The ability to communicate is essential to inclusion in professional, learning, or social settings. A Deaf employee, for example, can’t fully contribute to a business unless they can participate in impromptu meetings or hallway chats with colleagues. If English is a second language for a medical student, they need detailed and accurate notes to retain critical information. For a senior aging into hearing loss, losing the ability to connect with family members by phone can be devastatingly isolating. I know of this situation all too well – In my work as a sign language interpreter I’ve seen how connections can be lost when communication isn’t available or readily accessible
In all of these instances, inclusive communication enhances diversity by facilitating involvement, acceptance, and belonging. Today, innovative technology is creating new opportunities for people of different backgrounds, experiences, and linguistic modes to seamlessly share information, collaborate, and engage. Three examples are outlined below.
“… let me remind you: bigotry against minority groups based on sexual orientation or gender identity, such as the trans community, is a way fascism takes root.” ~ by Robert Reich,The Guardian 4/30/23
Hirschfeld would have been delighted by the progress
As a pioneer in Weimar Berlin, Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld explored the limits of what he then referred to as transsexuality. His work documented substantial progress in the identification of diversity of behaviors among Trans people. His efforts to enhance Trans’ social acceptability were commendable and well-accepted. His Institut fuer Sexual Wissenschaft (Institute for Sexual Research) succeeded in initiating viable sex-change strategies and offered a range of comprehensive educational and therapeutic services to their patients. This enlightened approach to a taboo topic made historic progress in 1920s Berlin. Nazi exclusionary edicts abruptly terminated it, with tragic conclusion.
50/50 Women on Boards™ (50/50WOB) is the leading global nonprofit education and advocacy campaign driving the movement toward gender balance and diversity on corporate boards. Since 2010 the campaign has published its 50/50 Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index™ directory and research reports to track the gender and racial diversity of Russell 3000 company board directors. Educational programs and advocacy efforts produced by 50/50WOB include its annual Global Conversation on Board Diversity™, year-round board-readiness educational workshops for individuals and corporate groups, and the Networking Hub for alumni to connect to experts and corporate directors in support of their board journey.
The human capacity for self-delusion is nearly bottomless. We think we’re smarter than we are, more capable than we are and tougher than we are. For example, in one survey, 9% of men actually believed they could win a fight against an elephant!
That unwarranted confidence certainly extends to project management. According to a Project Management Institute survey, 85% of executive leaders said they believe their organizations are effective in delivering projects to achieve strategic results.
Berlin of the early 20th century
lives in our hearts
If modern ultra-conservatives and “Christian” extremists consider their anti- Trans rhetoric to be a novel solution to their feverish longing for an America that once was, they ought to consult modern history.
Their play book has been lifted from the authentic Nazi script, circa 1933.
Early 20th century Berlin became known for its pioneering social enlightenment. It was a global magnet for artistic innovation and intellectual ferment. It also gained a reputation for hedonism, nightlife, and unprecedented sexual freedom. This was the liberated cultural context in which the Institute for Sexual Science (Institut für Sexualwissenschaft) blossomed.
When asked about the women who inspire them, our ADR Advisors share a range of iconic women and personal inspirations. Some of the Advisors have chosen personal mentors, others have opted for historic figures and some chose both. My own choice is Margaret Mead, (see quote above) a pioneer in cultural anthropology also known for her research on sexual conventions in Western society.
Reading about the various influencers, I have no doubt that you’ll begin to generate a list of women who shaped your own lives. Feel free to share in the Comments!
In honor of Women’s History Month, hear about the women who inspire us and influence history. Let’s begin with a quote from Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, founder of Women’s Federation for World Peace and friend of the ADR:
“Women have the magical power to create harmony and to soften hearts. Brides build bridges. The world of the future can be a world of reconciliation and peace, but only if it is based on the maternal love and affection of women. This is a true power of womanhood. The time has come for the power of true womanhood to save the world.”
As a Black woman, whose family moved up from the Chicago slums to ‘the projects’, I was navigating the intersectionality of race, gender, and poverty in the USA. A historical iconic woman that inspired me would be Harriet Tubman, born a slave. I admire her because not only did she believe in human dignity and rights, but she also acted on her beliefs and principles.
Harriet Tubman understood that she and the others who were enslaved were human beings and not chattel. I had the honor to visit the Harriet Tubman House in Auburn, NY. Her modest home gives witness to her tremendous courage. She had seizures and narcolepsy, i.e., traumatic brain injury, from being hit in the head when an overseer threw a heavy metal weight at a slave.Harriet Tubman could be recognized during Women’s History Month, Disability Pride and Heritage Month and Black History Month.
Carlos: Angela, we’ve been friends and diversity colleagues for thirty-five years.It will be interesting to reflect on how the conversation about gender has changed over those decades.
Angela: Yes, but today we’ll only be able to look at a tiny slice of that huge topic. Let’s begin with language.When we first started working together, we used the term gender to distinguish women from men.Now we recognize greater complexities and fluidity, with terms like gender identity and non-binary.