July 13, 2020
(updated July 13, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
When it’s time to update your resume/CV preparing for a job search, it can be tough to know if you should be out as LGBTQ on it. We don’t believe you will find anyone who would suggest putting “I’m queer – get used to it” in bold pink letter sprinkled with glitter on the top of your resume/CV.
So, should you come out on your resume?
No one can answer that question for you. It is your life, your career, your sexuality, your gender identity, and therefore your choice rests squarely on your shoulders. However, read on for insights to help you make an informed decision.
Many in the LGBTQ community disagree about what you should reveal on your resume/CV. Some say to be out being your full and authentic self, while others argue that you should remain in the closet, grit your teeth to land the job and then slowly come out to co-workers as you get to know them individually.
Many people have acquired significant volunteer and work experience from obviously LGTBQ-oriented organizations. Other people struggle with how transparent they should be on their resume or job application when asked about other interests. Knowing what to say, and how much to disclose to a complete stranger with the power to provide or decline a job offer can be cause for worry. It can often feel like living in the closet and being judged for who you are as a person.
How much experience is related?
Not much but it’s close to my heart
You are such a wonderful person for volunteering. If your past experience related to LGBTQ non-profits/NGOs is not really central to the job you are applying for, we’d recommend completely leaving it off your resume/CV. It’s not hiding your sexuality or gender identity, it is just not pertinent. This even includes leaving it out of your resume/CV hobbies/extra activities. If you get a sense during the interview process that the employer and interviewers are LGBTQ friendly you can always bring it up in the course of dialog as appropriate.
Just a bit but it’s important
If some of your experience was acquired from paid or volunteering for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer non-profits/NGOs no matter if you are LGBTQ a straight ally you might start to wonder if you should put that experience on your resume. This effectively would out you as LGBTQ whether you are LGBTQ or a community ally. Additionally, as you’ll learn below even just the perception of being LGBTQ real or perceived can potentially impact your ability to be hired, promoted and even the salary offered.
Major part of my career
If all your experience is from paid or volunteering at LGBTQ organizations, then it’s pretty clear you have no choice. You have to list the experiences. But you still need to be aware of the issues you may face and be prepared to research employers to find the right match and put your best foot forward with the best employers no matter the size or location of the employer.
If you have worked primarily for LGBTQ or other non-profits/NGOs it can also be difficult to break into the for-profit sector. I have heard of people attempting to do make this transition and being told, “Your qualifications are outstanding, however, you aren’t a right fit for this company we are about making money not helping people/the environment/animals.” – true story. So if your work experience has been 50%+ with a non-profit organization no matter the focus LGBTQ or not, be prepared to address this disqualifying mindset proactively in your cover letter and in the every interview conversation if you get that far.
LGBTQ workplace policies are good yet not a 100% guarantee
Reality is even if an employer boasts being a welcoming LGBTQ workplace with LGBT friendly policies and benefits, there are many people involved in the resume/cv review and interview process. Depending on the size of the employer, that may be a few people or in best case scenario it will be a review committee to reduce the chances of one person’s learned prejudices and ignorance to discriminate and disqualify you based on you being LGBT. In any case, it still can be risky. You want to list all your great experience and qualifications to land that new job yet you are also putting trust in the employer company/organization and the individuals in the hiring process.
At what point should I come “out” in the workplace?
It is important to know that you do NOT have to disclose your sexual orientation or gender identity at any point in the resume/cv submission, job application or interview process. This decision is entirely up to you and how comfortable you feel disclosing your sexual orientation, sex, or gender expression. If you do choose to disclose, there are generally three opportunities to “come out” to an employer?
On your resume
In an interview
After you start working for the organization
Many believe that no job is so great that it’s worth hiding who you are and selling yourself short by leaving out all the organizations you volunteered time with, just-just to hide your sexual identity. That volunteer work could have provided many skills and demonstrate your community involvement beyond the workplace showing a well-rounded individual with character.
Some feel that it is more important to get the job first, and then come out after people get to know you. “I’m here. I’m queer. I’m in the next cubicle” approach.
Others strive for a middle ground in where they list their LGBT activities on their resumes but don’t draw attention to it. They might list PFLG, HRC or NGLCC without going into additional details or spelling out the acronym. They might list the abbreviation of a student campus LGBT group and that they were the vice president such as Berkely LGSA Vice President instead of Berkely Lesbian & Gay Student Alliance Vice President. If asked about the entry it’s an opportunity for discussion to expand upon it in person versus potentially being tossed way by someone along the candidate review path who might hold prejudices. such as “vice president of gay campus group.” The rest, says Woog, is left to the interviewer. If she says, “The Rainbow Alliance –- tell me more about that,” it’s an opportunity to expand on it and judge her reaction.
Still, others hold firm that it is inappropriate to come out on one’s resume as it is to mark down one’s religious or political affiliations. We suggest talking with your both LGBT and straight close friends and family who also have a history of volunteer and community work.
As LGBTQ professionals we cannot live in a vacuum and our straight college have no problem listing their volunteer and community activities that might hint at their heterosexuality. It’s accepted.
At OutBüro we believe a resume should be honest and comprehensive. If a person has done work with GLAAD or Lambda Legal for example – and the reader even knows what these things are – certain presumptions can be made or not. We know many straight people who work at LGBTQ organizations too. Putting your volunteer work in the LGBTQ community on your resume is no different than others who may indicate they are a deacon in the church or a Hebrew school teacher on the weekends.
Why should you hide what you value and has contributed to your life, character, your local community and the community at large? It’s unfortunate that all companies do not have sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination policies. Luckily many companies and organizations do
Questions to ask
Is the company you are interested in an LGBTQ workplace friendly employer?
Do you feel comfortable disclosing that you are currently or have in your past held a paid positions or volunteered for an LGBT community organization?
Do you include previous work experiences (internships, etc.) that occurred at an LGBT advocacy organization(s)?
Is that current or past experience relevant to the job you are applying for?
How do you list your achievements from an LGBT organization on your resume?
Do you list it as for example an LGBT youth organization or simply a youth organization and if asked which one in the interview process disclose it if you feel comfortable doing so at that time?
Questions you can ask an employer in an interview if their employer website does not specifically state it:
Would you say that your company has a diverse employee base?
Do you offer domestic partner benefits and or other LGBT related benefits and policies? (if not clearly stated on their website)
Does your company/organization have an LGBTQ employee resource support or social group?
Additional considerations for transgender job seekers
Is it OK to use my chosen name on a resume and cover letters are not legal documents? You are not required to list your legal name on either document.
Let’s say your legal name is Stephanie Smith and your chosen name is Darrel Smith. You might consider listing your name as S. Darrel Smith on the resume and cover letter.
Will I have to use my legal name during the Job Search
Unless you have made legal arrangements to change your name, unfortunately, you will need to provide your legal name for the actual job application, background checks, social security documents, and insurance forms. However, most organizations will allow you to use your preferred name for company contact information, email, and phone directory. Human resource professionals are bound by confidentiality and can be a good source of information.
When it comes to dressing for an interview, it is important that you present yourself in a manner that is consistent with the position for which you are applying. Dress professionally for the gender for which you wish to be seen as. This can also help your employer understand which pronouns you wish to use.
The world has changed but not enough
A recent study conducted by the University of Surry demonstrates that discrimination in the hiring process still exists. In that study the presented the participants with headshot images with the backgrounds removed along with voice samples. The found that just based on those two bits of information that the participants indicated they were less likely to hire the person and if they did hire them the candidate would be offered less money for the same job with the same skills as someone they perceived as heterosexual. Additionally, the participants indicated if the candidate already worked for the employer, they would likely be passed over for promotion preferring to promote a heterosexual.
According to a 2013 Queer in STEM study (science, technology, engineering, and math) found that more than 40% of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer people are not out as LGBTQ in the workplace.
No matter how you decide to proceed regarding your sexual orientation on your resume, you should do your homework on the employer’s LGBTQ workplace equality you before submitting your application.
Do research on the company’s website as well as other websites listing the company is important to know as much about them and their LGBTQ stance as possible. Know what legal protections are in place in your city, county, state, and country.
Network with other LGBT professionals of all levels
One of the best ways to get the inside scoop on an employer’s workplace LGBT friendliness is to connect with and communicate with an LGBT employee who currently or recently worked there. Don’t know anyone? No problem. Join the OutBüro on the LinkedIn LGBT professional networking group. It was the first and remains the largest LGBT+ professional networking group on LinkedIn with currently over 46,000 global members.
Like the OutBüro Facebook page and message others who like it. We’ll be considering starting an OutBüro on Facebook group shortly and then you’ll be right there ready to jump in.
It needs people just like you to participate. It’s fairly new and we would appreciate you taking a few moments to add reviews/rating of your current and recent past employers. It’s at no cost to you as an employee and it’s anonymous. Your review/rating will help other LGBTQ job seekers in the future during their job hunt company/organization research.
Search to see if your current or recent past employer(s) are present already in the system. If not, you may add it with limited features and then review/rate them.
Check out the below article and user guides to get started:
If interested in a job at a US Fortune 1000 level company one source is the HRC Corporate Equality Index. This organization and report have been instrumental in moving large companies forward in creating LGBTQ workplace equality. It is however as mentioned limited only to US Fortune 1000. It is also self-reported by those company HR departments with no employee input to our knowledge and definitely, no direct employee feedback on the actual workplace equality and general work culture.
Although not all, OutBüro has heard personally from many LGBT employees over the past few years that once their employer achieved the coveted 100% HRC Corporate Equality Index score that management backs off and the internal efforts dwindle to barely an acceptable level at best. It is awesome and we applaud HRC and all organizations who have achieved and maintain a 100% score. This report is but one view of the employer’s benefits, policies, business practices, and the potential of an LGBT friendly workplace environment. Don’t rely on it as your only.
If outside the United States
As of the updating of this LGBT employee resource article, OutBüro is only aware of one other corporate equality scoring report.
If you are aware of other studies and reports please contact us with a URL to the site so that we may include it within this article and other resource guides on the OutBüro site.
The Rainbow Tick is a New Zealand national accreditation program for organizations that are committed to safe and inclusive practice, and service delivery for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) people. Organizations wishing to receive a Rainbow Tick are required to undergo accreditation against the Rainbow Tick Standards, owned and developed by Rainbow Health Victoria (formerly GLHV).
Stonewall UK Workplace Equality Index
Participating employers demonstrate their work in 10 areas of employment policy and practice. Staff from across the organization also complete an anonymous survey about their experiences of diversity and inclusion at work.
Organizations then receive their scores, enabling them to understand what’s going well and where they need to focus their efforts, as well as see how they’ve performed in comparison with their sector and region. The 100 best-performing organizations are celebrated publicly.
Stonewall Diversity Champions benefit from in-depth, tailored feedback on their submission.
Free & Equal – United Nations
Violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people cannot be ended by governments alone. Businesses can foster diversity and promote a culture of respect and equality both in the workplace and in the communities where they and their business partners operate.
The United Nations is calling on companies all over the world – big and small, local and multinational – to help move the dial in the direction of greater equality for LGBTI people.
We know from experience that every time discrimination is diminished, everyone benefits.
It’s your life, your sexuality, your gender identity, and your career. Only you can make the choice on how out to be on your resume/CV in your new career job search and in the workplace. It’s your choice.
As an out, LGBT entrepreneur business owner Steve Yacovelli has dealt with many facets of growing and sustaining a business. Focusing on what he is passionate about he drives education and growth for individuals and organizations in an authoritative yet approachable way. Leveraging his 25+ years of experience as a leadership, change management, and diversity and inclusion consultant to cultivating our collective leadership awesomeness. His book, “Pride Leadership,” is one of the first to focus on developing leadership talent specifically for the LGBTQ+ Community and its Allies. It’s time to channel those qualities into being a more effective and consciously inclusive leader within the workplace and beyond.
