THE ABC’S OF L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.A.B.GF.GNC.GQ.NB.P.P.Q.2S+

1200px-Gay_flag.svg.png

What does L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.A.B.GF.GNC.GQ.NB.P.P.Q.2S+ mean?

The initialism LGBT came about in the 1990s, intended to replace the umbrella term gay, used inaccurately to describe the whole LGBT+ community. While young people are increasingly embracing the notion of free and dynamic sexuality, rejecting sexual and gender labels, signifiers, and categorizations entirely (Edelstein 2016), the segmentation can still prove empowering, even comforting for many. 

The following definitions have been extracted from the National LGBT Health Education Centre’s Glossary of Terms. While it is by no means exhaustive, and definitions vary community by community and person by person, this compilation is designed to help communicate common, mutually understood uses and definitions.

Agender: Describes a person who identifies as having no gender.

Asexual: Describes a person who experiences little or no sexual attraction to others. Asexuality is not the same as celibacy.

Bigender: Describes a person whose gender identity is a combination of two genders.

Bisexual: A sexual orientation that describes a person who is emotionally and sexually attracted to people of their own gender and people of other genders.

Gay: A sexual orientation that describes a person who is emotionally and sexually attracted to people of their own gender. It can be used regardless of gender identity, but is more commonly used to describe men.

Gender Fluid: Describes a person whose gender identity is not fixed. A person who is gender fluid may always feel like a mix of the two traditional genders, but may feel more one gender some of the time, and another gender at other times

Gender Non-Conforming: Describes a gender expression that differs from a given society’s norms for males and females.

Genderqueer: Describes a person whose gender identity falls outside of the traditional gender binary structure. Other terms for people whose gender identity falls outside the traditional gender binary include gender variant, gender expansive, etc.

Intersex: Group of rare conditions where the reproductive organs and genitals do not develop as expected. Intersex is also used as an identity term by some community members and advocacy groups.

Lesbian: A sexual orientation that describes a woman who is emotionally and sexually attracted to other women.

Pangender: Describes a person whose gender identity is comprised of many genders. 

Pansexual: A sexual orientation that describes a person who is emotionally and sexually attracted to people of all gender identities.

Queer: An umbrella term used by some to describe people who think of their sexual orientation or gender identity as outside of societal norms. Some people view the term queer as more fluid and inclusive than traditional categories for sexual orientation and gender identity. Due to its history as a derogatory term, the term queer is not embraced or used by all members of the LGBT community.

Questioning: Describes an individual who is unsure about or is exploring their own sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Transgender: Describes a person whose gender identity and assigned sex at birth do not correspond. Also used as an umbrella term to include gender identities outside of male and female. Sometimes abbreviated as trans.

Two-Spirt: Describes a person who embodies both a masculine and a feminine spirit. This is a culture-specific term used among some Native American, American Indian, and First Nations people.

By: Mitch White

Ignorance or Embrace? 

Unknown.jpeg

“This is color-free zone here. Stanley, I don't look at you as another race” says our dearest Michael Scott. “ Is it treating everyone equally without caring about people’s race, ethnicity or sex orientation the best solution when facing diversity? 

Honestly, at first I would say yes. It is definitely a safe way. Why bother potentially getting others offended while you can just ignore the difference. You don’t really want to come up to two girls holding hands in public and ask “how long have you guys being together?” or come up to an Asian guy and ask “Do you know Kong Fu?” What if they are not lesbians, what if he is not Chinese. Then in the end, all it leaves is some awkward silence. 

While on the other hand, if just ignoring the difference, we are just pretending everyone is the same. But that’s not the case. We are different because of each unique background, religion, age and culture. But we are also similar in a way because no matter what jobs we are doing, what education level, what family background, all of us share some same identities. 

 

She is a Chinese international 21-year-old student.

He is a Canadian Catholic retired solider. 

They might look completely different, but they both share the same identity as bi-sexual. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jD8tjhVO1Tc

 

Therefore, Ignoring the difference is not a good long-term solution, because we never truly understand each other. Thus the misunderstanding might cause more future conflicts in terms of lack of knowledge towards other diversity.  So those questions might sound offended, might cause confusion, might not be polite now, but as long as we phrase in a politically-correct way, we are saving us from the long-term arguments. At the same time, we got the opportunities to explore other diversity we are not familiar with and we got closer to others. 

Remember when I first moved to Canada and met Abdalla, an international student who is Muslim Egyptian, I don’t know anything towards his religion or country. I asked tons of dumb questions like why do you pray, how do you pray, what can you eat, can you kiss a girl, can you drink alcohol, how does your marriage work, do you go to church? Man, I might sound like a complete idiot! But now he is my best friend! And I started not only understand him more, accepted his behavior more, I even tried to embrace his culture more by visiting the mosque, experiencing Ramadan.  

