Pat Baillie, Out & Equal Director of Training & Professional Development, will be contributing to the Out & Equal blog while she is on the road for a month, traveling and training.
Well, for all of you who have been waiting…I did get my beignets from Cafe Du Monde! I wandered over after dinner as the sun was going down. It was still warm, a little muggy, and Cafe Du Monde was not too crowded. There was a local musician on the street playing guitar and singing a combination of blues and folks music that really set the mood. As I was walking through the French Quarter, I ran into the man who had talked about being ‘a friend of Dorothy’ during my presentation. He was with his partner, and it was great to see them enjoying New Orleans and Pride weekend, or as they put it, the local culture. I walked back down the Moonwalk along the river and ran into another old friend who lives down here in the summer. Lots of LGBT folks on the town so it felt like a great way to end the day.
Today is a logistics kind of day. I am still in New Orleans and I had a chance today to talk about Out & Equal on a conference call with one of our companies. They asked a lot of questions about the Global LGBT Workplace Summit, the annual Out & Equal Workplace Summits and our training programs. They also asked some great questions on how to approach executives and how to build up Employee Resource Groups. I will definitely connect them with Nancy Mace, our Director of Community Empowerment. There were a couple of the callers who had just attended the Seattle Regional Affiliate event, and reported over 200 attendees — and a great time! I think we should create some kind of network graphic to show how deep our connections run around the country!
After I completed my part of the call, the Chief of Diversity came on and announced that the company had added gender identity to the non-discrimination policy. This had been an effort they had been working on for years, and the mood on the call went into full celebration! And, I get to go out and teach this information, which is amazing. The ERGs within companies are the ones doing the work to make these changes, and it is really exciting to see the progress and be there to help them celebrate!
I also had a call with our client about the new online training we are developing. We have completed the content using our new elearning suite, specifically Captivate, and we are now working on the technical issues on how to load it on to their LMS system. This is challenging but the final product will be available to everyone in the company. Once we complete this version, we will begin converting all of our Out & Equal University core webinar programs over to SCORM compliant training. We also hope to add some scenario- based trainings that can be used from our website and in your companies. It is very exciting, and I am learning how to ecreate on the road!
I head for Atlanta tomorrow to get set up for the Annual Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) conference. There will be almost 13,000 attendees and over 1200 booths, which will include about 30-40 non-profits (and Out & Equal). We will be in booth #544 and Q Wilson and Michele Davis will be helping me meet people, scan badges, and promote Out & Equal.
If you are in Atlanta and would like to get a one day pass to the exhibit hall, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I can send you the invite. We have 50 tickets and want to pack the house with LGBT and allies.
Off to get one more batch of gumbo and maybe beignets! Thanks New Orleans!