I had the pleasure to interview Florencia Rossy, an Agile Coach from Uruguay.
Florencia has accumulated years of experience working in several companies in her native country and is a very prominent figure in the Agile LATAM community. Being an active member of the community is one of her passions, the other is helping organizations and people to walk the path to uncover Agile and the humanistic side of it.
Florencia decided to talk about diversity and inclusion and started by telling the story of what motivated her to even begin discussing about this topic. She mentioned that a year ago in a discussion group, someone used an inclusive and gender neutral pronoun and that triggered sarcastic comments and some inappropriate jokes. Florencia and others in that group realized that diversity and inclusion is an urgent and very pertinent matter for the LATAM Agile community to start discussing.
She continued the interview telling the story of a person close to her who is a transgender and decided to legally change their identity. Florencia was really moved by this experience and realized that even thought the person decide to change on the outside, on the inside it was still the same person that Florencia had come to appreciate.
For Florencia, it was a learning experience to change the pronoun from ‘she’ to ‘he’ to refer to this person. It took her time to adapt to the fact that the person she knew as a woman was now a man, dressed as such, and chose to be called Marcos. Inclusion has three pillars, according to Florencia’s research, the first one being internally questioning our beliefs so we can change our practices and observations of others.
Inclusion also requires active action. We in the Agile community need to start talking about this because bullying at work needs to be stopped and job opportunities need to be available for transgender people, Florencia said.
Florencia also told the story of another transgender person that she knows. She told Florencia that she felt respected in the company where she works because they never hide her from their external clients and even supported her when she asked for medical leave for hormone treatments.
Florencia recognizes that even talking about this topic may feel uncomfortable for some companies and Agile practitioners, but the reality is that more and more transgender individuals will be joining the workforce. Florencia leave us with a last reflection: If we’re truly being Agile then we should be forward thinkers and start talking about this urgent topic, because after all Agile has always been about individuals and interactions.