I recently had a potential client inquiry that made me think about this even more.
It went something like this:
“Hi – we are looking for bookkeeping for our business.
You came highly recommended.
BTW, are you LGBTQ+ friendly? That’s really important to us.”
This made me SAD. It made me disheartened & outraged that one would EVEN NEED TO ASK.
I wanted to go screaming from the rooftops…
“HELL YES!!! WE EMBRACE THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY!!!”
“YES! PLEASE BE COMFORTABLE WORKING WITH US AND LETTING YOUR LGBTQ+ SELVES SHINE!!!”
I FORGET that not everybody has the same outlook… the same love for HUMAN-KIND. I just assume that we’re all on the same page.
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I feel comfortable speaking on the topic. However, the next topic makes me feel leery - like I’m not qualified to speak about it, though I’m compelled to do so.
I had a new client ready to sign their contract, but before she signed, she asked if we had diverse ethnicities on the team. I had a really hard time finding the words to say that we did not. It’s CERTAINLY not on purpose, but it sent me down a spiral of emotions.
I was embarrassed! Now, the reality is, I hire based on talent and personality fit. It JUST SO HAPPENS that we don’t have a racially diverse team. I’m appalled that it didn’t occur to me, so I did something about it.
I talked to my incredible women’s peer group about it. We discussed some of the things that I can do to encourage diverse applicants to even apply for the job! I hadn’t even considered it. I've realized my lack of awareness of the world's harsh realities. Now that I know better, I'm eager to do better.
Just because I want our world to be respectful and diverse and loving, doesn’t mean that I should just ignore it and assume. I want to be a person who speaks out. Who learns. Who stands up and shouts from the rooftops.
Are you with me?