He realized that there was no focus on specifically developing LGBTQ+ Leaders within the corporate world beyond some a patchwork of effort and not necessarily a cohesive focus or movement.
So, “The Gay Leadership Dude” was born. It’s his way to give back to the LGBTQ+ Community: to start a movement to grow LGBTQ+ Leaders to be even more effective, in a consistent, thoughtful, and mindful manner. He is especially focused on those up-and-coming Leaders within the broader movement for equality and fairness for all LGBTQ+ people and well beyond.
Pride Leadership: Strategies for the LGBTQ+ Leader to be the King or Queen of their Jungle
Critically-acclaimed and award-winning book for LGBTQ+ Leaders and Allies to help expand their leadership skills to better explore what’s working and reflect on what could be improved upon. “Pride Leadership” provides the strategies and tools to build a network of leadership support. It’s the start of an “LGBTQ+ Leadership Movement” to cultivate and grow leadership competencies.
The L.I.O.N.S. Program – A Leaders Immersive Opportunity to Nurture Strength
A 6-month learning experience that leverages online learning tools along with face-to-face virtual classroom sessions and self-paced learning. The program takes Leaders on a deep- dive into 6 related areas of competency ✦ Having Authenticity ✦ Leadership Courage ✦ Leveraging Empathy ✦ Effective Communication ✦ Building Relationships ✦ Shaping Culture
Over the course of the 6-month program, participants have the opportunity to explore each topic in a way that deepens their understanding and application of the leadership skills, apply the skill, and hone its effectiveness in their workplace. www.PrideLeadership.com
We Help Humans Succeed
TopDog Learning Group provides guidance and solutions in leadership & organizational development, change management, diversity and inclusion consulting, and workplace learning strategies.
The below was created through voice to text recognition. We will strive to edit for accuracy as time permits. It may not be perfect. It is being provided for the hearing impaired to still enjoy the interview.
Unknown Speaker 0:01 Hello, this is Dennis Velco with OutBüro that is your LGBT community online where you belong and your voice matters. Welcome to the OutBüro Voices series where we are interviewing and I guess when I say we that’s a royal sense, right? Because I’m an entrepreneur of one. So, huh, it’s me whenever I’m interviewing LGBT entrepreneurs, professionals and community leaders, and thank you so much for tuning in. We are you might be viewing this on the OutBüro website or on YouTube. If you are on YouTube, please take a moment right now and hit that subscribe button, as well as hit the bell that bell is going to ensure that when we are producing there I go again, when I we, geez, I can’t you know, it’s all about perception is reality when you’re in business, it’s grow, grow, grow. So I’ll continue Whenever we produce additional and new content, it’s going to ensure that it gets you alerted of it so that you come back because I’m trying to produce as much of these as possible to get the visibility out for our LGBT community, so that our young folks and everyone out there can have great mentors to look to when they’re considering their business. And one of those is Steven. Steven is the leadership dude. And welcome to the show. Thank you, Dennis. It’s great to be here. Awesome. Thank you so much for being here. And I get deep. I knew for a fact because we’ve chatted before that I didn’t have to do one of these for you because I knew Stephens already gonna have his little corner of his office all set up and branded, so wonderful. Thank you. So, Steven, tell us a little bit about yourself. And maybe just a little brief overview of your background.
Unknown Speaker 2:08 Sure. I’m accent doctor see doc LA, owner and principal top dog learning group, also known as the gay leadership dude. at top dog, we focus on learning and development, leadership, change management and diversity consulting. And that kind of leads to what I’ve been doing pretty much my whole career has been in something in the shape of leadership and diversity and inclusion. So whether that has been internal to the Walt Disney Company, I was an IBM er for a while. I was a professor for like a hot minute, as in the full time academia realm, but really started my own business about 12 years ago full time and that’s really the the space that I’ve been playing in ever since.
Unknown Speaker 2:46 Okay, well, awesome. I’ve been a little all over the board and you’re in Orlando, Florida. So there is the Disney reasoning. Correct. Huge employer. Central Florida. Yes.
Unknown Speaker 3:02 The largest private employer in Central Florida. And it might even be the state Actually, I would think so.
Unknown Speaker 3:11 Yeah. So did your leadership kind of
Unknown Speaker 3:18 did you do HR and leadership in Disney? Was that one of your functions there?
Unknown Speaker 3:24 Yeah, I actually it’s kind of funny story. I worked at Disney twice. So after undergrad I grew up in the Philadelphia area. I went to a small state school in Pennsylvania, and studied public relations and speech communications. And so my dream was to be a PR person at Disney. So after undergrad I packed up my little Ford Escort I think I had at the time and just drove right down. I 95 to Orlando without a job. And I got one I worked in the central reservations office, which were the kids at home. That’s pre internet. It’s actually pre windows. We were a DOS based kind of thing and I actually had a job Yeah, I remember I had a job on the 407 w Disney line, which was the main place to get any sort of information about your family fun time at Walt Disney World and everything. And these are true calls, we would get me and 499 other folks sitting in a call center. And people would call from the park because it was payphones pre pre cell phone. And they’d be like, Where’s the nearest bathroom? And you actually had a load database, you could say, oh, you’re at this, this phone, turn to your left and you’ll see a door and like we had to direct them that way because people are you kind of lose their mind without holiday. Or and I swear, this is a real story to a question we get the people will call up and say What time’s the three o’clock parade. And you know, and we no lie, and we had our we type in data and we get the official official script. And the official script was always 245. So one you did make the person feel kind of silly, and then second actually got them in line or in their spot earlier so that they could kind of do the park so I did that for like three months was a horrible experience for me. Just wasn’t a very good fit, but I ended up coming back to Disney several years later at a more professional capacity I was a leadership and organizational consultant for Disney Cruise Line so I worked short side in the in the Orlando office the celebration office but I would travel on the at the time the two ships quite often so it was a kind of a sweet gig. It’s a sweet gig I gotta
Unknown Speaker 5:21 say. Good and you know getting as you mentioned right out of college you know, one getting that job at Disney, I mean nowadays that’s it well, with COVID it’s really hard. But will for a long time one of my aunts worked in HR at nice, the Disney and you know, not an easy place to get on board. Yeah. And you know, so many people from the area you know, looking for, you know, the jobs they’re one little tidbit one little thing we have in common I too. worked at a call center for a while. It was 1991. And my ex of my 20s and I, we met in the military in Germany. He was still in, we knew each other from you know, going out in Frankfurt, and in Germany, and we were both in the military when we first met. And then I got out of the military and helped form the very first technology calling center for fifth quarter military, so it was where all the US military from from Frankfurt and South Germany would call in when their printers were broken. Whatever, but that was just three of us. That actually man that that call center, it was when we returned back to where he lived in Columbus, Ohio. And for those that don’t know, Columbus, Ohio is quite the fashion capital. So with Lane Bryant, Abercrombie, Fitch, Victoria’s Secret, all of that headquartered there, and he and I actually work to the call center at Victoria’s Secret. know at that time I was 22 or 23 years old, taking phone calls from ladies and men helping them place their Victoria’s Secret catalog orders and helping, you know, taking the talking them into the new bra that was
Unknown Speaker 7:37 Yeah, that was pretty interesting. So,
Unknown Speaker 7:40 you know, I lived in Columbus as well.
Unknown Speaker 7:42 Oh, yeah.
Unknown Speaker 7:44 Yeah, I went to Ohio State from my master’s degree.
Unknown Speaker 7:47 Oh, wonderful. I went to I state as well.
Unknown Speaker 7:54 I wasn’t in this. I got to tell people. I wasn’t into the football.
Unknown Speaker 8:00 But but but you know it’s it is a boy columbus ohio and their their football I mean it is it is truly a see that yeah if you’ve never experienced that kind of just almost power that that the the football culture in columbus ohio has it is some
Unknown Speaker 8:24 even the gay guy even the gay guys have tailgating party
Unknown Speaker 8:29 parties we go to if we didn’t have tickets we go to the local gay bar and Union Station and you know watch the game there
Unknown Speaker 8:37 absolutely absolutely. So cool beans So tell us a little bit more about the the leadership dude I know you and I have talked about your your book a little bit but help our viewers and listeners get a good sense.
Unknown Speaker 8:57 Yeah, so I’m about Two years ago, I was at my first mg LCC conference, the National Gay Lesbian Chamber conference, fantastic group. And I was kind of sorting my business cards before a session and there was a woman next to me doing something very similar. And we just struck up a conversation and she’s like, what do you do? I’m like, oh, in consulting, blah, blah, blah. And I said, How about you? She’s like, well, I’m a publisher. I say, you know what, there’s a book in my head that needs to come out, you know, I’ve written you know, I published my dissertation and which I think my my mom is the one who bought that, but that’s fine. And then I did an ebook called overcoming poopy elearning, which was self published in my doctorates in instructional technology and distance education. And I had mixed mixed positive and negative vibes for doing this self publishing thing. It was it wasn’t a great experience for me. But I’m talking to Jen grace, publisher preppers price. And I’m like, you know what, let’s chat. And so flash forward. My book price leadership came out, which I happen to always keep on the desk. Um, and so it was it was a really great explain And I was going to write kind of a generic leadership book. And the more when I first started down the path in organizing some of my thoughts and, and I was doing a lot of advocacy work in the LGBTQ community, with our peeps, and I’m kind of starting to observe some of the leaders around doing, you know, different volunteer organizations and things. And then my inner Carrie Bradshaw kicked in, like, I couldn’t help but wonder, and I couldn’t help but wonder, you know, I’m watching these awesome queer leaders do their thing. And I’m wondering, is there something about our shared collective experience that does make us a little bit more reticent for the leadership competencies that I’ve seen really work out in in the general field as a leadership consultant, and that’s kind of what I write about in private leadership. And so I found what I thought were the top six you always have my swag, a little mousepad but these are the the top six competencies I talked about pride leadership, Authenticity, courage, empathy, communication, relationships, and then shaping culture. And that’s the the framework of the book. But it’s through the lens of being a member of our community.
Unknown Speaker 11:04 Okay. And so,
Unknown Speaker 11:10 you know, again, as we’ve talked in the past, but you know, for our listeners this, this is a, you also have an accompany workbook.
Unknown Speaker 11:20 I do Where’s it? It’s right here. You’re right. So so the idea behind the books and the fancy book workbook, which is also out there, but the whole goal of the book wasn’t the book. I mean, if there’s anyone here watching or listening, you know, authors aren’t typically unless you’re like Oprah caliber out there to make a gob of money. You’re there to kind of get your story out. And my story is really to help start an LGBTQ pollution movement and focus our collective energy in that arena. And so my endgame has always been a training experience. You know, as an educator, that’s kind of what I do as a company, but I really wanted to create that. So a couple steps back was the book. Then the workbook came And now we have an eight week online leadership program that’s really starting to take off. You know, oddly enough, it was in the midst pre global pandemic, but it’s always online. It was always modular approach. And so now we’re getting folks are like, hey, I want to use this time to develop myself. And so that’s where where the end game was, which I’m so excited for.
Unknown Speaker 12:19 Awesome. Yes. So I’m kind of just thinking, you know, out loud here is so, so looking at leadership that’s really from a very open perspective, correct? No, it’s so so this is could be for anyone. Someone in college looking to a to learn leadership skills, someone in their career, who’s looking to get to that next level in their career, or maybe even someone who’s, who’s a volunteer. Yeah. And looking to hone your leadership skills as it relates to perhaps serving in their local community.
Unknown Speaker 13:06 Exactly. One of the things I do in the very beginning of leadership is I define what is a leader. And to me a leader is anyone who has influenced within the workplace, that could be that entry level person who’s kind of influencing the people around you, that could be all the way up to the C suite. and everyone in between I, I’ve worked with clients who define leader as leader of people. And I think that’s kind of shenanigans, because you have that indirect influence over folks if you don’t have that direct. And that’s actually even a more tricky leadership position to be in, because you don’t have the formal authority. So you have to leverage different skills and tools in order to help folks move in the direction with which you’re trying to get them to move. And so I think it’s, I think it’s silly when I have I tried to dissuade some clients to say no, let’s let’s think about this a little bit more broadly. And just like you said, Dennis, it could be a whole bunch of folks really want to focus on being better within their leadership skills.
