Professional Development: When Diversity Means You

Recently, my department had it’s first-ever Safe Zones training. It’s a diversity program, available at many colleges and universities, that raises the issues faced by gender and sexual minority students. After attending the training, participants are issued “Safe Zone” stickers that they can put on their door, which allows faculty to open display that they are aware of and had training in issues that many LGBTQ students are uncomfortable bringing up. Every time I visit a university for a conference or to give a talk, it’s immediately on my radar and gives me a sense of whether the department has ever even had a passing thought about people like me.

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Does this belong in my CV?

Over the years, I’ve found myself involved with a number of activities promoting and advocating for LGBT people. I’ve developed many skills based on these experiences, but it has been tricky to figure out how to relate them in a professional manner when applying for a position. I’ve asked, and been asked, of how out one should be on their CV. After all, you don’t want to be passed over on a job for the simple fact of being a sexual or gender minority, but neither do you want to work somewhere that would consider passing you over. It’s a tricky balance, and I wanted to discuss a little of how I’m trying to handle it personally and would love to hear your thoughts and comments on different approaches. Continue reading