How to navigate the gender landscape at work

first_img Islamic studies scholar addresses myths and mores behind the veil Queer.Some still bristle when they hear it, but in 2019, when used to describe a gay person, “queer” doesn’t carry the same pejorative connotations that it might have 25 or 30 years ago.Still, it’s important to know your audience before using it, said Stephanie Huckel, senior global program manager of diversity and inclusion at IGT. Huckel recently spoke at a Faculty of Arts and Sciences Diversity Dialogue, “Achieving Greater Workplace Equity for LGBTQ Employees,” at Harvard Hillel.“Don’t use it unless you feel comfortable explaining why you’re using it,” she said in explaining the importance of using the appropriate language to describe nonbinary people. “If you don’t get it, ask, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable.”Huckel pointed out that “queer” was “an ‘in group’ word for a long time — if you were a part of that community.” And even though it has evolved and become more generally accepted, she admitted that she’s cautious when using the word in front of an audience of “gay and lesbian elders.”Speaking to a full house, Huckel’s broad, comprehensive talk was a tutorial in how to be sensitive to everyone while navigating the gender landscape in the workplace. She provided “approaches and tools for communicating with — and to — the LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer] employees in a way that sends the message, ‘You are welcome here.’”Getting down to the very basics and recognizing that members of her audience might fall anywhere on the spectrum of knowledge of the LGBTQ community, Huckel said that “queer” is an umbrella term under which numerous identities may reside. She said people often use that all-encompassing word because the list of letters keeps growing.“Gender is one of those things everyone thinks they understand, but most people don’t,” she said. “It’s not binary. It’s not either/or. In many cases, it’s both/and. It’s a bit of this and a dash of that.“Fifty percent of non-LGBT workers don’t think there are any LGBTQ people at their workplace,” Huckel said. “I guarantee you, they are wrong. And, even if they are not wrong, they don’t know for sure … unless someone has been very direct and honest.”,For example, she pointed out that because someone has been married to someone of the opposite gender for 30 years, does not necessarily mean they are heterosexual. “It does not speak to their attractions or connections to other people,” she said.“Forty-six percent of LGBTQ people hide who they are at work,” said Huckel. Thirty-eight percent do so because they are afraid of being stereotyped, 36 percent think they may make others uncomfortable, 31 percent worry about losing relationships with co-workers, and 27 percent are concerned that a co-worker may think that they’re attracted to them just because they are LGBTQ, she explained.What happens in the workplace when people hide some of the elements of who they are is that they do not bring their whole selves to work, and may not be as productive. “I am talking about people who are hiding in a very deliberate way: people who pretend they don’t have a partner, change the pronoun of their partner, people who lie about their experience over a weekend because it might reveal that they are gay or trans,” she said. “When they are spending so much energy literally hiding, that has real impact on individuals and their ability to show up.”Citing Human Rights Campaign Foundation statistics, she said, “Twenty-five percent feel distracted from their work, 28 percent lie about their personal life, 17 percent feel exhausted from spending time and energy hiding their gender identity, and 31 percent feel unhappy or depressed at work.”How does one avoid the pitfalls? Avoid heterosexualism, “which comes from default thinking” — assuming a person is heterosexual unless there is a major visual clue to the contrary. “Our brains do this as part of our unconscious bias,” Huckel said.If, for example, “we see a feminine person with a wedding ring, we ask them what their husband’s name is. Now, that person, who does not have a husband, is thinking, ‘OK, I was not planning on coming out today, so my options are, I’m going to lie about it … or suggest that it is not a wedding ring, or [I] may jump right in and come out and hope that this goes OK.”Huckel warned against using words such as “he-she,” “it,” or “tranny.” Don’t share a person’s LGBTQ identity with others, unless specifically given permission to do so. And never “ask about a person’s body parts, sexual practices, or medical information.” Aiming for both diversity, success Fostering it in the workplace is a keystone to cultural competence, expert says Anthony Peterson explains why race needs a new narrative, now Related In role-playing session, actors outline common work issues, team obstacles The gains from diversity ‘Am I black or am I white?’ Celene Ibrahim shares insight on the stereotypes at ‘Muslim Feminism’ discussion Huckel suggested a variety of practices to improve the environment for LGBTQ people in the workplace. In addition to language, she said human resource departments should look carefully at policies and procedures, including EEO and anti-harassment policies. “Are they inclusive? What do your dress codes say? How do we neutralize those?” In recruiting and onboarding, “Make sure that LGBTQ folks feel welcomed and valued even if you don’t know if they are LGBTQ.” Know what level of benefits LGBTQ employees receive in comparison to their heterosexual counterparts.Huckel ended on a positive note. “We’re seeing more and more — as a best practice — workplace gender-transition guidelines … a document that outlines what happens when a newly out transgender person … or person who is newly transitioning” comes out. The purpose of such a policy is to “make sure trans folks feel supported, that there is a transparent process that is accessible to them and they know what to expect before approaching that conversation with a superior or someone from HR. It also helps the HR folks know what to do.”Sonia David, administrative coordinator for the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, agreed. “I think discussing the language of LGBTQ inclusion will be helpful in developing a leading-edge approach to creating effective inclusion and belonging initiatives at Harvard. Participants were empowered to engage in the process of self-education, which is a first step toward cultural change,” she said.Sheehan Scarborough, director of Harvard College BGLTQ Student Life, said the dialogue “gave us an opportunity to see how people are thinking about LGBTQ inclusion across the University. There was a lot of enthusiasm in the room, so I know folks are ready to go deeper. The next step is to begin centralizing our resources so that LGBTQ support is easily accessible campus-wide, with a clear point of reference for our best practices.”On April 25, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences will present “From Diversity to Inclusion: 10 Years of Dialogue.” In addition to keynote speaker Tim Wise, a prominent activist, there will also be a panel discussion. For more information, visit the website.last_img read more

