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Jun 29, 2023

Fostering Inclusion: A Deep Dive with Ben Greene on LGBTQ+ Representation

Fostering Inclusion: A Deep Dive with Ben Greene on LGBTQ+ Representation

Introduction

In celebration of Pride Month, we had the opportunity to engage with Ben Greene, a renowned transgender advocate and educator who shared his insights on the importance of LGBTQ+ representation. In this insightful conversation, Ben discusses his experiences, the challenges he faced, and the importance of creating an inclusive work environment.

Q1: How has your journey as an LGBTQ+ individual influenced your career?

My journey as an LGBTQ+ individual has significantly shaped my career. Being true to myself and my identity has helped me connect with colleagues and clients on a deeper level. I’ve found that my unique perspective as a transgender individual has allowed me to approach problems from a different angle. It’s been a journey of self-discovery and growth, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without embracing my true self.

Q2: What challenges have you faced as an LGBTQ+ individual, and how have you overcome them?

One of the biggest challenges I faced was the lack of representation. It was difficult not seeing anyone who looked like me or shared my experiences. However, I overcame this by seeking out mentors and allies who supported me. I also learned the importance of self-advocacy and the courage to speak up for myself. It was a process of finding my voice and using it to advocate for myself and others in the LGBTQ+ community.

Q3: How can organizations in the cybersecurity field foster a more inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ individuals?

I believe that organizations can foster a more inclusive environment by implementing diversity and inclusion policies, providing sensitivity training, and creating safe spaces for LGBTQ+ employees. It’s also crucial to have representation in leadership roles. From speaking with everyone at Armis today I can see that you have some excellent role models in leadership positions here and you are conscious of creating an inclusive environment. In the training sessions I provide, I share tools such as the ‘Gender Unicorn’ infographic, which is a great tool for explaining the complexities of gender and sexuality, and I often recommend it for workplace training sessions.

Q4: Can you share any resources or organizations that have supported you in your journey?

Certainly, several organizations have been instrumental in my journey, including the National Center for Transgender Equality and the Trevor Project. These organizations provide resources and support for LGBTQ+ individuals in various fields, including cybersecurity. I’ve also found immense value in online communities and forums where I could connect with others who shared similar experiences.

Q5: What advice would you give to other LGBTQ+ individuals, and those wanting to be an LGBTQ+ ally in the workplace?

My advice to other LGBTQ+ individuals is to be true to themselves and not be afraid to seek out support. I also encourage them to find mentors who can guide them in their career journey. It’s important to remember that everyone’s journey is unique, and it’s okay to take your time to figure out what makes you feel most comfortable. Just like finding the right chair to sit in, finding your identity can take time and patience.

With regards to allyship there are plenty of simple steps you can take to show the LGBTQ+ community that you are not a threat. Steps such as adding your pronouns, wearing a pride pin, and simply calling out any words or behavior that could be construed as offensive or threatening to the LGBTQ+ community. You can also get involved with organizations such as those I’ve mentioned and you could join LGBTQ+ groups in your organization and on your social platforms such as LinkedIn. This demonstrates to the community that you are supportive.

Conclusion

In this enlightening conversation with Ben Greene, we explored the importance of LGBTQ+ representation and the need for inclusive work cultures. By embracing diversity and fostering an inclusive environment, we can create a more equitable and innovative field. Let’s strive to build a world where individuals can show up as their authentic selves, not just during Pride Month, but every day of the year. Together, we can make a difference and inspire positive change in our respective industries.

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