring my authentic self to work - there is a long road in front of us before inclusion turns into representation.
My ask is that we all resolve to think more critically about our own level of representation and how we can increase the representation of others.