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Being Out and Equal | DAVOS 2020

Jill Ader
Chairwoman at Egon Zehnder
+ 1 speaker
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World Economic Forum 2020
January 24, 2020, Davos, Switzerland
World Economic Forum 2020
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About speakers

Jill Ader
Chairwoman at Egon Zehnder
Geena Rocero
Founder at GenderProud

Chairwoman of Egon Zehnder, has held several global leadership roles over the past decade. Set up the Firm’s CEO Practice and led its London office and Global Consumer Practice. More recently, founded the global Executive Breakthrough Program and the Discovery Program for CEOs focused on transformation and development run in partnership with Mobius. Passionate about unlocking the potential of serving and aspiring chief executive officers and advises clients worldwide on chief executive officer and board succession. Before joining Egon Zehnder, focused on retail, strategy consulting and venture capital. MBA from London Business School.

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Model, public speaker, producer, trans rights advocate and Co-Host of the Webby Awards honoree TV Show ASPIREist. As the August 2019 Playboy Playmate, made history as the first trans Asian Pacific Islander Playmate. On 31 March 2014, in honour of International Transgender Day of Visibility, came out as transgender at the annual TED Conference. Founder, Gender Proud, an award winning media production company that tells stories on what it means to be trans and gender non-conforming. Has produced and presented: "Beautiful As I Want to Be" highlighting trans youth, and received the 2016 GLAAD Media Award. Gender Proud also produced "Willing and Able", a 2017 GLAAD Media Award nominated web series about transgender employment and produced a TV broadcast documentary about transgender athletes, "No League of Their Own", and won 2017 Association of LGBTQ Journalists Best in Health and Fitness Coverage. Co-executive produced the 2018 GLAAD Media Awards nominated "Made To Model" a documentary on 9 Pioneers and Emerging trans model. Has spoken on various platforms and been featured on many covers. Contributor to publications. Member of the Board, NY LGBT Center; Ambassador, Stonewall Day. Has been featured in media publications such as CNN, Al Jazeera America, MSNBC, Today Show.

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About the talk

While openness about being LGBTI at work increases well-being and productivity, more than half of the community avoids being open about their sexual orientation and gender identity in professional settings for fear of negative consequences. What are best practices to create open and inclusive workplaces for all?

Speakers: Jill Ader, Geena Rocero

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Really what we need is is to be able to have the language for people to tell stories for people to fail safe to be the host cells when they come to work and you really only got that by creating a space. Engaging environment, what does curiosity about everybody and the density and humanistic view of the world. If you just rely on posted thank you so much for being here. This is certainly one of my favorite moments here. Being a God was having a conversation with this lovely women. Thank you for sharing this space and sharing this moment to be here. And certainly

in the conversation that I certainly believe that that it's much-needed conversation, right? So again thank you. My name is Gina I am I'm a model. I'm a producer and out and proud transgender woman in the world which is interesting that for so long. And certainly will be talkin about more of that story. About what happened to me, my journey and coming out, and when I'm doing now, but I am doing here with this incredible woman. Jill a thur, she's the chairwoman of Egon, zehnder. And I think the I want to

frame this first, I think in in the context of what is happening now, globally, especially companies deal with so many different as a multinational company, you do with different context when it comes to lgbti rights. How does it work? If you know a company is very Progressive in in Western contact and then they are working. Local contacts were countries, does not fully support LGBT rights. Are we really going to break those down? And they think there is a study that says that more than half Please at this moment, still chew as much for having

conversations about LG podiatry, in culture. Still more than half of employees chooses, not to fully Express their sexual orientation, and gender identity at work. Right there is a 2017 unaids study that basically says it will cause company hundred billion dollars a year for companies that doesn't fully support the cause when you don't support lgbtq, I right, Also, I think it's important to have the contacts. Most of the time when people talk about global lgbti rights, they usually talk

