We had the good fortune of connecting with Shelley Roth and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shelley, the decisions we make often shape our story in profound ways. What was one of the most difficult decisions you’ve had to make?
Sharing my truth about my gender identity was most difficult. One of the things I include in my social media business training is it’s never a good idea to share your political beliefs, religious affiliations etc. as it may potentially cost you business. Well, of course I followed my own instruction and was drinking my own kool aid, so to speak. It took me a very long time, almost 20 years, to come out as a transgender/nonbinary business person because of this belief. What finally pushed me out of the closet was realizing that sharing who I am is living my authentic life. With my skill at creating course work for business, I now teach companies what it means to be gender nonbinary and why gender neutral language is important to a companies bottom line. This is a much bigger mission for me than teaching them how to use social media for business growth.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
As a seasoned speaker, author, and social media entrepreneur, I have helped hundreds of organizations transform old perceptions about business leadership and inclusion. One of my gifts is being able to take complicated business challenges and simplify the presentation and solution for all to understand. With almost two decades of training businesses on the power of digital and social media marketing, I now work with companies to create inclusive practices, answer questions and promote understanding related to the gender spectrum. These programs are presented with the goals of fostering more accepting environments for all individuals, regardless of their gender identity, while raising awareness and providing structure on becoming an ally for gender nonbinary people. I recently partnered with diversitycrew.com and am excited to bring my expertise in the world of gender nonbinary training to a wonderful tapestry of individuals looking to bring their diversity, equity and inclusion expertise to businesses that are open to grow. All profits from speaking/training engagements and book sales go to The Association for Family and Community Integrity. A non profit located in Houston TX.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, we of course would head to all the great restaurants in Houston, including Bacaros, Giacomos, Brenners, Tonys and to many to list here! We would spend time outdoors at the new Memorial Park Eastern Glades, Bayou Bend Gardens, the amazing museum district, including the Lone Star Flight Museum and of course go see the Astros or Rockets, if they are playing. We would head to the water wall for some picture opps, and view the many murals around town. We would do a walking tour of midtown and downtown areas, including Discovery Green and EaDo.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would say my success is due in part to my family and their support throughout my lifetime. I have always been embraced and accepted for who I am. In addition, the Association for Family and Community Integrity www.understandinggay.org, a Houston based non profit, does wonderful work. Every dollar from sales of my books and training on gender nonbinary go to this wonderful organization whose mission is: Ending rejection of LGBTQ+ youth by advocating for them and educating their families, counselors, and educators. And my VP of Morale, Buddy my corgi dog, gets a lot of credit for keeping me present and thankful!
Website: www.shelleyroth.com www.springboardworks.com