Unknown Speaker 13:57 Yeah, it’s, I find You know, when it you know, when you’re looking at leadership, when you’re looking at business, when you’re looking at your relationships, when you’re looking at almost every facet of your life, you’re always, always and you’re typically in a position of attempting to influence that might even just be Friday night and outside of the COVID era, trying to influence your significant other on where you’re going to go to eat that night. Yep, yep. Okay. So, and within, you know, and so there’s lots of different examples even within a friend, Friendship Circle. So, you know, a leadership skills are definitely not only for the work environment number one, and definitely not only for once you have achieve a quote unquote leadership title that now you have people report to you, it’s like, well, you definitely need the assistance then. But, but really, it’s to your point in self development and just saying, you know, as striving to be a better person, and that, again, could be in real in your own personal relationships. It could be in your work, and when and again, I’ll get back to, you know, community service, working with, you know, local nonprofits of any sort. So it’s, it’s very pertinent to, you know, all kind of a good portion of your life if you recognize it, and I think that’s the key point is being open to recognizing it because so many people kind of go through the motions of their days in there. weeks and not even realize that they are marketing themselves and they are positioning themselves effectively or poorly as a leader.
Unknown Speaker 16:12 Yeah, one of the things I talked about quite early on in the book is no, and this is part of the the lions program is the name of the eight week program, which stands for leaders immersive opportunity to nurture strengths, because, you know, former Disney, I had to have some cute, cute little acronym, you know, that goes with the branding lion. Right? But, but in the AV program, as well as in the workbook in the book, one of the very first things that we talked about is, is what’s called what I call drone perspective, which is having that self awareness, you kind of like you imagine, you get your drone, this drone zooms up. And it’s kind of looking at the situation that you’re in, in the moment. You know, in LA Times, this is referred to as like mindfulness, mindful meditation, that kind of stuff. But being able to get out of your own head is the concept. And that takes a lot of skill and have that self awareness to say, ooh, you know what, I maybe am Not super good at this XYZ competency or the situation and having that that thoughtfulness to do something about it. And that’s, that’s, to me one of the biggest leadership opportunities is to be humble enough to know where I’m really awesome but we’re not so awesome and do something about it to get more awesome in that respect.
Unknown Speaker 17:23 Absolutely. And when a and you know, in the entrepreneur space where that comes in is no no your strengths, know your weaknesses and as soon as possible as soon as income allows, hire other people to do the jobs that that you frickin suck at. Doing. Absolutely. But, but yeah, so in the
Unknown Speaker 17:55 so in the space, definitely
Unknown Speaker 17:59 taking Taking that moment and kind of realizing that, you know, sometimes we have, we’re forced into situations and or being a bootstrap startup where we have to do everything. And, you know, it’s something that I always strive to do personally is, you know, I, I have a vision for where I want to go. And you know, I’ve had technical issues I’ve had so many different things go on, just within out, you’re alone. But one of my, one of my traits and what I’m trying to bring to the table to the community is my own personal development. And that is every single day, I learned something. Excellent. And whether that’s listening to podcasts on entrepreneurial ism, I absolutely adore Jay Abraham. is an absolutely eloquent, masterful individual. If you don’t know that that person, folks out there, look him up just an amazing person, not LGBT.
Unknown Speaker 19:16 We still like some straight friends. I’m sorry. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 19:18 And you’re probably occasionally going to have to Google some words to use. I mean, I like to use some, you know, fun vocabulary, you know, here and there. But, Holy moly, occasionally, he just dropped some words. It’s like, even if you’re like, what?
Unknown Speaker 19:36 Just mean?
Unknown Speaker 19:38 Very, very neat. So, but it’s also like right now doing these, doing these, you know, that’s been on my radar. I’m a product manager. I used to be a software product manager. And so I I’m what’s called a scrum master.
Unknown Speaker 19:56 I just learned what that meant, like one of my participants in the lions program is a programmer and she was sharing a story about her Scrum Master. I’m like, why is that and so I just learned that last week.
Unknown Speaker 20:08 Okay, it’s a it could sound highs I’m a scrum and the scrum master. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 20:16 Well I for those that that aren’t aware of google it but
Unknown Speaker 20:23 you know to me it’s you manage to a lot of post it notes and journal I have a huge amount of documents and on my wall for set for quite a while had been you know, content, user content, community content and so forth. And you know, whether that has been doing interviews like this, but a technical issues and being overwhelmed and finally got over that so that employee ORS can sign up. So employees out there you may go to our bureau at o ut duro.com. Be an anonymous leader and reach your current or recent past employer but part of the the getting back to you know kind of doing this was all right you know I had some some things I had to get over it just like you know your hope everyone’s career right you whatever those hurdles are in your career and in your job and so forth but but it’s part of being a good leader is about being persistent and consistent and and striving for becoming better. And so you know, like right now doing these, you know, YouTube videos, it’s every day. I there are certain people now that I pay attention to and I’m seeing the results and now Now granted how does that relate is like When you it’s about self education, and about, you know, taking responsibility for yourself in educating yourself and then what you do with that. So kind of walk us through in that self education for your book and your workbook. Maybe some of the highlights of that. You brought up the cue card, which I love. Oh, there’s no
Unknown Speaker 22:25 it’s actually my it’s a mousepad. Like I’ve a sweatshop. Look. I’ve got mugs. Hey, so if
Unknown Speaker 22:32 you leave that with your customers or your clients,
Unknown Speaker 22:37 graduates, graduates of
Unknown Speaker 22:38 the program, graduates god, yes. So. So what kind of what kind of folks now? Have you seen or, you know, what have you seen people use? Use your tools, use your information, and kind of get out of it and take away from it and you know, has there been Any kind of success stories that you’re able to share? And sorry, because I asked up on the slides.
Unknown Speaker 23:06 Oh, that’s great. That’s great. So one of my participants, and she’s, she’s still in the program, but she actually was an early adopter of the concept. So she’s with a large pharmaceutical company, and she’s actually an ally, but she’s within, in the LGBT employee resource group, an ally in that, but really wanted to develop her own skills. She’s, I think, a project manager for the company. And so, you know, I’ll use my thing, you know, she’s, she’s thinking about what, what, out of these six competencies, she really wants to focus her energy first. So one of the one of the tools, of course, is is self analysis, like, you know, where, where am I at when it comes to these particular competencies or skills. And so for her, she said, You know what, I’m going to focus on the communication part. So that’s kind of the fourth module down there, little green green strip. And so when she said communication, and she’s like, specifically, it’s providing feedback. And so one of the things I talked about in the book, you know, there’s a simple model, there’s a lot of models out there for feedback. There’s one I’ve used in the leadership programs that I’ve taught, and it has pretty easy success. It’s called ECC. You know, you share with people the example the effect, and then either what you want to change or continue, which is where the C come in. So, you know, Dennis, when you lead our interdepartmental meeting the other day, there’s the example. You You missed one of the agenda items, and therefore, we now have to loop back with the other department and kind of get some stuff. So that’s the effect. So it next time, can you make sure that you get all the items on that or that agenda so that we kind of don’t have to do double work? That’s the change. Or hey, Dennis, when you lead the meeting the other day with with the whole interdepartmental. Folks, you did such a great job you got through the agenda real fast. We attendance left people ask some great questions. So that’s the effect so can keep up the good work. That was really great. So there’s the continue to be good behavior. simple model when I’ve taught for a while there’s other ones out there, and she’s like that one alone. really helped me relate to my team just to kind of organize the feedback and thoughts. And then I talked about the example of providing feedback, it should be balanced. You know, you don’t want to work with some organizations where someone comes up to you and says, Hey, I have feedback. And I was like, What is it, you know, because feedback is a bad word. And so feedback, feedback should be a neutral or a good word, if it’s being utilized in a balanced sort of way in your organizational culture, whether that be you or your clients or big group. So that’s a kind of one example. Another one that one of the participants. So in the in the program, you get three, one on one executive coaching sessions, kind of at the beginning, middle, and then two months after that you kind of leave the program, and during one of the conversations the other week, or for fairly early on, you know, we go through the authenticity chapter fairly early. And and the one of the activities in that is to look at your own personal value system. And some folks have done that in their careers, some have not. So there’s a quick activity in the workbook to actually Find out what are your personal top five values? And one of my participants said, You know, I never did that before, I never really thought about what are the things that are so important to me that I value. And then you put that lens through, what are you doing at work. So if you’re in a job that never touches your personal values, you’re gonna have a problem at some point. Or if all the work that you’re doing doesn’t feed those values in some way, shape, or form, that’s going to feel icky. And it’s you stop and have a conversation with yourself and kind of get in that drone and take a look around. And he said, you know, thank you for that, because it just made me put things a little bit more perspective on where I want to go both in my current job, but also outside of of my job and make sure that those values are being, you know, using Steve’s term fed. And that was another good example of some of the tips that that people are actually applying stuff that I’ve had, like, yeah, it’s working. So that’s kind of exciting to see.
Unknown Speaker 26:54 Oh, Barry Barry. And so um, so you say that Meeting originally about the book was, if I’m not mistaken about two years ago,
Unknown Speaker 27:08 correct? Yeah. Um, so this this, this August will have been two years. So, after that meeting I got about a month later, I started kind of formulating the book. And I knew I wanted it to come out pun intended. As a gay leadership book. I wanted it to come out June in pride month of 2019. But to make that deadline, I had to have a final man or a first draft manuscript to my publisher by like, New Year’s Day of 2019. And so I said, from basically Labor Day, until Christmas, just doing nothing but writing obviously trying to make a living with clients and things like that, but you’re really trying to kind of get through organizing my thoughts, you know, figuring it out, you know, initially I whittled it down to six, I had 29, or something like that competencies that I was trying to figure out where the white ones and then My thinking partner slash sister, Wes, come in who does similar work to me. And so that was kind of that that process and then you go through all the iterations, the editing. And that took us until, until the very end of April, to kind of get through all those drafts. And my book is 356 pages. So it’s a bit of a lot, much bigger than I expected, I kind of was targeting 200. So yay, for both Steve. But you get through that process. And of course, it’s the things like, you know, picking the the cover and writing the back and getting the testimonials inside and all that other stuff that you never really think about. You just say, I got to write, but no, there’s all the other stuff that goes along with it. And then, of course, the marketing piece of it. And so it was, it was a really fascinating experience. It was I will say, Dennis, that writing the book was easier than marketing the book. That’s the biggest challenge of and you know, just because you think I’m going to write it and then you put on Amazon and Yay, everyone’s gonna love it and you got to tell people it’s there and so I That’s always a continuous opportunity. And then I knew the audio book had to happen. So actually, I just lost the audiobook like two weeks ago. Yeah, so so that’s, that’s out there as well. And I put put the link under my name, you can actually get a free book. We’re doing a free plus shipping during this COVID time. So there’s a top dog click for slash free ship. And you’ll you’ll get to a website and you just have to pay for shipping and handling. So there’s that but the audio book was really, really weird into that experience. I don’t know if you’ve ever, ever thought about like, how does someone make an audiobook and I’d never thought about it, you know, just kind of grabbed him on on Audible, whatever. Right? But so I, I was working with another producer. So my publisher doesn’t do audiobooks, but she has a referral. So I went to this woman, and she’s like, Okay, the first question who’s reading it? I’m like, I don’t know who is reading my book. Well, that’s up to you. We talked through that and she’s like, you can do it. All you can do it all professional, you do hybrid. And then the more I thought about it, I’m like, Okay, I have a whole chapter on authenticity. So if I’m not going to be the one reading it that’s kind of not very authentic of me. It’s, I figured, okay, it’s gonna be me. Well, in the age of COVID-19, internet traffic is crazy high, of course, because everyone’s at home. Right? Well, I got on the very first call. So it was myself and this, this audio producer, and and basically, we log into this super secret software that he has, and we just do the recording there. Well, the internet traffic was so high that and audio files are very sensitive, I guess, to traffic and things they can drop. So so we kept dropping words. And we tried it a couple times. I’m sitting literally under my router. And he’s like, I don’t know what to tell you, Steve. You know, you might have to just do this on your own and I have some experience doing like radio voiceovers and stuff back in college, you know, W ix q news at my millersville University. And so I set up by computer and then we’re like, okay, where’s the quietest place in my house? Of course it’s it’s in our our walking closet in the bedroom. So I’m literally reading my gay leadership book in the closet during COVID-19 for 65 plus hours and that’s kind of the story of coming out of the closet again, just to kind of make my audiobook happen.
