What is it like to go through life as a man, build a successful career, get married and have kids – and then come out as a woman in your late 40’s? What is it like to experience life from a different gender vantage point? How is your culture creating an environment where diverse people of all backgrounds, such as trans individuals, can do their best work?
These are the questions we tackle today with my guest, culture and leadership consultant Cori Lovejoy. In October of 2020, Cori came out as a transgender woman and took a sabbatical to focus on her transition. Now, she is dedicating the next phase of her work to helping leaders create organizational cultures that are inclusive, diverse, equitable, welcoming, and ultimately more compassionate. She is motivated by a deep conviction that workplace cultures can contribute to employee well-being while achieving maximum organizational effectiveness and impact.
Today Cori shares her personal journey to coming out as trans, how it has impacted her life, and what she learned about white male privilege and how differently men and women are treated. We also share the important work your leaders and organization can do to create a more inclusive culture where smart, talented people in underrepresented groups can contribute fully to your success.
Take a listen but first a trigger warning: We discuss the topics of suicide, addiction, and eating disorders in this episode. If you’re facing mental health issues or thoughts of suicide, please dial 988 in the US or reach out for mental health services in your country. Please take care of yourself.
- Everybody has their own story, their own journey, and their own challenges. It is not for us to judge what others are going through, regardless of their stage of life.
- The way men and women are perceived in society is different. With the same behavior, men are perceived as assertive, women are perceived as aggressive. In most cases, this is unconscious bias, but it is happening every day.
- Respect is the key. Use people’s correct pronouns, affirm their gender identity, and trust that they know who they are.
- Learning to love yourself unconditionally, whether trans or cis, is a common human experience.
“Proximity, perspective taking, and personal work will unearth these biases, and make the unconscious biases conscious. And that takes a lot of introspection and personal work.” — Cori Lovejoy
About Cori Lovejoy , Culture and Leadership Consultant
In October of 2020, Cori came out as a transgender woman and took a sabbatical to focus on her transition. Now, she is dedicating the next phase of her work to helping leaders create organizational cultures that are inclusive, diverse, equitable, welcoming, and ultimately more compassionate. She is motivated by a deep conviction that workplace cultures can contribute to employee well-being while achieving maximum organizational effectiveness and impact.
As Director of Compassion for Brighton Jones, a wealth management company based in the Pacific Northwest of the US, Cori designed and led the company’s Mindfulness-based Emotional and Social Intelligence (MESI) program, established to support employees in becoming more compassionate through training in mindfulness, self-awareness, empathy, and compassion. Cori also led MESI workshops for other companies, local non-profits, as well as Brighton Jones clients. In addition, she co-founded and organized the Compassionate Leadership Summit, an annual conference centered on compassion and mindfulness that grew to over 500 participants and 50 presenters in less than two years, and she taught a course in Compassionate Leadership at Washington State University as a Teaching Associate Professor.
Before joining Brighton Jones in 2015, Cori spent over 15 years in various leadership roles within the wealth management industry and then several years as an independent leadership coach and organizational development consultant. She holds an MBA in wealth management and an MA in organizational leadership.
Connect with Cori Lovejoy
The Empathy Edge podcast, Cori’s past interview (as Cory Custer) How a Compassionate Culture Leads to Success
Paula Stone Williams, TEDx talk: I’ve Lived as a Man and Woman. Here’s What I’ve Learned
Don’t forget to download your free guide! Discover The 5 Business Benefits of Empathy: http://red-slice.com/business-benefits-empathy
Connect with Maria:
Get the podcast and book: TheEmpathyEdge.com
Learn more about Maria and her work: Red-Slice.com
Hire Maria to speak at your next event: Red-Slice.com/Speaker-Maria-Ross
Take my LinkedIn Learning Course! Leading with Empathy
LinkedIn: Maria Ross
Facebook: Red Slice