This year has been truly incredible for me. I hit 7years at Facebook, I helped the team get transgenders available on facebook, I was lucky enough to teach at startup school with an amazing list of other presenters, I got featured in the top 100 LGBT (I think British) business execs in the FT, made VP at Facebook and finally started to do something about charity work (very very limited) by teaching a few classes at Prince’s Trust for their young people. One promise I made as part of that last post was to link to anyone who asked me for a link. Only two people followed up. The first was Bhavin, his site is http://www.zenhypnosis.co.uk/. The second is http://www.bighair.co.uk/ from Melissa. Meeting Melissa in the valley on a tour with the trust inspired me to get involved in the group because I love their mission of helping young people help themselves. Too many times we try and solve things too late in the valley, we try and drive equality by getting folks way after they’ve been turned off from a career in tech. We need to fix things earlier. A big part of that I believe is allowing kids to see role models like themselves AND, importantly, role models unlike themselves. When I was a kid there were very few LGBT role models out there to look up to and none in business I was aware of. I hope that the OUTStanding team’s work on the top 100 list and that of Lord Browne with Glass Closet will help change that. Another group I feel are doing good work are http://www.diversityrolemodels.org/ who are trying to take LGBT role models into schools so kids see successful LGBT people, they believe when they do this it’s correlated with a decline in homophobic bullying.
Either way a big hope for me in 2015 is to take all the luck I’ve had last year and convert it into something positive esp. focused on education, young people and LGBT folks feeling they have a chance to get to the top of any profession. Posting here will hopefully keep me honest on that.