about in many spaces just talking about that. There is more than 70 countries all over the world that criminalize homosexuality as a proud of myself. I think what usually tends to get lost at the conversation with what happens that when we don't talk about transgender rights as well. Like in many countries all over the world trans people are not even allowed to exist. Meaning most places all over the world. There are no policies that could simply change a trans person's name and gender marker in the legal documents to Frameworks that we would be talking about. And I want to first ask you

to Jill as the leader at the chairwoman of Weather in USA in your position as a leader. What are some of those Moments in your journey that have created Shane specially when it comes to advocating. Perler Bead, I right? I am still with leadership so it's finding leaders and developing leaders. Not so, what station has generally been about gender. Us to Old? Talk about more women in the conversation has been about gender diversity or ethnic diversity. So I think what we're trying to do is help organizations have the right conversations. So

what I would say is if if you, if you think about Global organizations. Today, they know that when I do the spec for the role that they have, they they didn't think they might stay gender. They say ethnicity, I have never in all the time. I've been 23 years in this industry. Never had a client, say to me, please bring transgender LGBT to the table and it's difficult and it difficult in our industry because LGBT can be open and honest and say, it's quite difficult

problems. In the industry, you count record, someone's sexuality and gender mock-up computer that you have thought you comes up for it. So it's quite a complicated thing for our industry, to, to deal with. But I remember back for me to my very first Jeff feagles Thunder. And I have been told me was a senior partner in New York and he was openly gay and it was he was probably the best I've ever had in my life. I had to LGBT kind of it and if I think the conversations that I have

subsequently really struggle to know how to have the conversation. They get confused by the terminology, they got embarrassed, they don't know enough and many leaders love to know everything which is not that they bring the barrier between. I think this is a complicated issue Felicia about, you know, having the initial and that you've had in and what that meant for you to let you know when they moved to New York City, I was born and raised in the Philippines. When I move to New York City in 2005, I wanted to pursue a

modeling career and context is everything, right? I made the decision in 2005 to, you know, go big or go home. You can be moved to New York City if you want to be a fashion model, but it was not allowed. So you can imagine what that percentage for me. Yes, I had a dream, I was born and raised in the Philippines. I had this big ball like I'm going to make it in New York City. I made a decision to Ashley not share to my model agent that I was that I'm trans my so for about 7 years, I was a fashion model and my model agent did not

know strands. Yes, it was amazing. That I was working. I was living my dream. I grew up in a tiny little alley in the Philippines. Here, I am in New York City and Charisma magazine, right? But you could imagine the implications of almost always trying to limit myself in full express. It is the it's an industry that's all about the power of visibility, but I was not being seen. Right, it's like that. That deep understanding that. And always questioning. When am I going to be allowed to come out? Because it was not allowed the fashion model train to the fashion models that came

out the ones who basically pave the way for me when they got out in their careers disappeared. So certainly there's progress, but still in many places around the world, weather in working environments and multi-national companies many challenges I want to ask you what are some of the challenges that you've bathed in implementing weather is in the local contacts and environment that you that you work at specially when it comes to improving implementing policies advocating for lgbtq. Well, I think many companies are going down. The

road is having the right policy is. In fact, I was speaking to want to see you yesterday who's but a hundred on the index is really proud of it, but he said it, it feels a little bit since this because all we have other white posts that are in 18. Something comes with us, but the policy to loan is not enough. So I think really, what we need is is to be able to have the language for people to tell stories for people to fail safe to be the host cells when they come to work. And you really only got that by creating

this face. Engaging environment, weather curiosity about everybody and his empathy towards humanistic view of the world. If you don't rely on policy, you might get a kick in the butt to the world when that the emotional tall that I was feeling of of, Loneliness that I felt that, you know, thinking that is if it's a sad for me, is it really fit for me? But when I decided to tell my story to the world and I gave it to talk in 2014, a top that changed my life. I knew that I wanted to make this bigger and you're saying about policy because I

