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Untapped Talent: LGBTQ

LGBTQ Talent

June is PRIDE month, a time to focus on celebrating opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning Americans.

In the first part of this month’s Untapped Talent: LGBTQ presentation, One Iowa Program Manager Max Mowitz and Partnership Director of Diversity and Inclusion Sanjita Pradhan discussed workplace culture for the LGBTQ community, as well as sex versus gender, gender expectations, job safety and security.

Workplace Tips

Mowitz highlighted a few skills to build when in the workplace, including:

  • Listen to a way a person talks about themselves and mirror that language back to them. This is especially helpful for those in helping fields such as social work or in the medical field.
  • Pronouns are mandatory, not optional.
  • Learn the art of the apology when misgendering. Take accountability.

In the second part of the presentation, three presenters from UnityPoint Health – Des Moines, including VP of Human Resources and Education Joyce Winkel McDanel, Dr. Angie Knoblauch and Director of Clinic Operations Matt Swanstrom, shared best practices at their organization, including operational logistics and establishing an LGBTQ Clinic in Greater Des Moines (DSM).

Swanstrom said after reaching out to UnityPoint staff to see who wanted to be involved with the LGBTQ Clinic, UnityPoint moved forward with setup of the clinic and Safe Zone training. The clinic opened in 2018. Since then, the clinic has expanded and trained other UnityPoint clinics and employees in the region.

At UnityPoint, there are three Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) priorities that the organization focuses on, including strengthening community partnerships, building diversity in workforce and leadership and identifying disparities in the health care they deliver. McDanel discussed the LGBTQ Health Steering Committee, which addresses how to improve equal access to care and the best ways to create a safe and inclusive place for LGBTQ patients through engagement, continued education and support.

Watch the entire webinar below:


The Untapped Talent series highlights potential employees that could provide a potential talent pool for Greater Des Moines businesses who may face barriers to employment. Look for more Untapped Talent events here.

Greater Des Moines (DSM) welcomes diverse talent to the region. As one of the fastest growing business communities, inclusion and attracting diverse talent in the workplace is a key strategy of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Learn more here.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 400 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.