Unknown Speaker 31:18 Yeah, yeah, yes. Yeah, it’s it’s not it’s not as easy as it sounds. I’ve actually gone through professional voiceover training myself. Nice. And yeah, if you if you search me on SoundCloud, I’ve done a few commercials and some different things. And yes, I can go into kind of that voice.
Unknown Speaker 31:48 Sound.
Unknown Speaker 31:50 And,
Unknown Speaker 31:52 as I as I told family members, because I’ve had people that since I was very young, I’ve had people go Oh, my gosh, your voices, you know And I feel I use that now and I definitely use it when I’m on the phone. Yeah, because yes, when you are voice overing when you are reading a book like that, it’s very important to pay attention to the Annunciation. The pauses, your plural motives, which and your
Unknown Speaker 32:27 T’s, your keys and your
Unknown Speaker 32:30 office.
Unknown Speaker 32:31 It’s, it’s very technical. And, you know, yeah, people don’t always think about that. And then yes, your, the quality of your sound is and crazily, you know, the closet and the end are folks out there and you know, the reason is is because the your blank walls, and so for sound bounces off of that, and so you need a lot of software. Or you need a treated space say that your, your, your, your,
Unknown Speaker 33:06 your good mic which I’m not using I’m using
Unknown Speaker 33:10 a good mic will pick up that and you’ll get reverb
Unknown Speaker 33:15 is very,
Unknown Speaker 33:16 very funny though. It was funny though, because when we’re
Unknown Speaker 33:21 in there and we’re doing the test for the with the audio guy, so you can say okay, yeah, you’re good to go. He’s like, there’s just something you know, because obviously there’s no clothes on the ceiling. So I took my dog’s dog bed and kind of looped it over my head and he’s like, that’s perfect. It’s just I have a picture of it. I just look ridiculous with the food or the all the clothes everywhere a dog bed over my head, my microphone and I’m like, yeah, and of course there’s no air conditioning in the closet. So and it’s Florida. It’s just like, oh my god.
Unknown Speaker 33:53 But it worked. It worked.
Unknown Speaker 33:54 You’re a hot mess in the CLI was a hot mess in the closet.
Unknown Speaker 34:00 You know, you really should put a photo of that up on your website
Unknown Speaker 34:04 or write a blog about it. I did.
Unknown Speaker 34:07 Yeah, I did do a social media post, but I probably need to revive that again. It’s
Unknown Speaker 34:12 Yeah. to, to funny. Funny. So, very neat, very neat. So just, you know, how are you so let’s get kind of on the business side of things. You know, you’re, well, thanks for coming on, did you This is partly marketing, your, your, your book and your, your coaching sessions. So how, as a business owner, you know, you did touch on that that’s, you know, as an author, as a coach, you’re, you are a business. And so talk about maybe for just a few moments, some of the opportunities, the challenges, opportunities and ways in which you have kind of overcome that getting the word out because you Every business, you know, is always is has that on their mind? How do they get the word out about their, their business? And so give us a little bit of insight about some of the opportunities and things that you’ve been doing?
Unknown Speaker 35:15 Yes. So COVID-19 has really hit a blow to so many of us entrepreneurs and small business owners. For me, one of the main revenue streams was stand up training at clients, well, that’s not happening anymore. And so in in, in March, we launched so we I’ve three big fortune 500 that we do all of their leadership training, and I say we because it’s actually not the Royal we actually have consultants who
Unknown Speaker 35:41 work for me as
Unknown Speaker 35:43 I do some of it, but I had them do most of that kind of stuff. So I can do more the business development and product development. And so all three clients came back and said, Nope, we’re not doing anything anymore. So I lost a massive six figures of revenue coming in. So it’s like rats. What We do now. And I have a fairly upbeat glass kind of full glass full half full kind of guy. And so it’s like, Okay, so what do we do next? And, you know, I knew the lions program was was just starting. So I’m like, okay, there’s that we can focus some energy there. And then, you know, a new deal. And the audiobook was another product. So I’m like, Okay, well, I’ll focus my energy there. But I’m lucky enough to have a an infrastructure to pivot and do virtual things. You know, we’re doing zoom. Right now, I’ve been using zoom for three years for online trainings from a distance learning thing from executive coaching session. So that wasn’t hard for me. A couple years ago, I created a webinar on how to do webinars for a client, and I dusted that off. And I’ve been doing that kind of for, for folks. And just really trying to to leverage the technology that I’m comfortable with and see how I can take that. So I’m actually seeing working with some folks because they’re not comfortable in this space, and this isn’t going to go away. So They’re like, Steve, can you help me like think about what’s behind me and the lighting and and how I use this medium? Like I would have done it in a face to face? Of course, that’s one things we do. So I’ve been seeing that and how am I getting the word out there. It’s social media. It’s growing my email list, which I’m not very good at, I’ll be the first to acknowledge in skills skill, the book came out, I never had to market I mean, top dog was always word of mouth, I get a couple clients, and they tell two friends and they tell two friends and you know, etc, etc. And that was great. But once I knew the book was coming out, now, I’m not going up to B, I’m going B to C. And so now I’m going right to the consumer and to do that I need to market and so that’s, you know, been the social media thing, growing my email list. And then really just just trying to partner with folks to get the word out for different things I have for the lines program. I have an affiliate marketing program that’s slowly kind of getting out there where you know, I give some money back to somebody who refers a new new participant. And then and then also doing things like this A lot of podcasts, I’ve been doing a lot of free webinars in the age of code, because you know, Intel, people get totally saturated. I have 25 years plus of content on my hard drive that I can dust off and kind of share. And some of that is things that are like I used to teach, or I do teach a class on being resilient in times of change. Well, this is a very appropriate time for that. So I dusted that off. And I’ve been doing that as a webinar and, and I actually have been selling them as virtual keynotes. for clients wanting to do those. I have one tomorrow for a group in London. And so they’re there, end of day, my beginning of and they are going through a lot of changes, like so many folks, I’m like, hey, let me talk walk you through the three strategies to help you be more resilient times of change, like perfect. So those types of things are pretty cool. I did a virtual keynote yesterday for another pharmaceutical company for their pride group, because they wanted the gay leadership dude to talk pride things because all their pride stuff went away from what it was. And they’re like, well, let’s do virtual stuff. And so that’s been kind of nice to still engage, especially with our community. is in during pride month but but while we’re all social distancing as well.
Unknown Speaker 39:06 Okay, well awesome. That sounds like you have turned it into pivoted and continuing to be active and busy so that’s awesome. Yeah, well cool well jeez it’s been great catching up with you and so much appreciate you taking time out of your sounds like very busy week, which is a good thing. And we’ll make sure that we have all the show notes and links to the leadership dude. Here on the show on the on the episode page, which again you all of you will find act out bureau.com that is O ut buro.com. You will click up on the top it says podcast might be changing that the episodes we’ll see but at some point because of the The videos now, but also, all of these shows get turned into podcasts. And you’re able to find out Bureau and outro Voices Podcast on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, and a total currently have 13 podcast apps and growing. So make sure that you subscribe to our bureau on whichever platform that you desire most. And coming up here on the screen in just a moment. Be sure to click the subscribe to be notified again of when new shows come up and hit that bell to ensure that you are notified. Thank you so much for tuning in. This is Dennis belko without euro and Steve the leadership, dude, hot dog consulting. Thank you so much. Thanks, Dennis. And thanks for all that you
A personal overview of the podcast focus and direction while seeking your topic suggestions, feedback, and guest recommendations. I provide my personal WHY this is so important to me and hope you will find inspiration and insights to grow as an LGBTQ professional, entrepreneur, and organization. Subscribe to the podcasts and join us on www.OutBuro.com
We’ll chat with LGBTQ entrepreneurs about their inspiration, strategy, startup journey, successes balanced with insights from lessons learned.
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OutBüro – Be inspired. Let’s chat, share, learn, and grow together. In each episode, we’ll have casual and informative conversations with interesting LGBTQ professionals spanning a wide range of fields.
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OutBüro, let’s chat, share, learn, grow, and be inspired together. In each episode, we’ll have casual and informative conversations with interesting LGBTQ professionals will chat with LGBTQ entrepreneurs about their inspiration strategies, startup journey, successes and balanced with insights from lessons learned. We’ll also talk with leaders in diversity and inclusion and community allies across many sectors. Please subscribe to the podcast and join the online community at out bureau calm that’s o ut buro.com
Hi there, this is Dennis Velco with OutBüro – o u t b u r o .com.
I wanted to take a little bit of time just to carve out here in the first episode of out barrows new podcast, which I am super, super excited about and give you a little bit of information as to why and how and so forth because, you know the how and really the why of it rather, as you’ll tell all of the episodes coming forward will be completely unrehearsed and unscripted. And you know, that’s part of what makes each of us unique and interesting is, it’s not that we’re all perfect, but that, you know, we have our little stumbles and our struggles and so forth and in your professional career. You might have started off in one direction. And through happenstance, it’s taken you into a whole new field. And so we’re wanting to explore that, as well as all of the aspects of entrepreneurialism.
And we’ll be getting that to that here in just a moment, but some of the background on inspiration. So now nearly 12 years ago at this point, as you’ll see, the date on this podcast is May 27, 2020, literally 12 months ago, sorry, 10 to 12 years ago, I launched the very first group on LinkedIn that would there was no Create button. And for it, I actually had to contact LinkedIn in order to start the group and through the course of the dialogue, through an email exchange with their Support ticketing system and so forth.
They agreed to start the group after I had put forth you know, like a whole page Use Case as to why it was important and so forth. And they agreed, did not know who to go to in the LGBT community. And I was the one bringing this and I’ve, you know, said, Hey, you know, well, if you’ll assign me as the administrator and moderator to it, I’ll take it on. And you know, just like growing a business and or growing your career, it, there was no blueprint back then for growing a LinkedIn group. And that group has been and still remains the largest LGBTQ professional and entrepreneurial group on LinkedIn.
