Leo Caldwell: Why Anti-Trans Laws and Homophobia are Anti-Business

In 2021, Gallup found that unprecedented numbers of young people identify as LGBTQ+. Why should you as a leader or hiring manager care?  Basically, Gen Z is the queerest, most gender-diverse generation  – and they are under attack on a daily basis which distracts them mentally and emotionally from innovating, delivering, and contributing their vast talents to the team. If you want to fuel your company’s growth, compete, and win, you need to empathize with and understand transgender rights and inclusion.

Today, Leo Caldwell and I talk about how Gen Z views gender identity and corporate culture, the growing mental health epidemic among trans folks, how the current climate of anti-trans hate and legislation could be impacting many of your workers on a daily basis, what your company can do to support trans employees and practical steps you can take to foster inclusion to attract and retain top talent. Leo also shares his own personal experience and busts some myths about transgender life.

To access the episode transcript, please click on the episode title at www.TheEmpathyEdge.com 

Key Takeaways:

  • The standards of care for trans and other LGBTQ+ youth and adults has evolved a lot in the last 20 years, but there is still work to be done in society. 
  • Gen Z is the generation that is going to change the workplace and expectations in the workplace. They expect allyship and flexibility and that your workplace will actually stand up and be vocal on issues. 
  • There are not necessarily more queer and trans people than there used to be – it only appears so because it is no longer illegal and the fear that stopped many previous generations is not still there for many people. It is also hard to identify if you don’t have the language around that identity. 
  • You need to have people who are part of the community help solve the problem. You cannot understand the issues minority communities are facing without bringing them in to be part of the solution. 

“Gen Z is going to change the workplace and expectations in the workplace…we’re at a spot of gender transformation.You’re either going to be a proactive leader, or you’re going to be reactive if you haven’t done something in the next 2 or 3 years.” —  Leo Caldwell

Episode References: 

About Leo Caldwell: LGBTQ+ Educator and Speaker

Leo Caldwell is an LGBTQ+ educator and speaker with a focus on the trans community. He has presented to a variety of audiences including Gannett USA TODAY Network, University of Oregon, local fire/police departments, and various non-profits/youth organizations. He is currently a lecturer at Ball State University and Comms Consultant for The Research Institute for Gender Therapeutics. Leo has a bachelor’s in journalism and a master’s in digital storytelling. He combines his storytelling, virtual training expertise and years of lived experience as a trans man to inspire empathy and inclusivity for all genders within organizations.

Connect with Leo Caldwell:  

Website: https://leocaldwell.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/leocaldwell

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