tyuiopasdfghjklLisa Sherman- Part A
By: Royal 6
ghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxc Lisa Sherman’s Options
In Lisa Sherman Part A, the courses of action for Lisa that were presented are: 1. Lisa quit her
job at Verizon 2. Come out and try to help change the workplace 3. Meet with the CEO and
explain what happened at the training session 4. Continue her job, build her career and do not say
anything. Here we analyze the possible outcomes of selecting each option as Lisa‟s next step.
1. Quit her job at Verizon.
Pros: 1. Lisa no longer has to work with the people who wrote negative comments about gays
2. Lisa no longer has to hear negative comments 3. Lisa can look for a company that is more
supportive and accepting of gays 4. Lisa does not have to work in a setting that makes her feel
uneasy about her identity
Cons: 1. Lisa would be quitting a job she very much enjoys 2. Lisa would have to give up a
position that she worked really hard to get 3. Lisa may have difficulty finding a similar job
4. Lisa will lose all her seniority at Verizon and company benefits such as stock options.
2. Come out and try to help change the workplace.
Pros: 1. Lisa gets to keep her job and seniority at Verizon 2. Lisa can help change the cultural
environment at Verizon in order to make it more accepting of invisible identity groups
(specifically LGBT) 3. Lisa will no longer have to hide her identity from her co-workers (reduce
stress) 4. Helps to break down barriers between gay and straight people (Coming Out at Work,
n.d) 5. Lisa will build more trust with her co-workers because she is no longer hiding her real
self (Coming Out at Work, n.d) 6. Reduces prejudice. People that know gays are less prejudicial
against gays (Lauren, n.d)
Cons: 1. Lisa may be exposed to direct discrimination 2. Loss of trust from co-workers since
Lisa had earlier lied about her personal relationships 3. Increased stress that can lead to
psychological and physiological issues (Mays, n.d) such as: heart disease, stroke, cancer,
weakened immune system, depression and anxiety (Stress Complications, n.d) 4. Difficulty in
promotions as others at Verizon already have negative attitudes about gays
1 3. Talk to the CEO and explain what happened at the training session.
Pros: 1. Lisa can come out to the CEO until she is comfortable enough to come out to everyone
2. The CEO can change the current training program and suggest effective improvements 3. The
CEO & Lisa can work together to improve the organizational culture (the current discrimination
policy did not prevent employees from making negative comments about gays) 4. The CEO can
create/support programs/events that will help bring diverse persons together with dominant group
members to help make the work environment more inclusive 5. Lisa can get guidance from the
CEO (her leader) as to what her next steps should be
Cons: 1. To properly address the situation the CEO may have to reveal Lisa‟s identity to others
2. If Lisa‟s identity is revealed she may face discrimination
4. Continue her job, build her career and do not say anything.
Pros: 1. Lisa‟s identity will remain a secret 2. Lisa will continue to move up the corporate ladder
without fear of discrimination 3. Bypasses the attention of coming out: unwanted questions,
prejudice and differential treatment
Cons: 1. Lisa must still work hard at leading a double-life 2. Lisa can‟t have close relationships
with coworker as she continues to hide her identity 3. Lisa uses a lot of energy to maintain her
lies, this energy can be used elsewhere more productively 4. Stress from others possibly finding
out her secret (effects of stress are mentioned above) 5. Continue to hear negative comments
about gays from her coworkers as they have not had effective inclusion training yet 6. Lisa‟s self-
esteem will dwindle since she is not her true self at work (Coming Out, n.d)
This is an analysis of Lisa Sherman‟s most viable options after attending the current inclusion
training session at Verizon. Next, we will explore the option we thought was best Lisa at the
Lisa’s Best Option
Lisa‟s best option is to talk to her CEO about how she felt in regards to the inclusivity
training session she attended. We picked this as the best option because it is the only option that
2 allowed help for Lisa in disclosing her sexual orientation comfortably without coming into the
limelight at Verizon.
This is the best option for several reasons. Initially, we thought that it is essential to
disclose such private information to someone that Lisa can trust such as her leader at work, her
CEO. Lisa would want to disclose her secret to someone that would be tolerant, open and
understanding. The case facts state that the CEO is the one person who could be seen as someone
who could be trusted. For this reason alone this option best suited Lisa‟s circumstances.
Furthermore, our group brainstormed the fact that Lisa was in a very uncomfortable
position at this time. Since Lisa is hiding her sexual identity and worrying that someone could
discover her secret, it puts Lisa in a nerve-wracking situation. We figured that definitely after
attending the training session it was becoming really important for Lisa to disclose this piece of
information at her workplace because the session has left her more stressed out, frustrated and
confused than ever before. This is probably one of Lisa‟ toughest decisions yet as it involved the
fear of experiencing retaliation, rejection and humiliation at her workplace.
