Dr Layla McCay on The Rainbow Ceiling

Dr Layla McCay on The Rainbow Ceiling
20 de may. de 2024 · 57m 14s

What is the Rainbow Ceiling, and why does it matter?   On this episode, I’m speaking to the author of a new book that explains the significance and the ways we...

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What is the Rainbow Ceiling, and why does it matter?
 
On this episode, I’m speaking to the author of a new book that explains the significance and the ways we can help to remove it.
 
A rainbow ceiling is similar to a glass ceiling, a metaphor for the various structural barriers that hold down women or minority groups as they try to climb the career ladder and prevent them from reaching top jobs—but applied to LGBTQ+ people.

It’s a rainbow partly because it symbolises LGBTQ+ people but also because the concept of the arc of a rainbow suggests that different people are affected in different ways.
 
If, like me, you’re straight, you might not ever have given much thought to what it’s like to be LGBTQ+ and why those who are can find life more difficult.

My guest, Dr Layla McCay, is the author of a brand new book called ‘Breaking the Rainbow Ceiling: How LGBTQ+ people can thrive and succeed at work’
 
As you’ll hear, although this is ostensibly a book to help LGBTQ+ people, it’s also incredibly insightful for everyone else.
 
That is why I wanted to get Layla onto the show. In reading it, I had some revelations: I recognised that I didn’t really understand some of the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ people. 
 
I figured that if that applied to me, it might apply to others as well. But my revelations went further than a lack of understanding.
 
I also came to realise that I had often inadvertently either helped to foster a work environment that wasn’t as inclusive as it could have been or not done simple things that I could have done to make it.
 
I think inclusion is important, not just because it’s the right thing to do but also because by excluding people, we’re not getting the best out of everyone or the cognitive diversity we really need.

Topics

On the show, we explore:
  • What the Rainbow Ceiling is and how it manifests itself;

  • How everyday business practices, such as business travel, pose unique challenges and discomfort for LGBTQ+ professionals;
  • Why many LGBTQ+ people are forced to go ‘back into the closet’ at work, and what impact that has;
  • The challenges of ‘coming out’ at work;

  • How policies can unintentionally exclude LGBTQ+ people, and what we can do to make them more inclusive;

  • The importance of visible symbols of support; the transformative power of LGBTQ+ visibility in leadership; 
And much, much more.

Resources
Layla’s book “Breaking The Rainbow Ceiling’: https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/breaking-the-rainbow-ceiling-9781399410762/
 
Layla on Twitter/X: https://twitter.com/LaylaMcCay
 
Her NHS profile: https://www.nhsconfed.org/people/dr-layla-mccay
 
For more on what LGBTQ+ means:  https://www.verywellmind.com/what-does-lgbtq-mean-5069804

A crash course on LGBTQ+: https://www.cps.edu/globalassets/cps-pages/services-and-supports/health-and-wellness/healthy-cps/healthy-environment/lgbtq-supportive-environments/key-terms-for-understanding-lgbtq-identities.pdf
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