Why is a Technotherapist™ teaching Inclusion?
That’s a great question. After teaching technology and providing efficiency improvement consulting since 1998, inclusion training and consulting might seem like a complete shift. In reality, there is a strong connection between them: technology and gender/LGBTQ+ Inclusivity did not exist when the Generation X and Baby Boomers in the workforce today were growing up.
I have been providing Technotherapy™ to professionals since 1998. My specialty is helping people work through their discomfort and the fear of change that comes with new tech challenges. By providing a space to say, “I don’t understand,” without fear of judgment or criticism, I am able to patiently help clients learn things that they weren’t sure they could learn. Finding better ways to do things, helping clients adapt to change, and patient, nonjudgmental, active listening have always been the cornerstones of my services.
An approach grounded in empathy
The patient approach I developed to teaching technology comes from my background in crisis counseling and education. In 1993, I received my certification as a Rape Crisis Counselor and for the next 5 years, I worked in various roles to help prevent gender-based violence while studying psycho-educational processes. Gender-related social justice and intersectional feminism have always been my passions, and I’ve worked privately in this area while running my technology companies. As a certified coach, I focus on helping people who struggle to accept or understand the realities of a loved one’s LGBTQ+ truth. I’ve also been developing new, inclusive products at Polycute for the last few years.
I’m launching an Inclusion Program to bring my passions and skillsets together. As with technology, I work with businesses and professionals who don’t know what they don’t know, offering them an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of a topic that may have previously felt out of reach.
Tools that apply to a growing number of colleagues and clients
Learning to better communicate with communities of which you are not a member is an important skill in business, and the LGBTQ+ community is growing. Millennials, who will represent 75% of the workforce by 2025, are more than twice as likely to identify as LGBTQ+ and more likely to identify as non-binary or gender fluid than previous generations. According to Gallup’s latest update, one in six adult members of Generation Z (those aged 18 to 23 in 2020) identify as LGBT. This change is happening, and businesses need to adapt, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because their businesses won’t survive without it.
Gender Inclusion for Business doesn’t only mean training. There is a technology consulting component as well. Software changes to incorporate names and pronouns, document template re-engineering for gender neutrality, and working with IT (and other) vendors to ensure transitions are managed respectfully require assistance from someone who understands both the inclusion and technology components.
Accountability begins with Aikotek
While I am a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I do not identify as transgender. My gender inclusion clients are typically people who are not comfortable enough yet to engage with a transgender trainer. Allies are an important part of normalizing gender inclusion and help reduce the onus on transgender and nonbinary people to promote this change alone. I will be donating a portion of all profits from my gender inclusion training and consulting program to transgender organizations to directly support the community.