knew that growing up in the Philippines. A lot of places all over the world. There are no policies that they would support transferred specifically. And then for the next two years, I worked with the state department and usaid like the big global. About big policy decisions that concerns lgbtq globally and I'm usually the only transportation in a room and anybody that I'm sure we've all done to those moments were like yes this may be great. But also at the same time

what's lacking is those new ones like nothing like a statistic scrapes on statistics and reports I think what usually gets lost or do stories and your point that out because there are people behind those statistics, right? When we talked about how many percent of people being discriminated, I think what's really truly important is to go deep into those nuances and do stories. And I wonder if you could share some of those stories that who is the time that you work with that have shared their stories or maybe even, you know, some some progress that you

know, when y'all have implemented Company. What are some of the stores? I think I was so critical that you learn from. We have several transgender LGBT leaders in the role models. If you don't have role models, we would love to help more people around the world to be able to tell that story because he was living a life where a lot of your energy is being consumed by pretending, not to be anything other than what's expected of you. That is so, we're on a journey to, in 250 around the world

who all out and proud of it and help. Until the story says, it's more people feel that they can do it. So yes, we'll help you unpause this but more than that we think it's about story time which is what you said. One of those stories. And he's right how peaceful it me to mention him is that is dull. Sucios on Staples Solutions, is he came out off to school? Then he got a job and realized he was ambitious, and and decided that he was not going to do this anymore. I'm so really so to head up from the wall until one night working late, one of his cleats.

When are you going to tell us about who you really? Because that's that's who we want to see. You can only be authentic as a leader if we know who you are. He went to his that. He went back into the process, is how he described it and then came back out and around. It was about to fail and he says, no. But if he Haven't been him his whole self. There's no way that he would have come through that Johnny, because you haven't got the energy in the time to pretend

to be anything other than who you are. And this is one of the reasons that you can listen to while we sing. If you're looking for courageous leader, if you are looking for leaders, who can really engage at an emotional level on the emphasis, I'm curious about other people. This is literally a economic cost, right? If you don't allow employees to be fully themselves, right? And the deputies that you mentioned, it is for the cold and it kind of Covering this notion of representation, right? I mean is so critical. I mean

for me, you know, at the moment in time but for so long I was not allowed to be myself in the moment. I came out and all of a sudden there was this big shift on my mind said that all of a sudden, I want to do everything I could do everything right? And like that one, simple mind shift of because I'm not allowed to be fully myself and end the work that I do having a production company. It is so critical for me that when I'm producing a story as a producer. Is that the people Are the stories that I'm telling also represents the people behind this seem right, and what you

mention about having more people tell their story, it is, it's just the Powerball, right? It is, I travel the world speaking about, you know, obviously lgbti rights trans rights, and people always tell me why do you want to continue telling the story? Why do you want to continue your story? What, what kind of challenges that your face if people don't agree with you? I always tell them I'm telling my live experience, my personal story. How could you deny a person of their personal story? You're really quite you a

human being. If you're denying up person about personal story. So it's a great equalizer and but certainly, in many places, it's still not allowing anyone ever get to that point that, I mean, currently, right in the way we live in a very global environment as we talked about earlier, you know, Global LGBT rights are in conversation. We see it more and more what happened specially in in your case and in some of the initiatives that you've supported what happens if a company that works in Western contacts, or at least they've been the US base company

and their stands having maybe like 100% and their equality index but they, but they offer it in the in a country that doesn't support lgbtq rights right there, is that Conflict is a big conflict. So for you, what are some of those HR set of policies and resources that you would implement, or some of project a true that if you are comforting, you have the right policies. But you are approaching a new company where I actually it's illegal, or even death penalty in your Palace is, will not protect

those employees, but I don't know that. You know, how's the right post is at is international. Also gives you the opportunity to move out. Please stay. I think that is more of what happens because they're supposed isn't old enough to to to protect so abusive that perfect balance, right? You know, being here, right, you're engaging in, you know, whether you're in the hole, we're having the deeper conversations about policies through storytelling. Remember having this conversation with someone about a transgender woman, I now live in United States but I was born and raised in the