We thought that if Lisa disclosed her sexual orientation to her CEO, she would begin to
be in a more comfortable position. This option can reduce the emotional turmoil that has been
building inside Lisa for all these years in the workplace. This emotional instability especially
after the training session could lead to a decrease in overall job performance and productivity at
her workplace. Research shows that concealing ones sexual orientation might lead to low job
satisfaction and poor psychological wellbeing of a person (Smith, 2011). The fear of being
stigmatized and excluded from the society might also affect Lisa‟s level of confidence at the
3 work place (Smith, 2011). Consequently, for Lisa, this was a crucial step that had to be taken,
before she collapsed emotionally.
As a result, we feel that in order to be rescued emotionally, talking to someone Lisa could
trust could be seen as her best option. The CEO then can take some actions in order to protect the
invisible non-dominant group that Lisa represented. Talking to someone who has authority to
bring change is an effective strategy because they have enough authority to have the power to
evoke change. Lisa‟s fear of being judged at the workplace would be reduced because someone
who has the authority, a good reputation and a lot of respect would be in support of Lisa.
Furthermore, after opening up to the CEO he can create policies and speak to the Human
Resources department (or whoever is responsible for the training session) to develop a more
effective workshop. Later in this report we will present policy suggestions and better inclusion
training suggestions that the CEO can create and/or implement. Also, by speaking to the CEO he
can work on rebuilding Verizon‟s corporate culture that would encourage the inclusion of LGBT
In all, by Lisa opening up to the CEO it makes him more aware of what exactly is going
on within the company among his workers. This will be the start of prominent change within
Verizon when it comes to inclusion. Lisa can feel more relaxed with her sexuality and may
possibly feel more comfortable to coming out to not only her CEO but to her coworkers. Also,
after making the CEO aware of the training session and her personal feelings, the CEO may
indefinitely create new policies and better training at Verizon. When implemented, this will lead
to an increase in awareness, give others the courage to come out because they will now be
working in an environment that makes it comfortable for others to do so if they desire.
4 Poor Inclusion Training
The diversity training session at Verizon was a crucial event creating and raising questions for
employees of the company. The structure of the diversity training mostly impacted the invisible
non-dominant identity group of gays.
Pros: 1. The session revealed a problem within the organization that was in hiding. From
revealing shocking thoughts from the leaders of the company, it gave Verizon a “reality check”.
2. Knowing the true thoughts of the employees will help create the best strategy to rectify the
Cons: 1. The way the session was framed and conducted it was not justified for the individuals
belonging to the gay identity group 2. The diversity session incorporates sensitive topics for
certain identity groups within the organization. Holding such an open discussion could create
conflicts (which it obviously did) 3. Putting up questions like “Black people are....”, “Jewish
people are…” and so on can directly lead to stereotypical responses. For example: Making a
comment that “Asian people are hard workers” is a much stereotypical and shallow view because,
they could also be great dancers 4. Hearing negative, very offensive and hurtful comments about
gays such as: “pathetic, immoral, spreading disease” creates a stigma against the group that may
not already be present at Verizon 5. The session left Lisa very stressed where all her colleagues
and friends suddenly seemed to be against her if she disclosed her identity
Overall, this was a very poor diversity training session which rather being of any help has
created more problems for the gay identity group members. Lisa Sherman is one member that we
know of but there could be other people suffering silently from these negative comments as well.
In reference to „Models of Diversity Training‟ ( D.Landis & R.S Bhagat , 1996) we should
instead set specific objectives that we want to achieve from the diversity training such as
5 providing knowledge and information , developing skills, increasing awareness of different
groups and understanding their being.
In all, an organization that is a made up of such prejudicial ideas against identity groups
within their workplace will never succeed like a group that promotes harmony and unity.
Therefore, adequate objectives from a well thought out diversity training workshop are crucial for
a company‟s success and longevity.
An Effective Inclusivity Training Workshop
In order to make the diversity training workshop at Verizon more successful, the following [but
not limited to] components should be incorporated:
Define the Goal (MindTools.com, 1996-2003): Determine the goal of the workshop in order to
keep the workshop focused and more effective. In Lisa Sherman Part A the goal of the workshop
should be to educate employees about all identity groups at Verizon, visible and invisible. Also,
it is to develop more awareness and sensitivity towards these groups in the workplace. The goal
is NOT to change/correct the views of attendees because this is never guaranteed.
Pros: 1. Keeps the workshop focused on the issue at hand 2. Effectively delivers the message that
the facilitator is trying to convey
Cons: 1. Doesn‟t allow for [much] flexibility in the workshop
Anonymous Surveys (Out & Equal, 2012): Have employees fill out an anonymous survey
about their feelings towards inclusivity and identity groups at their workplace. Conduct
anonymous surveys once the workshop is complete to measure the effectiveness of the training.
Regarding Lisa Sherman Part A, the survey should ask employees if they belong to an invisible