5 Questions For: Lara Hayes
First, I think it is important that everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, identity, or diversity, feel comfortable in bringing their whole and authentic selves to work. Not only is it the right thing to do, but our best productivity and products are going to come when people can be their true selves and are not wasting energy to hide.
In working on many client proposals, diversity plays a big role in what other companies look for. They know they receive the best service through a diverse engagement team. I’m not saying you should announce yourself to your colleagues if you aren’t comfortable, but remain true to yourself. Your truth allows others to discover the authentic you. I learned by not hiding my bisexuality, I create a safe place of acceptance, conversation, and education.
Secondly, all of us can and should be an ally for each other in the workplace. An ally takes the time to listen to another’s perspective or background, understands their point of view (regardless if agreement is reached), and acts as an advocate for a diverse group other than their own. It is unfortunate that this type of ally is only talked about in the LGBTQ+ community because of the oppression and discrimination the community continues to face today. In our current society, allies are needed not only between the various groups within the LGBTQ+ community, but also for other diversity groups. By accepting others for who we are without casting judgment, we will create a more supportive and inclusive culture.
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