Philippines right in the Philippines trans people. You still can't change name and gender marker on your legal documents in the Philippines is dominant in Outsourcing business, right? And I always ask that question for a transfer session, that's an employee that they are the multinational company that supports lgbti rights. But then she's working in the Philippines and then her IV, you know, she can change her name and ID. How is she going to be addressed, right? I mean this is a question to everybody. I mean, there's not an easy solution to understand that

place movies that perfect balance and the person I was speaking to You have to find that perfect balance, because yes, at the work environment, you want to create that safe space for people to be who they are at the moment to leave work, because it is a sad reality. And it's a sad moment that, you know, once and only hope that we should continue this fight because in, in a global context, desert were talking about the livelihood of people were talking about how it's connected to the economic

output of a country. And here we are. I'm sure we're all having this incredible conversation, I want to hear from you. What are some of those conversations that you're hearing hear about about lgbti rights or especially within the global context of us? I think it's great that the West is having this panel and I think there's a second one, this weekend. That's pretty new. And I would have closed the rest of the week. Do these little conversations. We have to have if we were at the women's dinner last night and some of us

were talking about the illusion of inclusion. I thought I was a wonderful time because you can have all the policies in the while. I thought I would still think it's done when, when you call the Palace is not an illusion of inclusion. I think he's really a good concept, hold on to. And I think Elite is what we went with. We just trying to get them to be how the highest sense of Consciousness in the world. Whether that's about what we doing for the planet, what we doing about, lgbtq

inequalities in the world. So we need leaders who have that capacity that sensibility to have any of these conversations until won't to make a difference. We've had people coming in all programs has the a program that was. So, we've had some LGB tape participants, which isn't I tested, but we've seen that he can change litres in quite a short. Of time. If you break down, all of the bar is that we've all built up over the years of being lead, us to say, no, if we have to have compassion and empathy and we

have to be willing to build the engagement engagement inclusion. Go hunting hunting organization. So that's what Ellen would you want to have those conversations? That it would take 257 years in this current state to achieve gender parity. And I, I look at that right? Obviously thinking about, wow. And I I would love to firmly believe that this is why conversations about lgbti rights. And ask about gender fluidity, about gender spectrum. Because I think at the core of that study of, I believe,

257 years of gender parity. And usually within that context we talked about gender parity from a gender binary standpoint, right? And what also comes with that, is this gender binary? A woman is expected to be a certain way of men. Is expected to be a certain way. Having conversation can a woman be president, we shouldn't really be having that conversation, right? But it's within its couch in that again, I'd like to toss it or give my position. This is why we need to continue the conversation about gender fluidity to truly understand that gender is truly is within the Spectrum, right for so

long. We've been led to believe that gender is just this. You're only supposed to be that you're only supposed to be this way and it's 57 years and they just want to continue that conversation. And if you have a wish for next year or what, Two powerful women you having a conversation. One thing that you would do because I didn't give other other people who want to be the house phone, the role models and the permission to do that and to show that gender fluid to see and be proud of that

soap, the most storytelling, the most people who can then feel comfortable to come out. That would be fantastic. Well, I think we should definitely continue this conversation. And if, if we will continue the conversation where you can answer more questions I think, I just want the clothes out is Thank you for being here. I love. You know, having a sit-down conversation before we enter dear and we just felt like for a moment. I was just going to be a little, but I love this conversation. I think what you said about how much it really

means, but was not just in corporate environments, not just in policy is likely the need. For those stories, write each one of us have those and we're looking for that new ones, right? And yes, we covered policies, but it's the story that matter. And we want to thank you all for it for joining here. I really truly appreciate that and we will continue the conversation. Thank you so much. Thank you.

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Jill Ader
Geena Rocero