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Inside Higher Ed: Navigating Gender Identity and Expression During a Job Search

Inside Higher Ed: Navigating Gender Identity and Expression During a Job Search

Read What Deaf People Can Teach Others About Virtual Communication by Sabina Nawaz and Roberta J. Cordano, from Harvard Business Review, August 3, 2020.

Read Core Values: Overview and Examples from Indeed.com Career Development, April 2, 2020.

Part of WiFi (What I Find Interesting) Wednesday.

Read Navigating Gender Identity and Expression During a Job Search by Lauren Easterling, from Inside Higher Ed, July 24, 2019.

Earlier today, one of my former students posted responses to a Facebook trans support group they belong to asking about how to and when to post pronouns on a resume. The responses were mixed and not entirely helpful, according to them. I found something I thought useful and shared with them and thought it a good idea to share with others.

Having worked in diversity and equity education for two decades, I have had to learn how to work around the nuance of identity on a resume or other job-search documents my students would craft. Will a zipcode tell a recruiter about someone’s class background? Will your name sound gender or race-neutral? Should you use a legal name or a preferred name on application documents?

As all privileged identities will need to reckon with, only those people who are targeted for their identities during the job-search process will ever need to answer the questions. The author Lauren Easterling, in Navigating Gender Identity and Expression During a Job Search, focuses on job search queries for transgender and non-binary folks. It’s also a good read for anyone conducting resume screenings or interviews now and in the near future.

Critical Terms

Since I know readers of this article will be diverse — those seeking jobs, those supporting them, those who are transgender and those who are not — let’s review terms I will be using. I recommend resources provided by the National Center for Transgender Equality as starting points for understanding transgender (trans for short) and non-binary people. I also often use the educational materials provided by Trans Student Educational Resources, especially on the importance of pronouns, the struggles transgender students encounter and many other issues trans and non-binary people face.

by Lauren Easterling, from Inside Higher Ed, July 24, 2019.

The entire article was useful, but I found the ending quite poignant:

Being an Authentic Future Employee

My own experience was one of having no idea how to determine whether people perceived me as I wanted to be perceived, or if they doubted or denied that I was who I was. My greatest fear was being perceived as a fraud in my own gender, of being what someone in my past called a woman “wannabe.” In the end, my solution was to be myself — to be authentic. Yes, I needed to be and am a professional. But I am a professional because I am who I am and I am not hiding anything about my gender identity.

For me, hiding and monitoring my gender identity and how others perceived it was a form of labor that made being my best in the workplace or a job search more difficult. When I do not hide and am myself, I have more energy to focus on my work, and it hopefully shows.

by Lauren Easterling, from Inside Higher Ed, July 24, 2019.

Continue reading Navigating Gender Identity and Expression During a Job Search by Lauren Easterling, from Inside Higher Ed, July 24, 2019.


What I Find Interesting (WiFi) Wednesday

Harvard Business Review: What Deaf People Can Teach Others About Virtual Communication

Read What Deaf People Can Teach Others About Virtual Communication by Sabina Nawaz and Roberta J. Cordano, from Harvard Business Review, August 3, 2020.

I’ve been thinking alot lately about accessibility in our move to online work, especially in higher education. While people may have a general idea about how to be more ADA compliant online, we may not understand how our own behavior favors in-person communication. There are some tips we can learn from Deaf people on how to manage the move to virtual communications through the near future.

It takes two to communicate: the speaker and the listener. There are many ways to express ourselves; there are also many ways to listen. Through necessity, the Deaf community has invented a wider portfolio of communication strategies and devices than the hearing world accesses day-to-day. When we tap into this trove of tools, we can reduce the time it takes to communicate and then to correct miscommunications.

Below are a few of the suggest ways we can incorporate best practices from the Deaf community in our virtual communications:

Pace, Don’t Race

During video meetings, follow the eyes of the participants. In our meetings, Sabina pauses when Bobbi looks down to take notes. When Bobbi’s eyes move from the conversation, it pauses the flow of information, giving her time to make the notations that help retain information from one meeting to the next. 

Cultivate Cooperation Instead of Competition

A designated facilitator and an agreement to raise hands — either on video or through your videoconferencing app — when someone wants to contribute is one way to do this. The facilitator can periodically announce a speaking order. By establishing a protocol and controlling for one conversation at a time, more people can participate, and everyone can be more fully and equitably engaged.

Expand to Command Attention

Adjust the camera angle, laptop elevation, and chair placement to be visible from the top of the head to the belly button. Making body language visible makes more of our message comprehensible to our audience. Bonus: Meetings move faster when our hands are on camera, forcing us to be more fully present rather than distracted by our devices.

Dress for Success

Interpreters for the Deaf avoid patterns and wear colors that contrast with their skin tone. This helps their clients see signs more clearly. Similarly, on video, busy patterns are jarring to the eye and compete with our hand signals. Intentionally selecting clothing that is comfortable and easy on the eyes, together with careful attention to the visual background behind us creates a professional presence that can also lift spirits.

Continue reading What Deaf People Can Teach Others About Virtual Communication by Sabina Nawaz and Roberta J. Cordano, from Harvard Business Review, August 3, 2020.


Indeed.com: Core Values: Overview and Examples

Read Core Values: Overview and Examples from Indeed.com Career Development, April 2, 2020.

As I revisit some of my past blog articles, I can see that some of the challenges I had were due to a disconnect between my values and the observed values of the organization. But this requires, for others, an understanding of their own core values. This activity may help you discover your own core values and how they shape you ability to lead others and grow professionally.

If you’re unsure about what your core values are, it might be helpful to take time to reflect about what’s important to you. It might take many moments of reflection over time to clearly identify your core values, so be patient and attentive to what motivates and drives your thoughts and decisions.

from Indeed.com Career Development, April 2, 2020.

To get an idea of what your core values might be, consider your answers to the following questions:

  • What kind of culture do you want to work in?
  • What things, settings, or resources are necessary for you to do your best work?
  • What qualities do you feel make strong, healthy relationships?
  • What qualities do you admire most in your role models?
  • What motivates you?
  • What qualities do you wish to develop in yourself professionally and personally?
  • What are your future goals? What qualities will it take to achieve them?

For instance, one of your core values could be accountability. What does this value look and sound like in the workplace? How do you share this value with new hires or a supervisor? Is it just your value when it works in your favor? When is this value a deal-breaker when it doesn’t happen around you? Do you expect those you supervise to also place a high value on this value?

Our leadership is an expression of our values, so we are the best version of our leadership potential when we know and understand our values. I’ll revisit this article again to talk about where these values can show up.

Continue reading Core Values: Overview and Examples from Indeed.com Career Development, April 2, 2020.


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