As of right now, there are over 46,300 Global members. And I’m so proud of that. It’s It’s hard. It’s flows, and so forth. And I’m still constantly learning from the group members, what’s effective, and so forth. And so this podcast is going to also be a great opportunity for me to learn and through the course of those 12 years. So far of doing that on LinkedIn, I have had so many incredible conversations with group members, people who have reached out to me or something in their profile intrigued me, and maybe I had initiated the introduction calls and so forth. And so you know, finally you know, I’ve been building the OutBüro – o u t b u r o .com site for now, we’ll just say longer, longer than I would like to admit right now. But, you know, again, as entrepreneurs, especially like me, it’s A bootstrap startup company of one at this particular moment, doing everything and so forth myself. You know, sometimes we, we have struggles in the sense of, you know, what’s important and what do we need to focus on? And how are we going to connect with our audience, our customers, our students, our employees, and so forth? There are just so many potential facets. And, you know, these conversations that I have had with individuals throughout the years and especially over the last 12 months have just been inspirational to me what people are doing with their careers and with their businesses, and so finally, came upon some tools that make it somewhat easy. If you’re seeing what this is initially hosted on is a FM makes it very easy to do podcasts and broadcast to many platforms. And eventually, as this grows, perhaps it might graduate to a different platform, but that’s part of the journey, right, is utilizing what you have in front of you, and understanding your why and managing that group on LinkedIn. Because it just had to be there Damn it right it just had to be there. That was part of my case to LinkedIn. You know, you’re the largest platform for professionals and you know, dang it, you threw me in a university group because that was on my profile and I really need to be in the LGBT group because it needs to exist and you know, some, whatever your passion is, is kind of at the heart of what I’d like to discover and in bringing on guests on to the show is have them share They’re wise, why do they do what they do? Why are they passionate about it? What are their successes? What are some lessons learned maybe some tidbits and golden nuggets that we all can grow from. And, you know, I forget who who said it. So, you know, please put in the comments or something where this quote comes from, but there’s a quote out there in the universe that, you know, a wise person learns from the mistakes and or the lessons of another. And so, hopefully, this podcast will will do that. It’ll also hopefully bring some visibility and light to the community. For example, one of our early guests was born and raised in India. And so I know that in the LinkedIn group, I have members from India And members from other countries where they’re not as free to be themselves as we are in some of our, you know, Rainbow and gay unicorn cities that we might live in throughout the Western world. So I see this as an opportunity. For myself, I’m already having those conversations, right? I’m already doing it. So might as well put it into a podcast form, so that more people than just myself are hearing those conversations, and we all can benefit from it. So let me get into just a little bit now that of course, you could do is probably completely unscripted, which hopefully and by design, most of the conversations you know, we’ll have bullet points of what you know, we want to cover but you know, 99% of it will be completely unscripted. And so then there is even one person I’m booking her early that in addition to being a mental health therapist, she is also a stand up comic. So I’m very much looking forward to all of these conversations and bringing them to you. So just as a bit of information, so hopefully you will stay tuned and you will subscribe which I’ll give you all the places where you can subscribe to this podcast here in just a few moments. Wanting to give you a brief overview, and that is the outro podcast is about being inspired. Reaching and communicating, chatting, sharing, learning and growing together, in each episode, will be striving to have very casual and informal, yet informative conversations with interesting LGBTQ professionals spanning a wide range of fields. As I like to say I unison People will say, Oh, well you’re focused on the professionals. You know, and well, what does that mean? To me? If you’re working, you’re a professional, right? Even if you’re a professional dog walker, or you know you have a cleaning business and so forth, I strive to and or maybe you are a professional rocket science scientist at NASA, wouldn’t that be an interesting conversation about them and their life as a potentially out or not out, scientist and so forth. So Anywho, that’s a bit about what we’re going to be striving to get to when it comes to professional is people who have had careers and are on their way to career and, but hopefully those who have made it to some level of success in their professional life, so that they can talk about, you know, how they made it and their journey as an LGBTQ community member within that profession. Okay, so for example, there are many professions where being LGBTQ, even, you know, in very, you know, LGBT friendly, some have supposedly countries and so forth, it’s still within those industries can be very difficult. So those are definitely the kinds of people that I would love to get onto this program to talk about, maybe you know, what they’re doing in their own profession, but you know, even maybe, perhaps, what are they doing, if it pertinent, within a professional association, an LGBT professional association to further and advance the profession. And while you happen to be LGBTQ, right, we’ll also be chatting with LGBTQ entrepreneurs, about their Why Why are they hitting this? You know, what sparked their interest? You know, what was their inspiration? Whatever that might have been? What are the kinds of strategies that they are applying to their business to, you know, do that, that startup to grow the business to get the funding that they need to capture the clients and the customers and so forth, their marketing strategies and all of that good stuff, you know, how are they dealing? How do they get angel investing and venture capitalists and so forth to invest in their business or, you know, that small business loan and so forth? You know, so what was their total? What was their startup journey, as well as you know, talking about their successes, and balancing that with the insights of lessons learned, every single entrepreneur out there has made, you know, countless mistakes and so forth that, you know, hindsight is 2020 and, you know, that they personally have learned from so this is going to be an opportunity Ready to delve into some of those lessons learned from their own personal mistakes and so forth and help bestow that information on to all of us. So that we hopefully can learn from that, and not make those same mistakes and grow our business is, you know, a bit wiser from them being so generous and sharing that and being vulnerable as well, you know, it’s not always great to share those vulnerabilities will be also exploring ways to again, launch and grow and expand your business, again, from the many perspectives of entrepreneurs and community, nonprofit leaders and so forth who have, you know, done that been there and so forth and have that wisdom to share. And, of course, you know, in all regards to that, so mentioning nonprofits, you know, it’s a huge part of the LGBT community. So You know, we’ll be chatting with nonprofit leaders about their organizations. How were they started? Why were they started? What do they focus on? What kinds of, you know, goals? Do they have, again, similar to the entrepreneurs on the for-profit side? What have been their successes, their operational effectiveness? You know, what are some of the systems and practices and so forth that they have implemented in order to achieve what they have achieved? How do they go about, you know, funding? Is that grants is that corporate sponsorships? How do they do that we’d all love to know? And also, you know, what are some of the needs that they have, giving it also the platform and talking about that has given them the opportunity to also, you know, ask all of the listeners and folks on the website and then the little LinkedIn group, you know, if need be for, you know, a funding raise, and so forth. So, we’re also going to be expanding, you’re going to see it is going to be very diverse, very diverse, because that’s what I love. And I hope you’ll love it too. And, you know, if it’s only focus focused on one sector, you know, like LGBT nonprofits, well, you know, with that might have, you know, listenership and viewership, you know, sure, if it’s only focused on LGBT entrepreneurs, Well, sure, you know, there’s going to be listeners and so forth. But, you know, I, I’m taking the approach because there’s, you know, 46, you know, almost 46 and a half thousand global members in the group and they’re just not all nonprofit professionals. They’re just not all government employee professionals. You know, they’re just not all fortune 1000 level employees or just not all small business owners. You know, it’s Everything and their students as well. So, you know, it just makes sense that the out bureau podcasts, try to respect the diversity of its group members and followers and, you know, hopefully from all of this, you know, effort the that diversity in all of its totality will just continue to grow. So, with that, we’re going to be also talking with leaders in diversity and inclusion, looking at it from both sides. So bringing on inclusion and diversity consultants who their business and or their for-profit business or their nonprofit organizations, work with corporations and employers, giving them best practices and guidance and so forth to become better based on Best Practices lead Also, I’m hoping to have diversity and inclusion directors and HR directors who their job within the employer is to be the spearhead for those programs within their organizations. You know, so what kinds of things have they seen that work and you know, I’m hoping to attract you know, early very well, just a courageous probably corporations who value diversity and inclusion and would like to come on to the out bureau podcast to talk about, you know what they’re doing. But you know, I’m also going to ask them to as best as they can without getting, you know, their hand slapped internally, you know, to talk about the challenges, you know, let’s be real. It’s not easy. Because as leaders in those corporations trying to instill workplace cultures and values when you have, you know, thousands and thousands of employees who all bring their own unconscious biases and so forth, you know, to the workplace, it’s a damn difficult job. So, you know, I want to give, you know, the props and, you know, the accolades to those people who are taking on those challenges, because we’ll, we’ll save a lot of those kinds of conversations for when I have those particular people on board. I could get on a small soapbox here and get derailed. So we’re, again, we’re looking to have the the, you know, the casual and informative conversations, also with community allies. You know, we want diversity and inclusion as LGBT. You know, so staff working for employers. We want to champion out LGBT diversity inclusion as a community and individuals and organizations. But that also means that we have to respect and value diversity and inclusion. And that also means, you know, our heterosexual allies, you know, hey, you know, if you’re heterosexual, and you know, you are a community ally, and you’re doing something amazing within your employer, within your business, within your community, for the LGBT community, I would love to have you on the show. And, you know, talk about that, and, you know, talk about again, why being part of that community means you know, so much to you. So does that sound interesting? Chirp Chirp oh geez, I can’t hear you. So that’s where you’re going to need to, you know, put comments on whatever platform you’re listening to. And let me know. So I hope that sounds interesting to you because it certainly is interesting to me or I would not be dedicating so much time to this. So if you have a topic or an idea, a question even perhaps, put comments within all of the different applications that you might be listening to, and or go to the OutBüro – o u t b u r o .com. And under the more menu, up at the top, you’re going to see the contact us. And so there you will be able to provide, you know, an idea for a topic or a question that you might have that you would like me to strive to work into a future episode to answer for you. I’d very much appreciate that. So if you have recommendations for future guests, right now I am currently working on just booking the GS about eight or so people that I already have lined up. So that will keep me busy for at least a week or two. But we’ll be striving to expand that out as I grow. So if you have recommendations, please let us know even if that’s recommended in yourself, no problem with that whatsoever.
May 27, 2020
(updated May 27, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
OutBüro – Let’s chat, share, learn, grow, and be inspired together. In each episode, we’ll have casual and informative conversations with interesting LGBTQ professionals. We’ll chat with LGBTQ entrepreneurs about their inspiration, strategy, startup journey, successes balanced with insights from lessons learned. We’ll also talk with leaders in Diversity and Inclusion and community allies across many sectors. Please subscribe to the podcast and join the online community at www.OutBuro.com.
May 11, 2020
(updated May 11, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer entrepreneurs often struggle well beyond their heterosexual start-up counterparts in many areas of business. One, in particular, is raising funding in the form of venture capital and operational working capital funding to launch and grow their business. Most businesses will need to apply for some sort of working capital during their lifetime. Traditional loans are not always an option to many LGBT business owners due to the lengthy paperwork required and strict rules and guidelines, and discrimination from the staff of traditional VCs/Banks/Leading Companies/Financial Institutions who have historically favored heterosexual white males. Progress towards diversity in entrepreneur funding is happening, yet continues to be slow.
Several financial companies and organizations have stepped up to aid LGBT entrepreneurs in acquiring the capital they need to see their vision to reality and continue its growth trajectory.
We’d like to consider this an active and growing list. If you are aware of a company or organization that providing funding and capital targeting the LGBT entrepreneur, we’d appreciate you using the Contact Us form and provide a link to their primary website so that we may review their info and potentially add them the resource list below.
If you contact any of the below, we’d greatly appreciate it if you would let them that you learned about them here on OutBüro.
Note: this site does not have SSL active, yet still live.
We’re out to change the world of business finance! Founded by LGBT with a focus on LGBT and other minorities. Diversity Fund is a new business finance platform that unites rewards, lending, and equity finance provides sophisticated tools for investors to evaluate each deal and company and is fun and engaging for everyone!
Through Diversity Fund, an entirely new generation of entrepreneurs can finance their venture or expansion by immediately reaching thousands of potential investors who support their goals. Diversity Fund opens the world of business finance to entirely new sets of entrepreneurs and investors and leverages crowdfunding to even the playing field to the rest of us. Founded in Austin, Texas, Diversity Fund seeks to become a leader of small business finance and a trusted source for both entrepreneurs and investors. We’re excited about Diversity Fund and hope you are too. Be sure to register, so that we can send you information and news. Also, subscribe to our e-newsletter and check out our social links for more!
LGBT Capital was established in 2010 with a focus on the LGBT Consumer segment as a credible investment sector and to demonstrate the business case for advancements in LGBT equality and inclusion.
Since then and to support these aims, LGBT Capital has pioneered the development of an LGBT Diversity Investment Index with a complementary Institutional Investment methodology, developed Statistics and Research to demonstrate the potential of the LGBT Consumer Sector, and launched the first international specialist LGBT Wealth Management offering as well as an LGBT focussed Property Portal. LGBT Capital also works with a number of quality LGBT focused businesses to support their investment plans and growth.
LGBT Capital’s portfolio is guided by a primary focus on a sound business opportunity while actively supporting the advancement of LGBT Equality and Rights globally We prefer to work closely with clients and partners towards achievable goals. We will advise, but prefer to help structure, implement and execute. We believe in the power of Impact Investing and in particular that Impact Investing can support the progression of LGBT freedoms and inclusion globally. We also believe that the growth of quality LGBT businesses, particularly in developing markets, will play a key part in further developing LGBT freedoms and quality of life.
