Ashley Brundage: Empowering Differences
Ashley Brundage is the Founder and President of Empowering Differences. She's overcame homelessness, harassment, and discrimination and then, while seeking employment at a major financial institution, she self-identified during the interview process as a male to female transgender woman and subsequently was hired. She was offered a position and started as a part time bank teller and worked in various lines of business before moving to VP of Diversity & Inclusion in less than 5 years.
Since beginning transitioning in 2008, she has worked tirelessly to promote awareness and acceptance of gender identity and expression. She serves on the Corporate Advisory Council for the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. In 2019, she was voted on the National Board of Directors for GLAAD and has also been named one of Florida’s Most Powerful and Influential Women from the National Diversity Council. She is the author of Empowering Differences: Leveraging Differences to Impact Change*.
In this conversation, Ashley and I discuss her experience in the working world as a transgender woman. We highlight key language that every leader should be aware of to support the differences of others. Plus, we discuss the initial steps that leaders can take in the workplace, especially related to gender identity.
- The harassment and discrimination that transgender people experience also finds its way into the workplace.
- Respect people’s pronouns — and leaders can highlight their own in order to create a safe space for others.
- Comfort and ability to use the restroom is something that organizations should address. A helpful starting point is dialogue and conversation.
- Beware of binary thinking in relation to gender — and many other ways we identify ourselves. Expand your horizon on the gender continuum.
- Empowering Differences: Leveraging Differences to Impact Change* by Ashley Brundage
- Empowering Differences Self Assessment
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