 Diversity is not ignorance. Diversity is not tolerance. Diversity is embraced, using politically-correct language in an environment where questions and concerns can be safely expressed. “We don’t have to pretend we are color-blind. That’s fighting ignorance with more ignorance. Instead we need to celebrate our diversity” quoted from Office Season 1 Episode 2 Diversity Day. So  start asking more dumb questions, start taking that step out of comfort zone and start embracing more to what you don’t know!  

By: Paris Qian

Does Diversity Recruiting Provide an Unfair Advantage to Certain Candidates?

Myths about Diversity Recruiting:

1.    Diversity recruiting means lower quality candidates

2.    Diversity recruiting pools are easier to land jobs in

3.    Diversity recruiting provides an unfair advantage to candidates

4.    Diversity recruiting is unnecessary

5.    Diversity in the workforce is not a competitive advantage

Despite being an LGBTQ+ woman in business, there was always a voice in the back of my head that told me not to apply through diversity recruiting postings. I think in part there was a fear of judgement after hearing the complaints of “unfairness” from some of my peers, but mostly I just didn’t want to be selected because I was LGBTQ+ or because I was a woman. I wanted to be selected because I was the best. I truly started believing that diversity recruiting was putting me at an advantage, instead of purely levelling the playing field. For these reasons, I chose not to recruit through an avenue created for students just like me.

I attended the Out for Undergraduate Business Conference in September this year, hosted and sponsored by the Goldman Sachs headquarters in New York. The intention of the conference is to provide LGBTQ+ students in business access to LGBTQ+ mentors and to educate them on how to navigate the workforce as an LGBTQ+ professional. In a private conversation with one of my mentors I voiced my concerns about diversity recruiting and my discomfort in using it to land a job. She proceeded to break down every single one of the above myths as follows:

1 & 2: Diversity recruiting means lower quality candidates & Diversity recruiting pools are easier to land jobs in (primary research)

From the mentor’s experience in screening applicants, they informed me that the diversity recruiting pools are more competitive. In their experience, these candidates on average have higher GPA’s and more impressive extra-curricular activities. Many of these students are heavily involved in clubs or other programs at their school intended to enhance student experience.

3: Diversity recruiting provides an unfair advantage to candidates (primary research)

When you walk into an interview and are asked about your biggest strength, or a time you overcame great adversity, or what you’re passionate about, what’s the first thing that crosses your mind? 

For some students, these moments of adversity can relate to the coming out process, being from a lower income family, or the struggles of being a woman in a male dominated situation. Recruiting through diversity avenues allows candidates to speak about their attributes without fear of prejudice or bias. As a result, diversity recruiting is levelling the playing field and affording diverse students the same opportunity as other candidates and offering the chance to bring their whole self to the interview

4: Diversity recruiting is unnecessary 

There are many implicit biases that we have as individuals, which makes the recruiting process less based on meritocracy and more based on luck (3). Some of the biases that have a large influence on diverse candidates who recruit through the standard pool include: 

  • Stereotyping Bias – Forming an opinion of someone based on gender, religion, race, appearance, or any other type of characteristic. (3)

  • “Similar to Me” Effect – Thinking highly of someone who has a similar mindset or personality to the interviewer.

It is necessary to have a diverse recruiting and interviewing pool to get the most out of every single candidate and not allow personal biases to skew a candidate’s performance. Diversity recruiting allows for this to happen. 

5: Diversity in the workforce is not a competitive advantage

Minorities are incredibly under-represented in the professional workforce, which can be a hinderance for companies trying to connect with all types of consumers (2). Having people in the workforce who can directly relate to the target consumer is an invaluable experience that allows companies to better perform. This makes diverse candidates a critical aspect of any consumer-focused company.

Further, there are numerous research studies that have been conducted that report diversity as a relational concept. It requires different types of people to engage with one another to solve a problem. Diverse teams, on average, perform better than homogenous teams (2). Therefore, diversity within the workforce is critical for the success of all companies. (2), (3), (4)

Final Note:

It is important to note that powerful companies do not waste money or training on candidates just for the sake of being “diverse” because it does not make any financial sense. At the end of the day, these companies want to make money, and if they truly didn’t think a candidate could cut it, they would not be hired.

This mentorship conversation provided me with a much-needed wake-up call, and I hope that it can shed some light on the issue for other students. If you are a diverse candidate, please do not be afraid to recruit through diversity recruiting. You have the right to feel safe and comfortable in interviews, and to bring your entire self to work. If you are not using diversity recruiting, please support your colleagues who are using this avenue to recruit. The most important thing you will receive from attending this school is the network, so it is imperative that we create as many positive connections as we can with one another. 

The below links in addition to primary research provide all the information used in the creation of this post. 

1.    https://www.groupmgmt.com/blog/post/2016/04/28/Seven-Common-Interview-Biases.aspx

2.    https://www.talentinnovation.org/publication.cfm?publication=1400

3.    https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/why-diversity-matters

4.    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/shattering-great-diversity-recruiting-myth-vs-quality-bearse-esqueda/

5.    https://medium.com/awaken-blog/if-your-boss-is-still-asking-about-the-business-case-for-diversity-your-company-might-be-in-186e02c26193

By: Leah Gale