In today’s world when measuring the spectrum of an inclusion program be sure to gauge its level of intersectionality. This is the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. When planning events or conferences I personally recommend that you make a list of all your speakers and then put an intersectional lense on each person and their content. This will help to transform your event to be a leading agent in diversity & inclusion. Contact me today so I can help you in your inclusion journey!
Ashley T Brundage
I have served on the planning committee since this event started 3 years ago. For this years event, the business journal asked me to host with their new publisher, Ian Anderson. It was a very special experience for me as I got to announce and share positive stories for all of this years sponsors and honorees. Having personal ties to many in our community inspires me to share about amazing work they are doing. I also got to have a little fun by choosing a “walk-up song”, which for me was Demi Lovato’s “Confident”. I shared about next year’s LGBT business convention being hosted by the Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce. Lastly, I also got to introduce this year’s keynote speaker, State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith. We also raised more than $1,000 for Equality Florida during the cocktail reception. Be sure to attend this great event next year.
Something I have learned over my journey the last few years is how your appearance can change. One of my mentors taught me that you need to make sure you always look like your headshot or press photo. This really had a major effect on me, especially considering how I have changed throughout the years during my gender transition. My last photo change was in November, which I was so excited to have such professional photos taken. Then through diet and exercise and a brief medical scare I lost over 30 pounds this year. I am doing just fine now so earlier this month I went in for a new photo, see below. Keep your look updated and be proud to showcase your authentic self because a photo is just a photo and can be a pathway to people learning the real you!
I was thrilled when International LGBT nonprofit, Out and Equal contacted me with news that I was one of their 2018 Champion Award Honorees. This was such an honor to be recognized by an organization so widely respected for changing corporate cultures. This makes me think about the first corporate education I started doing right during job interviews 10 years ago. I made the decision to stop lying to myself and allow my authenticity to shine. This came with mixed reactions from potential employers from we don’t hire people like you, to you have the wrong address, to you don’t have an interview today. My first few interviews were really bad as I ignored the big pink elephant in the room… me being transgender. Then I began educating these employers and saw immediate changes in the type of conversation I was having, this at some point, included me sharing my status as a transgender woman, and what that means. This education not only began a dialogue for these companies it also led me to finally find the right employer for me and started my ascend with a great company. So thank you Out and Equal for helping me and so many others in moving the dialogue of inclusion forward!
Keynote Speaking on Leading through Authenticity.
Keynote Speaking on Leading through Authenticity.
At the end of March 2018, I was honored to be this year’s keynote speaker for the Women Leadership Luncheon Series. The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce hosted me for these great events. This was my first time in Wisconsin, and I was welcomed by my work teammates for a evening networking session. I may have packed some sunshine in my suitcase as the weather was warmer than expected. The first luncheon was in Madison, which was a neat city and I was able to see the state capitol building as well. The next day was the luncheon in Milwaukee, the crowd was amazing with more than 100 attendees. It was such an honor to share my personal leadership journey, as well as my Ashleyisms. I was able to chat with several people before and after the luncheon, it was an honor to connect with such amazing people. I enjoyed my time in these great cities and look forward to my next visit!
Yours in Leadership,
After a very difficult time in February, I had appendicitis. Ouch! I was glad to plan and host the annual ball and knighting ceremony for the Krewe of the Cavaliers. This years event was hosted at the Aquarium in downtown Tampa. We even had visits from some of the wildlife who seemed to enjoy the event as much as we did. The evening concluded with dancing in the ballroom after an amazing dinner. Excited to plan this event next year as well. Contact me if you are interested in rushing this year for this amazing krewe.
My first visit to the state capital of Florida was very inspiring! I went with several of my LGBT friends and we got to meet many legislators. We found the most support ever for a full inclusive civil rights law including sexual orientation and gender identity. I have added a photo of some of the girls with the capital building in the background.