Formerly known as Google Ventures, GV was launched in 2009 to serve as the venture capital arm of Alphabet, Inc. Since then, it’s invested in over 300 startups within the life science, healthcare, artificial intelligence, robotics, transportation, cybersecurity, and agriculture industries. Some of these startups include Walker and Company, Tala, and Vida.
Google Ventures is very open to exploring relationships of entrepreneurs of all backgrounds.
We believe in the power of spending time together face to face. Whether we’re hosting a summer BBQ, celebrating Pride, or playing softball, you’ll find us with our portfolio founders and their teams.
Startup52X is focused on grooming extraordinary startup founders to launch highly successful and profitable ventures. We especially like teams that have at least ONE founder from underrepresented communities in tech. These include people of color, women, entrepreneurs who are – veterans, with disabilities, immigrants, LGBTQ, etc. We hope to increase diversity in startup and tech spaces while launching outstanding ventures.
Startup52 is an early-stage accelerator based in New York City. As the first sole diversity-focused accelerator in NYC, Startup52 was founded by Chike Ukaegbuto identify and groom outstanding entrepreneurs, especially those from untapped and under-tapped communities. Our main goal is to increase diversity in startup and tech spaces.
We run two cohorts a year with up to 15 outstanding ventures per class. Startup52’s ecosystem of partners, mentors, advisers, industry experts, investors and more, helps our ventures and founders thrive well even under the daunting challenges of startup entrepreneurship.
Our program follows an intensive structure that implements strategy aimed at uniquely helping startups develop an effective framework for decision making in focusing, aligning, executing and delivering against strategic adaptive and growth initiatives. This, we hope will lead to launch, longevity, and successful exits.
Our community of mentors, advisers, experts, serial entrepreneurs and more, are successful people, who have sold businesses, held executive positions at large companies, have advanced degrees from ivy league schools, are current entrepreneurs, among other great accomplishments.
AngelList is a U.S. website for startups, angel investors, and job-seekers looking to work at startups. Created in 2010, the platform has a mission to democratize the investment process and to help startups with their challenges in fundraising and talent. It started as an online introduction board for tech startups that needed seed funding. Since 2015, the site allows startups to raise money from angel investors free of charge.
The LGBT Market on AngelList is a resource to consider. Companies listed include HER and HORNET along around 150 other LGBT entrepreneur-owned businesses and worth investigating as a potential venue for exposure to angel investors
Connectivity Capital Partners is a venture capital firm that funds early-stage startups. Through the efforts of its Chief Investment Officer, Denmark West, the firm advocates for diversity in technology by supporting extraordinary startup founders regardless of their background.
As an LGBT entrepreneur, you are a champion of your brand. With Republic you can create a crowdfunding campaign that does more than attract small investors – it aids in creating brand ambassadors. Not LGBT specific as a platform, yet via your network and the compounded social influence that has you can spread your fundraising efforts to the audience of your making coupled with an active investor pool of 350,000 current members. In May 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission enacted Title III of the JOBS Act, allowing non-accredited investors — the majority of the US population — to invest in startups. But the complicated legal requirements demanded a founder and investor-friendly, easy to use platform to make startup investing truly accessible while adhering to legal requirements so that it is an ethical safe space to invest from within.
That’s why we built Republic: to democratize investing and level out the fundraising landscape for founders and investors alike. We’re SEC-registered, FINRA-licensed, and if you’re at all interested in startups, you’ve heard of our past work: Republic is part of a family of startup platforms together with AngelList, Product Hunt, and CoinList — one of the most trusted online startup ecosystems in the world.
Gaingels is a profit-focused, mission-based affinity organization (a networking group of investors) which offers venture-stage investment opportunities into companies worldwide that have at least one LGBT founder, senior C-level executive, or board member.
Our members put great effort into assisting the companies we invest in. In turn, exceptional founders seek out this type of assistance to produce strong returns.
We also invest directly in venture funds, accelerator partners, and charity partnerships, including our own scholarship and mentoring program.
Announcing the Diversity Initiative, the largest venture capital resource ever created to focus on underrepresented entrepreneurs. This $125M commitment, part of Intel’s groundbreaking diversity efforts, will ensure that funded entrepreneurs enjoy the access to business development programs, global network, technology expertise and brand capital their talents deserve. Focusing on both the seed-stage and expansion phases, Intel Capital – Diversity Fund invests in technology, environmental or social mission driving startups, and must be within the U.S.
In June 2015, Intel Capital announced the venture industry’s largest-ever commitment to invest in technology companies led by women and underrepresented minorities (African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans).
Initially envisioned as a five-year, $125 million fund, the Intel Capital Diversity Initiative was expanded in October 2016 to also invest in startups led by entrepreneurs living with disabilities, U.S.-based entrepreneurs from the LGBTQ community, and U.S. military veterans.
In May 2018, Intel Capital announced that the Diversity initiative had exceeded its initial $125 million investment target more than two years ahead of schedule. Through September 2019, we have invested $381M in companies led by diverse teams; such companies make up 15 percent of our active portfolio.
500’s mission is to discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, help them create successful companies at scale, and build thriving global ecosystems.
We believe that great founders come in all shades, genders, and nationalities.
Since our inception, we’ve made it our mission to find and empower talented founders, whether they’re across the world or overlooked in our own backyard.
Diversity has always been a core value at 500. We’re committed to being champions of the global VC community, not as it is, but as we’d like to see it.
At 500, we don’t just slap a poster on the wall about diversity – we know that LGBT founders, mentors, and investors are a huge part of what makes our #500Strong family so great. In 2014, we even launched Rainbow Round to highlight great entrepreneurs and do more community outreach.
If you have a socially responsible business model, Pipeline is a great start. Business owners can pitch to a network of women investors through pitch summits which happen several times throughout the year in various locations. To be eligible, businesses must be for-profit, headed by a cis female, non-binary femme or transgender woman. Our members serve as the friends and family for entrepreneurs who may not already have support at their critical startup stage.
DigitalUndivided understands that cultural, structural, and financial barriers have functioned to restrict the involvement of people of color in economic chances. But, black and Latina women are the fastest-growing set of entrepreneurs in the USA. BIG is more than an incubator- it’s a direct pathway into the innovation economy for women of color. The BIG process begins with START, an invite-only weekend of ideation, pitching, feedback, and networking. From this weekend, we chose the cohort of the BIG Incubator
Self admittedly, this is an investment portfolio that happens to take on minorities, not as a mission, but as a matter of good business as discussed in his short article here >> How to build a successful and diverse venture capital portfolio without really trying Brooklyn Bridge Ventures manages $23 million across two funds, leading or co-leading investments of around $350,000 in New York City companies that have yet to raise $750,000 in prior rounds. BBV is the first venture capital fund based in Brooklyn, NY and it is managed by Charlie O’Donnell. Conversations often start pre-product and pre-deck. The fund invests in a wide variety of sectors, so say hello.
Kapor Capital invests in tech-driven seed stage companies committed to closing gaps of access, opportunity or outcome for low-income communities and/or minority underrepresented communities in the United States. We are open to investing in every sector, including education, work, finance, justice, food, and health.
We have invested exclusively in companies that have real potential to produce both significant financial returns and large-scale social impact by:
closing gaps of access to information or goods and services; and/or
expanding economic opportunity in the workplace and the marketplace; and/or
increasing outcomes such as efficiency and competitiveness of market-based solutions to social and economic issues.
We seek entrepreneurs from all backgrounds, especially people of color, women and other groups that have been historically underrepresented. We believe lived experience helps entrepreneurs identify rapidly-scalable, market-based solutions others have overlooked.
They construct Hispanic and Minority company success stories by giving experience for early-stage companies. They supply mentorship, strategic guidance, and technical assistance. They focus particularly on first-time entrepreneurs and first-time small business owners.
Astia was founded in Silicon Valley in 1999 as a non-profit organization dedicated to identifying and promoting best-in-class, high-growth ventures that include women leaders.
Astia levels the investment playing field by cultivating a trusted global ecosystem of engaged male and female investors and advisors, who offer crucial resources, including capital, networks, and expertise. Unlike most VC’s, investment firms, or accelerators, Astia provides a creative, proven approach that contributes to the success of women leaders and their ventures.
Collaborative Fund Partners, LLC, is a social impact and inclusion investment firm. CFP exists to “do well by doing good.” Through a multi-company investment approach, CFP is able to minimize placement risk, where most early-stage funds have failed in the past. By becoming directly involved in each company, CFP is able to maintain a quality control position with the management team and the use of funds needed to take each company into revenue and profitability.
Collaborative Fund Partners, LLC generates capital appreciation through investments in its portfolio companies that meet the Fund’s investment policies. The Fund will seek to fulfill its primary investment objective by making investments in early-stage companies that require additional equity and/or working capital in order to establish or expand their businesses
Founded in 2011 by Angela Benton, NewME has accelerated hundreds of entrepreneurs through our online platform, residential “boot-camp” accelerators, and equity portfolio. We pioneered diversity in Silicon Valley by focusing on helping entrepreneurs identify strengths from their non-traditional backgrounds and leveraging them in business. We’ve helped hundreds of entrepreneurs build better businesses some have even went on to raise venture capital funding. To-date NewME has helped minority entrepreneurs raise over $43MM in funding.
Mariah Lichtenstern’s background of building bridges between the privilege with those that are not prompted her to found Diversecity Ventures. Its focus is to invest in startups that not only aims to make a socio-economic and environmental impact but, more importantly, those that strive to promote cultural, geographic and cultural diversity.
Co-founded by Shauntel Poulson, Reach Capital is a venture capital firm that aims to support minority-led startups striving to help underserved communities in the country, particularly in the field of education. We invest in education because we believe itʼs our most valuable resource. It has the power to influence our course, contribute to our dreams and strengthen our communities. We invest in the people we believe in and the ideas we want to help build. Whether we are your sole investor or one of the many partners along your journey, we’ll always be there, ready to go to bat for you when necessary.
Black Angel Tech Fund was started by a group of successful Black entrepreneurs and angel investors after a thought-provoking panel about the lack of Black startup founders during the 2015 Stanford Black Alumni Summit. Since then, they have taken up the cause to use financial resources from successful African-Americans to support Black-owned startups. If you are LGBTQ and also happen to be African American, this VC may have interest in you.
Digitalundivided was founded by Kathryn Finney in 2012. Its mission is to champion Black- and Latinx-owned startups, by providing financial support and sound advice that will not only help launch these startups but also scale. If you are LGBTQ and also happen to be African American or Latinx, this VC may have interest in you.
DID continues to expand it’s impact and create true systems change through initiatives like The Doonie Fund, which has made over 1000 micro-investments in black women entrepreneurs and the expanded START program, which serves as an entry way for Black and Latinx women entrepreneurs into high growth entrepreneurship.
Project Diane 2020 is set to be released in Fall 2020 and while financial impact remains a central focus, 2020 data will spotlight community impact and what it truly means to be “self-made” in the tech and innovation space.
Based in New York City, KEC Ventures was founded by entrepreneurs from different ethnic backgrounds and industries. This unique blend of leadership gives KEC Ventures the ability to discover and support early-stage startups founded by entrepreneurs belonging to minority groups.
We help entrepreneurs bring the future into focus to find their breakthrough moment. Our proven track record of 100+ investments has unlocked growth opportunities through capital, advisement, and relationship building. We are the result of the merger between successful Los Angeles and Bay Area based Seed funds, Cross Culture Ventures and M Ventures. We invest in technology companies that create infectious products that benefit from shifts in cultural trends and behaviors in an increasingly diverse global marketplace.
