BEQ Today

Publisher’s Note – March 2018

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Spring is finally here.

And we are kicking off our issue by celebrating women. March is National Women’s History Month and along with our focus on the LGBTQ and allied business community, we are celebrating women-owned businesses, women-focused events and special programming designed specifically for women.

The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council’s (WBENC) annual Summit & Salute in Dallas is appropriately themed “Big Business Happens Here” because it does. In addition to announcing the dates for the next WBENC Energy Executive Program on the heels of an amazing inaugural event last fall, we also connect with the Women’s Business Council-Southwest’s Debbie Hurst to talk about their 20-year mission to serve women business-owners in north and central Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. WBCS collaborates with the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce on development and networking opportunities and encouraging eligible women to pursue dual certification.

Our cover feature is Stefanie Francis and Hootology, her amazing certified business that merges her passion for quantitative analytics, creativity, fan/consumer experience and innovation. Stefanie and her team use leading-edge technology like eye-tracking software to better understand when people are motivated to take action and what influences behavior. Stefanie shares her views on the value of certification and her willingness to embrace every opportunity and all the support provided through NGLCC.

PwC’s Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Mike Dillon, leads PwC’s ongoing commitment to foster an inclusive environment. As an openly gay white, cisgender man, Dillon advocates on behalf of and represents all interests for PwC’s diverse community. Dillon also shares the importance PwC places on men and women supporting each other and partner engagement in the community. Over the years he has personally mentored, sponsored and championed several women into the partnership ranks at PwC. He says the PwC team enjoys a “culture of respect and standing up for one another.”

You may remember Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil from the NGLCC conference last summer. Prince Manvendra is the first openly gay prince in India, where same-sex relationships are still illegal. During our interview, the prince shares details about his good friend and LGBTQ-ally Prince Amar, and his plans for a center to serve the LGBT community on the royal grounds. We are excited about Prince Manvendra’s announcement and his plans to work with NGLCC to create LGBTQ-friendly policies in India’s corporate sector.

Finally, in this issue, we share the backstory and the less than six degrees of separation between Olympic freestyle skater Gus Kentworthy’s viral Instagram post with Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon at the Pyeongchang Winter Games and Butler Technologies, a certified woman-owned business enterprise. Witnessing the ripple of inclusion was the best part of this story for me, from the inclusive supply chain, to new fast friends posting a picture on Instagram, to closeted coaches and athletes being inspired to come out, to the millions witnessing the young Olympians bringing their full selves to the games. I say authenticity begets authenticity. Cheers to Butler Technologies and Nadine Tripodi for their contribution to amazingly warm and stylish jackets for the opening ceremonies.

Enjoy spring!

Business Equality Pride (BEQPride) is the first publication from the BEQ family of national print and digital magazines exclusively addressing the needs of LGBTQ small-to-medium sized businesses, entrepreneurs and professionals.