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Tens of thousands of Irish fans attend Blue-Gold Game

first_imgCaroline Genco | The Observer Hundreds of fans poured into Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday to watch the Irish scrimmage in the annual Blue-Gold Spring Game, a tradition that began 85 years ago.Students and fans threw tailgates, dressed up in Notre Dame gear and shouted traditional cheers throughout the game. Officer Tim McCarthy with the Indiana State Police shared his first joke of 2014 with the lively crowd. The official attendance number was 27,986.John Rydberg, a freshman in O’Neill Hall, said, “My friends and I decided to go all out for this game. It didn’t matter at all that it was just a scrimmage. In the end, it’s more about school spirit and having fun than anything else.”For many seniors, the game represented their last Notre Dame football game as students.Senior Kelsie Corriston said, “It was a little nostalgic to be there, realizing that I would never watch a Notre Dame football game as a student again. But I will most definitely be back in the years to come to cheer for the Fighting Irish.”The Shirt 2014, which was unveiled Friday, was worn by band members who played traditional favorites. This year’s Blue-Gold Game marked the last time the Irish would play on the grass field; after commencement weekend, the University plans to lay down FieldTurf to replace the current natural grass field.Michael Yu | The Observer A portion of the proceeds of the game support the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley, who sponsor scholarships for area high school students attending Notre Dame next year, according to UND.com. The names of those students were announced during a halftime ceremony.A number of visiting prospective students also came out for the game to experience Notre Dame football for the first time.Julia Frank, a senior in high school planning to attend Notre Dame next fall, spent the weekend touring campus.“It was such a great experience to spend the weekend here,” Julia said. “Now I’m so excited for the fall to come. I almost don’t want to go back to high school.”Not all students were able to make it out to the game, however. Admission was free for students.Freshman Ruth Cooper said, “I have two tests and two papers this week, and I knew I needed to spend Saturday studying.”“Sometimes you just have to prioritize. Yes, football is fun, but in the end, we are here to get an education, and that always comes first for me,” freshman Megan Pogue said.last_img read more

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Label Laws Crack Down

first_imgWhen environmental groups reported recently that more than 380,000 Georgians weredrinking contaminated water, were you tempted to run for the bottled stuff?Before you chug-a-lug, check the label. That bottled spring water may have sprung forthfrom a tap.New Food and Drug Administration guidelines “define where bottled water must comefrom in order to make claims on their labels,” said Connie Crawley, a food, nutritionand health specialist with the University of Georgia Extension Service.Bottlers must now prove their water source to use labeling terms like artesian wellwater, ground water, spring water or mineral water.Besides setting standard definitions, the new regulations also require bottled watermust meet EPA standards for tap water.”That means the bottled water must at least be as contaminant-free as your tapwater,” Crawley said.The regulations are specific. If you buy a bottle of water labeled “spring water,” that means that thewater flows to the surface naturally or through a bored hole near the spring.”Natural spring water” must reach the surface without mechanical pumps andcan’t be processed in any way other than put in a bottle.”Mineral water” must come from an underground source and have at least 250parts per million of dissolved solids.”Artesian well water” is from a manmade well that is tapped into an aquifer.It’s drilled and doesn’t come naturally to the top.”Seltzer water” is filtered, carbonated tap water.”Club soda” has minerals and salts added that control acidity, and may haveflavors, sugars or juices added.”Still water” comes from any source, but has no carbonation — Evian, PolandSpring and Great Bear, for example.Some bottled water companies once made big bucks by bottling tap water and selling itback to consumers. No longer. Bottled tap water must now carry a label marked”municipal water supply.””They’re trying to make it so people will clearly understand what they have whenthey get something in a bottle,” Crawley said. “They want it so that no one candeceptively bottle water that hasn’t come from a natural spring.”The regulations also have safety in mind.”Spring water hasn’t been through a water treatment plant and supposedly hasn’tbeen contaminated or doesn’t have additives like chlorination,” Crawley said.”It’s pure enough to be consumed as is without treatment.”That’s why the FDA is saying that it must meet the EPA standards for safedrinking water,” she said. “They’re making sure, first of all, it really isspring water, and second, it’s safe.”Also included in the new definitions are sparkling water and distilled water. “Sparkling water” must have a certain amount of carbonation. Naturalsparkling water must be carbonated from the source.”Distilled water” has had all the minerals and other chemicals taken out.”Bottled waters became popular because some people feel there’s some possibilitychlorine causes cancer,” Crawley said. “But there’s no proof of that. Springwater is supposed to be free of contaminants or treatments with substances that will harmus.”Taste is also a factor. Some think spring water tastes better and has no aftertaste.Others like the mineral taste of mineral water.While the regulations took effect May 13, expect some lag time for bottles already onthe shelf to be sold. “The FDA doesn’t go out and look for the bottles unless they havecomplaints,” Crawley said. “They usually trust the producer to be honest.Consumers should report suspected deception to the FDA.”last_img read more