Based in New York, Harlem Capital Partners (HCP) is a venture capital firm that focuses on early-stage, minority-owned startups. Its mission is to invest in 1,000 of these types of startups within the next 20 years, with half of these being women- and minority-owned startups. HCP focuses its investments towards startups that aim to enhance financial, marketing, and operational experiences. As a solution to this challenge, HCP partners with entrepreneurs who have revenue-generating tech-enabled products or services that can leverage our financial, marketing and operational experiences to implement key processes to go from selling products to running a sustainable business.
Dreamit Ventures prides itself not only one of America’s top startup accelerators but also a catalyst of diversifying startup ownership in the country, particularly those that focus on developing Health and Urban Tech solutions.
Its partnership with Comcast Ventures aims to provide financial support and mentorship to minority-owned startups with ready-made products to help them scale through their Dreamit Access program.
Since it was founded, Humble Ventures has invested in 47 different startups, 70% of which are those established by women and entrepreneurs belonging to minority groups. These theCut, The Mentor Method, and KweliTV. Humble Ventures’ goal is to bring to innovative startups collective human, financial, and technical resources for them to launch and scale.
We focus on diverse entrepreneurs that are solving problems for the fastest growing demographic segments. We believe that diverse entrepreneurs provide opportunities for disproportionate returns and represent the markets of the future. We know that diverse audiences are tied inextricably to the future of cities. These audiences require responsive healthcare, access to wholesome food, economic stability, education, safe neighborhoods, and tight social support to create an environments for them to thrive.
Founders First Capital Partners is a venture capital firm founded by Kim Folsom with the goal of providing capital and support to startups owned by women, entrepreneurs from minority groups, and military veterans.
We fund service-based companies generating between $250K and $5M in annual revenues typically led by minority, military veterans, or woman founders. We offer Revenue-based investment (“RBI”), a new form of business financing, distinct from the preferred equity structure most VCs use and more flexible than traditional bank debt.
Its goal is to help startup founders not just launch a successful business, but also one that can be carried from one generation to another.
Valmo Ventures is a venture capital firm founded by Valerie Mosley, a successful entrepreneur who’s made it her mission to help under-represented startup founders grow both their self-worth and net worth.
In line with this, Valmo Ventures’ mission is to create, advise, and partner with startups to transform them into valuable and profitable assets to society as a whole. Valmo Ventures creates, collaborates, and invests in companies, assets, and efforts that add value to portfolio returns and add value to our society. We believe that when we advise, invest in, and collaborate with bright, like-minded, and like-hearted individuals, extraordinary results are possible.
While Base Ventures is still a relatively young venture capital firm, it’s already making a mark as far as bridging the gender, and ethnic gap observed among startups in the country. Already, it has raised multi-million dollar funding for startups like StyleSeat and Balanced Payments.
Much of the success of Base Ventures is owed to its founder and Managing Director, Erik Moore. A seed investor of Zappos.com, Moore is recognized as one of the top 25 Most Influential Black in Tech and is driven by his desire to change the world by investing in young entrepreneurs.
Precursor Ventures is a venture capital firm that provides funding to pre-seed startups developing B2B and B2C software applications and services, and connected hardware. Although it’s one of the lesser-known firms, Precursor Ventures has willingly taken on the mission to ensure startup founder from diverse backgrounds are given equal opportunity to receive funding to grow and scale their businesses.
Precursor Ventures was founded with one simple premise. It is our belief that all entrepreneurs, regardless of background, benefit from having an institutional investor to help them scale and grow their company from the very beginning. We have built the entire firm around this premise that helping entrepreneurs get started and scale will be our life’s work. To that end, we have six core principles that drive our decisions and strategy:
We want to invest in your first institutional round of investment. We do not have requirements for traction or metrics. We want to be part of the company as early as possible. We are unafraid to back unproven, first-time entrepreneurs; unproven is not the same as incapable. We believe that the greatest returns in venture come from entrepreneurs who are capable but have not yet had the opportunity to show the world their talents and capabilities. We aggressively back entrepreneurs who have something to prove. We hold ourselves to high standards in terms of the diversity of founders we back and support. We are committed to investing in founders who represent a wide variety of backgrounds in terms of gender, race, background, academic experience and life circumstances. We are patient because building meaningful companies takes time and the rewards are great for those who participate in the entire journey. Building great companies takes time. There are no shortcuts and we know that the journey will be long but the rewards are worthwhile. We focus on long-term thinking. We value intellectual curiosity and open thinking. The best companies are built by curious founders who question everything and are open to thinking about new ways to tackle problems. We invest in early-stage companies in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, and Toronto. We are willing to consider other geographies, but we focus our energy in these locations.
Excel Capital Management is a proud supporter of the LGBT community, and we are here to help with all of your business funding needs! For more information on Excel and the funding solutions we offer, check out our Solutions page and APPLY NOW! For even faster service, contact one of our funding specialists TODAY at 877-880-8086
Wells Fargo a national leading small business lender for eleven years and they are dedicated to supporting the business needs of the LGBT entrepreneur client community. This dedication includes being a founding corporate partner of National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and strong support for LGBT inclusion with their LGBT clients and their employees. As an employer, Wells Fargo fosters a culture in which all people and their individual differences are not only accepted but celebrated. If you’re an LGBTQ+ employee of Wells Fargo rate them here.
Being an entrepreneur is never easy. But so worth it. You can make inroads to attaining your entrepreneurial goals. Be smart about who you partner with for funding. It will be a long-lasting relationship not to be taken lightly.
Bear in mind there is not any failure, only feedback. Remember that there are organizations and persons which are pushing for diversity and that encourage LGBTQ and other diversity entrepreneurs. One such organization is the National Venture Capital Association who has listed over 40 venture funds dedicated to diversity. We are still reviewing all those companies to validate they are worthy of including in this list in a future update.
January 2, 2020
(updated January 3, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
Understanding gender identity and expression to support education in LGBTQ corporate equality for a welcoming workplace.
Most people when they hear – LGBTQ – they think of it is a group of individuals who are attracted to members of the same sex to some degree. Interestingly, most don’t realize that the “T” does not directly relate to a person’s sexual attraction at all. It is separate and refers to a person’s sense of gender. Inside, do they feel like a male or female or even somewhere in between the two. This is referred to as gender identity.
Before the 19th century, the terms gender and sex were interchangeable. It was believed was what you physically appeared as at birth was cut and dry. Binary. Female or male from birth in body, mind, and soul.
Around 1925, a sexologist named Magnus Hirschfeld from Germany published an article. In it, he described for the first time the difference between the sexual desire for persons of the same gender compared to a deep desire to live and/or dress as the opposite gender because it matches how you feel and view yourself.
In the 1950s the concepts and theories about gender, gender roles, and gender identity were introduced and defined in the psychological literature. Psychologists, such as Jerome Kagan and John Money, initially believed that gender identity was simply a degree a person felt feminine or masculine coupled with the ability to live openly and freely as who they are supporting a secure sense of self.
From around 1965 through 1985 researchers such as Sandra Bem, Richard Green, Harry Benjamin, and, Robert Stoller furthered the understanding of gender and gender identity. Green, Benjamin, and Stoller pioneered gender identity clinics, as well as gender-related medical and surgical treatments.
The ongoing work of these and other pioneer researchers in the field of gender identity development raised awareness that gender is not exclusively determined by assigned sex at birth but determined by a person’s sense, belief, and the ultimate expression of self.
A bit more to understand
The term transgender is an overall term for people whose gender identity, expression and/or behavior is different from those typically associated with their assigned sex at birth. Since the 1990s, transgender has also been used to describe:
gender non-conforming people
Transgender men had or have female body parts; however, they may identify and/or express themselves as male. Female to male or F2M.
Transgender women had or have male body parts; however, they may identify and/or express themselves as female. Male to female or M2F.
Research shows that gender identity, in many cases, is independent of sexual orientation.
Androphilic are people that were born with a male body, have a female gender identity, and are attracted to men. My understanding is like this:
Gynephilia is people that were born with a male body, have a female gender and are attracted to women. My understanding is like this:
Cis-Gender, is a person who feels that how they mentally identify matches their physical body.
Marketors, employers, prevention specialists, and healthcare providers should be aware that beliefs impact almost all areas of a person’s life, their feeling of accepted and being welcomed.
Think about not only your own beliefs and attitudes but how can you impact your place of business, your working environment, policies, benefits. How can you make your company, business, institution more accessible and in some cases safe?
If in my attempts to simplify for the sake of understanding a very complex field I’m happy to be constructively corrected and happy to edit the content if necessary. Please add your comments below.
I’ve already written about the Surrey University study demonstrating a clear bias against persons who are perceived as LGBT in the hiring process, promotions, and salary. Added to the stress of work anyone faces, adds being verbally harassed or worse not just at work but everywhere.
At this point, it’s – Duh!. In order to understand you have to get to know.
If you work for a company if not already happening, suggest or start social gatherings to get to know others out of the work environment. Maybe host a company talent show or other activities that foster interaction embracing the differences. The biggest is connect with others and be open and willing to give everyone an opportunity to shine. Listen carefully. Do you have interests in common? Do you hear an opportunity to partner on a project to help each other and maybe others in the company or community?
OutBüro’s Gender Identity and Expression Model
The concept of gender identity and expression graphic to help explain the concepts is not new. Hower, OutBüro decided to create our own with some modifications to past models to help further clarify the concepts.
Most models to date have a scale with feminine on one end of a spectrum and masculine on the opposite. We believe that having them separately represented is more accurate was of thinking and helps to better understand.
Meet Chris – the OutBüro Gender Identity and Expression Model
In the diagram below consider the lines noting masculine and feminine as each independent sliding scales from 0 to 100%.
Gender Identity is how you, in your head, experience and define your gender, based on how much you align (or don’t align) with what you understand the options for gender to be. Common associations: personality traits, jobs, hobbies, likes, dislikes, roles, expectations
Gender Expression is how you present gender (through your actions, clothing, and demeanor, to name a few), and how those presentations are viewed based on social expectations. Common associations: style, grooming, clothing, mannerisms, affect, appearance, hair, make-up
Anatomical Sex is the physical traits you’re born with or develop that we think of as “sex characteristics,” as well as the sex you are assigned at birth. Common associations: body hair, chest, hips, shoulders, hormones penis, vulva, chromosomes, voice pitch
Attraction is how you find yourself feeling drawn (or not drawn) to some other people, in sexual, romantic, and/or other ways (often categorized within gender).
Are you actively looking for an LGBTQ friendly employer or passively open to new career opportunities? The new OutBüro virtual career fairs are for you.
While reviewing technology partners to bring this exciting service to the LGBTQ community every single potential solution partner stated, “I’ve been in this industry a very long time and I have never heard of any other LGBTQ focused virtual career fair. This is the first”. Additionally in chatting with recruiters and human resource directors, so far they have made similar comments. Further, each one so far as stated they are excited about this new approach to finding great new talent who happen to be LGBTQ.
Create your professional profile on www.OutBuro.com today so that recruiters can find you, knowing they are seeking quality LGBTQ candidates!
The OutBüro virtual career fair platform is intuitive and mobile-friendly making it possible for you as the job seeker to even participate while on your lunch break. In addition to interacting with employer recruiters via text chat, the recruiters may invite you to a one-on-one video chat. So please be dressed appropriately – even if just from the waist up. LOL Be in a quiet setting without lots of distractions.
Once you complete your virtual career fair profile, it will be usable in all future OutBüro virtual career fairs you participate in it. You may update your information at any time.
Employers, learn more about the OutBüro virtual career fairs focused on assisting your organization with its diversity and inclusion recruitment marketing to attract quality candidates who happen to identify as LGBTQ:
OutBüro’s mission is to connect the world’s LGBTQ employees, professionals, and entrepreneurs with opportunities to grow in their careers and grow their companies. We strive to connect companies and organizations that support LGBTQ Corporate Equality with quality candidates while providing a voice and insight into workplace culture and LGBT workplace issues.