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Latest Update on the Exmouth Tidal Defense Scheme

first_imgThe Environment Agency earlier today presented the latest update on the Exmouth tidal defense scheme.The EA reported that work continues on defense wall and revetment at Royal Avenue, piling and gabions at Camperdown Creek and improvements to the sea wall along the seaward side of the Esplanade.They also added that in September, the work will start on secondary defenses and associated drainage on the north side of the Esplanade between the Grove and Premier Inn.For some of the work to proceed, the road will need to be closed in sections between the Grove, along Morton Crescent, Alexandra Terrace Junction and past the Clock Tower up to the Premier Inn, announced the Environment Agency.The Exmouth tidal defense scheme – being jointly undertaken by the Environment Agency and East Devon District Council – includes new flood walls, ground raising, flood gates and property flood resilience measures along the sea front and estuary-side.Team Van Oord (TVO) were awarded the design and build contract for the Exmouth tidal defense scheme in October 2017.The scheme is part of the Environment Agency’s program of £2.6 billion investment into flood defenses across the country.last_img read more

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Kenin stuns Barty to reach Aussie Open final

first_imgRelatedPosts New South Wales offers to host Australian Open as Melbourne battles COVID-19 spike Federer out of tennis until 2021 Nadal switches attention to 2021 season American 14th seed Sofia Kenin stunned home favourite Ashleigh Barty to reach her first Grand Slam final at the Australian Open. Barty was looking to become the first Australian woman to make the final in Melbourne since Wendy Turnbull in 1980 and, as the top seed and world No 1, expectations were sky high. But 21-year-old American Kenin had other ideas and she took advantage of Barty’s understandable edginess on a steaming hot Rod Laver Arena to win 7-6 (8-6) 7-5. Barty had two set points in both sets but could not convert any of them and Kenin reeled off the final four games of the match. “She’s such a tough player, she’s playing really amazing and I knew I really needed to find a way to win,” said Kenin. “She came up with some really great shots, it was really tough. There’s a reason why she’s world number one. I’m just so thankful for this.” The Russian-born Floridian, who had never had been past the fourth round at a major tournament until now, could scarcely believe what she had achieved, and this victory will be enough to take her into the top 10 whatever happens on Saturday. Barty could not pull away from Kenin, though, seeing three break points come and go at 3-2 and then a lead evaporate in the tie-break. Barty had two set points at 6-4 but tightened up and her opponent took full advantage, winning the last four points. She burst onto the scene in 2019 by winning three singles titles, upsetting Serena Williams in the third round at the French Open, and soaring from No 52 to No 12 in the rankings. She didn’t face a seeded player in this tournament until Thursday, but did eliminate 15-year-old sensation Coco Gauff in the fourth round. Kenin’s talent and competitive nature marked her out from an early age so it was no surprise to see her rise to the occasion on the biggest day of her tennis life. As the temperature soared to 38 degrees, it was Barty who made the move in the second set with a break for 2-1, the baking fans on Rod Laver Arena willing her on. Serving for the match at 5-4 she was poised to push the contest to a decider but again was unable to play freely and Kenin, whose speed of foot is matched by her speed of thought, continued to make life difficult. The American saved two set points before retrieving the break and kept her foot on the accelerator to take her second match point.Tags: Ashleigh BartyAustralian OpenSofia Keninlast_img read more

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Neymar sued by Santos supporter for deciding to join Barcelona

first_imgNeymar is being sued by a supporter of his former club Santos for choosing to quit for Barcelona, according to reports in Brazil.Globoesporte claim that Brazilian lawyer Luciano Pereira Caparroz, a lifelong Santos fan, is taking action against Neymar for signing a pre-contract agreement with Barca before the Club World Cup tie against the Catalan club in 2011.Caparroz claims he spent around £2,000 to travel to Japan to attend the match, which Santos lost 4-0, and was furious to discover that Neymar had signed the deal with Barca beforehand.He has now filed a lawsuit against Neymar and N&N, the company owned by the player’s father which represents him, in a Sao Paulo cour for the amount of £6,600.Caporroz wants the money to cover the costs of his journey to Japan and as compensation for ‘morale damages’ associated with the player’s decision to leave Santos.He said: “I’m a Santista, I go to all the games and I decided to travel to Japan to watch the Club World Cup. I was left frustrated with the result and on top of that, later on we learned that Neymar was already sold. I feel cheated.” Neymar and N&N are yet to comment on the case.last_img read more

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