July 19, 2019
(updated November 8, 2019)
Published by Dennis Velco
Attracting quality candidates/job seekers and retaining the staff/employees your company/organization has already invested in can be a challenge. Further adding that as an employer you are dedicated to building, fostering and maintaining a work environment and culture that is diversity and inclusion focused is a worthy, and rewarding huge task. So many organizations struggle with how to best reach the targeted diversity job seeker audience they desire with few resources to make your efforts well known. OutBüro (www.OutBuro.com) is a resource for employers of all types, sizes, and no matter where in the world you operate who desire to have a robust LGBTQ employer branding and recruiting marketing strategy.
[easy-tweet tweet=”(OutBüro) is fascinating and much more aligned with the UN’s Global LGBTI Standards for Business than most indexes! – Fabrice Houbart – Human Rights Officer @UN” user=”OutBuro” hashtags=”#LGBTQ #WorkPlaceEquality #CorporateEquality” url=”https://www.OutBuro.com”]
OutBüro meaning and pronunciation
Out is an English world and often used in the LGBTQ community. Its history of use stems from the phrase “Out of the Closet” meaning not hiding one’s sexual orientation.
Büro is a German word that in English means “office”. The two dots are called an umlaut and makes the “u” long sound. Büro sounds exactly like the English word “bureau”, such as a news bureau.
So combined OutBüro means Out Office, which in the context of the site is Out Company, Out Organization, Out Employer in support of your LGBTQ employees and job seekers.
Why is LGBTQ Employer Branding needed?
You may believe that if your company is listed one of the LGBTQ Corporate Equality Index that obtaining a top score there is your golden grail of letting the LGBTQ community know you’re a great place to work as an LGBTQ employee. However, those listings are limited in so many ways. For those organizations fortunate enough to be large enough to be on those listings it merely indicates that LGBTQ inclusive policies benefits and some business practices are present to a degree. They might state if the company/organization does LGBTQ-focused marketing and actively recruits LGBTQ candidates. They are however not a platform for you to control and consolidate your LGBTQ messaging. Further, OutBüro provides social proving allowing you to link to your and 3rd party website clearly showing the policies in place, benefits you have, your marketing in video and print, your inclusive recruitment marketing efforts, your political contributions and your community involvement to name some of the features. It allows you to also upload lots of photos and link to lots of videos further demonstration all the hard work you are putting into your full LGBTQ diversity and inclusion program. You may indicate LGBTQ organizations and businesses you sponsor, any form of funding you have available for LGBTQ non-profits and LGBTQ owned businesses to apply for. Further you may indicate the number of out and visible LGBTQ management within your organization. In addition, it provides you an opportunity to post articles directly on the platform highlighting all that you do. Some ideas might be quarterly updates on the activities of your LGBTQ employee resource group, LGBTQ career fairs you are participating in, feature LGBTQ employees, and pretty much any news/stories related to your LGBTQ inclusive efforts. Go ahead and show off all your hard work.
LGBTQ employer ratings by employees
Your OutBüro rating is based not on having policies, benefits, and practices in place, although those are important, but rather from the ratings/reviews from current and recent past employees. Recent past as we define it means up to 5 years. See the employee-focused video below for more information from that perspective.
Even a small business/organization that do not yet have official LGBTQ inclusive policies and benefit may still be rated as an excellent employer by their employees.
Timely LGBTQ employer equality ratings
Your company/organization is constantly evolving so OutBüro’s LGBTQ employer ratings/reviews are too. Employees may initially rate/review your company/organization at any time 24/7/365. Once an employe posts a rating/review it is live on the site immediately and aggregated into your overall rating. They may rate/review you every 4 months on their own unique timeline. Imagine an employer of say 100,000 employees. Let’s say 7% of the workforce identifies as LGBTQ and heteroflexible. That would be a potential of 7,000+ reviews/ratings up to every quarter. This provides you timely and insightful feedback on the state of your environment and culture.
OutBüro for employers
Most company/organization career/job pages have little to no information regarding all the incredible policies, benefits, employee resource groups and LGBTQ community the company/organization has and participates in.
Although in a few countries there are LGBTQ Workplace/Corporate Equality Indexes, these are typically limited to only the Fortune 1000 and/or the countries very largest organizations. Being present on those lists is quite an achievement for which you should be rightly proud of. It is however not the full picture of all you do. They are limited to indicating the policies and benefits you have if you are large enough to be invited to participate.
In just the United States the Fortune 1000 employs approximate 8% of the workforce. That represents around 33 million employees and obviously a huge number. We’d love to have all those employers leverage the OutBüro LGBTQ employer branding and review monitoring solution and welcome all employers of every type and size.
LGBTQ employee marketing difficult to find
As a corporation/organization works to create all the great LGBTQ inclusive policies, benefits and business practices to be an attractive employer to LGBTQ candidates often the marketing of that effort is a second thought if at all. While focusing on building the OutBüro and our initial adding around 300 Fortune 1000 companies we discovered that for the vast majority it is downright difficult to find LGBTQ information about the company/organization. Now put yourself in the position of the LGBTQ job seeker wanting to have a clear picture of the kind of company/organization they are considering applying for. The absence of information or difficulty locating it on the internet searches is a potential indicator that the company/organization is not very LGBT friendly at all. OutBüro is your solution to consolidate your LGBTQ employer branding making it super easy for potential candidates to see you as an outstanding LGBTQ employer.
For Every Employer Type
OutBüro recognizes that LGBTQ people are employed by every type of company/organization. When claiming/adding your Employer listing to OutBüro you specify the legal entity type which currently includes the following:
Company – Public
Company – Private
College / University
PAC – Political Action Committee
Non Profit (General)
LGBTQ Focused Non-Profit
For employers everywhere
LGBTQ people live everywhere and likely where your business/organization operates. Therefore, OutBüro is not geographically bound. In fact, our LinkedIn LGBTQ professional group currently has over 46,000 global members and site traffic to the www.OutBuro.com website demonstrates interest globally. Here’s an OutBüro site traffic map of June 2019.
Consolidate your LGBTQ employer branding
OutBüro is your tool to consolidate and focus your employer branding efforts to clearly demonstrate what a fantastic employer you are for LGBTQ candidates/job seekers and your current employees. We’ll be adding articles/postings discussing all the current features very soon and in the meantime check out the following:
This is a user guide for adding your company/organization to the OutBüro employer branding and reviews monitoring platform when it is not already present as an authorized representative of the company/organization.
This explainer video discusses OutBüro employer ratings/reviews intent and process from an employee’s perspective. It is beneficial as an employer to review so that you are aware of the information and data OutBüro seeks input on.
Every company/organization can benefit from embracing and fostering a work environment and culture of diversity and inclusion where your LGBTQ employees feel welcomed and that they belong. It improves team communication, problem-solving creativity, promotes happy employes that in turn create amazing experiences for your clients/customers that lead to improved financial benefits.
It’s not a perfect
No, that’s right, OutBüro does not claim to be perfect. It has been developed from our experience and industry practices. We’re off to a strong start in helping you consolidate your LGBTQ employer branding and reviews monitoring. We are a new tool and platform that is focused on evolving, growing and expanding for you and LGBTQ employees/volunteers. Just as your organization evolved from its beginnings to where you are today, so will OutBüro as more company/organizations come on board and we receive constructive feedback on way to improve the system.
Get started today
To get started on OutBüro you don’t have to be perfect either. You are also evolving and we recognize that. OutBüro employer annual subscriptions are based on the total number of employees so it’s affordable for any size employer.
Your employees/volunteers may add you to the system and rate/review you even if you have not yet claimed/add your employer listing yet. Ideally, you’ll jump in and claim/add your listing providing as much of the information as possible. Note that to get started there are only a few required fields and you may edit your listing at any time as you gain more information, locate resources, improve your LGBTQ policies, benefits, and practices. Let’s grow and evolve together.
June 18, 2019
(updated September 16, 2019)
Published by Dennis Velco
simple way to describe OutBüro
mashup of Glassdoor.com and HRC’s Corporate Equality Index while
moves beyond the scope, depth and reach of the HRC’s Corporate
OutBüro relaunches to enhance LGBTQ employees ability to anonymously rate/review their current and recent past employer(s) at no cost to the employee. The ratings capture many factors both unique to their LGBTQ work-life experience and general employee satisfaction with an intuitive user interface and user guides to make it simple.
72% of LGBTQ employees report mental health issues due to work environment often caused by discrimination and harassment. Today, even in the United States in many states it is still legal to discriminate against LGBTQ workers. Companies and organizations that create an LGBTQ friendly work environment reap the financial benefits according to many studies.
OutBüro aims to be the open and employee reported source for insight into the LGBTQ friendliness of every employer everywhere. OutBüro is inclusive yet not limited to US Fortune 1000 companies. OutBüro is available to all employers, any type, any size, and anywhere in the world. In the US, most Americans work for small and mid-sized companies as well as government, non-profits, and educational institutions to name a few.
Not only does it indicate if an employer has the following LGBTQ friendly policies, benefits, resources and practices, but it enables the employer to provide links to employer’s and 3rd party sites to socially prove it:
Sexual orientation non-discrimination policy
Gender Identity non-discrimination policy
Domestic partner benefits
LGBTQ employee resource group
Requires same LGBTQ equality standard in contractors and vendors
LGBTQ inclusion competency training
Has same policies, benefits, resources and practices throughout the globe and subsidiaries
Publicly demonstrates support for LGBTQ quality Globally, Nationally and Locally
Appropriately leverages LGBTQ content in it’s marketing year round – not just Pride month
Manage Your Employer Reputation and Brand
Employers may claim their listing if previously added by a current or recent past employee with limited feature. Or an employer may add a new listing themselves to control the content representing their company/organization. It also allows the appointed contact to interact with the anonymous employee reviewers while not having the ability to alter what has been posted. Claim or add your Employer listing now.
With the majority of US states not granting legal protections and rights for LGBT people along with this administration doing everything they can roll back the few protections in place, it’s left to companies to lead the charge by providing an LGBTQ-friendly work environment through corporate policies and benefits.
OutBüro is a Glassdoor.com-like resource where you may share your experiences what it’s like working for your current and recent past employers – up to 5 years past.
Why Rate Your Employer?
Studies have proven that the more diversity-focused a company is the more profitable they are
Current measurements of Corporate LGBT Equality is Fortune 1000 level only and HR/Marketing department head SELF REPORTED with no/zero EMPLOYEE FEEDBACK.
Your review may provide public accolades for progress already achieved by their current focus on LGBTQ Corporate Equaity
Shine a light on problems – Is the company/organization not quite living up to LGBTQ Workplace Equality? Let them know anonymously.
You are making it a better environment for yourself, current and future co-workers
You are providing a resource for job seekers to make informed decisions about where to work
You are helping the company’s employer branding
You are helping it become a more profitable company improving shareholder value
You are a SUPERHERO
OutBüro is striving to be a global resource for the LGBTQ community by empowering LGBTQ people with a voice to influence business, company and corporate culture to improve the work-life for all both now and in the future. It is a feedback system for companies to gauge their real progress toward full LGBTQ workplace equality.
Every company listing in the CompanyReviewsEmployer Listing is required to indicate if the company has the following policies, benefits, and programs in place or not.
Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Policy
Gender Identity Non-Discrimination Policy
Domestic Partner Benefits
Has an LGBT Employee Resource Group
Public Commitment to LGBT Equality
LGBT Inclusion Competency Training
If it operates in more than one country has the same policies and benefits globally
Requires all vendors and contractors to have similar policies and benefits Indicate the number of diversity in management
Indicate the number of LGBT in management
Are LGBT-Friendly Policies Enough?
Simple answer – No. Having LGBTQ-friendly policies are wonderful and appreciated – but not the full picture. Remember, in the US Sexual Harassment policies have been in place since the late 70’s and still today it continues to happen. Just turn on the news. Now consider all the cases that do not make the news and those that go unreported. Discrimination and harassment of LGBTQ employees are no different. Just having policies is not enough. We must provide visibility and insight to make the change and ensure it is effective in its goals to protect.