Gender Identity Speaker,
Consultant, & Specialist
Helping Organisations at the Intersection of Human Rights, Sexuality, Gender, and Privilege.
When we think of ESG reporting (Environment, Social, Governance), we rarely connect WHY the business exists with the development of an Intentional Culture, let alone with how Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging fit into that. It would be fair to say that many organisations see it as more work they have to do. Yet creating successful strategies that allow a business to thrive requires aligning all these elements.
While my experience covers all these areas, I specialise in how these areas intersect with gender. Looking at my intersectional identity as a queer woman with a transgender history who comes from a C-suite corporate background, along with Board Leadership experience, I struggled to grasp my identity, so I understand why others do.
The reality is that as human beings, we are so complex that we can never wholly understand another human being, so I created the philosophy of Acceptance without Understanding ™ to help others grasp how to educate themselves on concepts that have been in existence for thousands of years. Still, somehow we see them as much more recent. My corporate background allows me to bring One Leader with Two Genders of experience to every engagement providing a business-first lens through which I do this work.
My unique experience of gender, leadership, and corporate life allows me to bring insights to organisations that may be struggling to get it right, not always having the proper lens to see the lived experience of others from the correct perspective. This includes women and LGBTQ+ people.
Popular Topics I help organisations with:
- What is Gender and getting language correct
- How gender impacts women
- Understanding the Transgender experience
- Views from the C suite on diversity, culture and more
- Understanding gender-based & white privilege
- Developing Intentional Cultures
- Psychological Safety and Transgender People in the workplace
- Facilitating/Hosting diversity-related events
Together we make the world a better place to live and thrive by being the beacon of light and hope for the LGBT+ community and others who find it difficult to accept themselves. We unleash their power through love and acceptance to allow their true colours to flourish as they become their authentic self.
Follow these links to learn more about these services;
“Cynthia shared her own experiences, the importance of allyship, key points about DEI. For days after, employees shared how Cynthia impacted them with her words. Strongly recommend Cynthia as a well-versed in DEI that can speak to a broad audience with an ability to connect with all listeners.”
- Lead Diversity Practioner, Mimecast, USA
One Leader, Two Genders
As a business executive & board leader, I followed the recipe for success like everyone else as the way one succeeds. Unlike Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, I did not become self-actualised. What it did actualise was the clarity of the disconnect in my life. For most of my 30+ year career, I coached others; when I coached myself, it became transformative.
I am an award-winning leader, speaker, and consultant who brings a unique lens of One Leader Two Genders of experience to help organisations solve gender diversity challenges by connecting Why they exist to an Intentional Culture that supports a Successful Strategy!
Helping organisations solve issues through my unique lens of one leader, two genders of experience is my What.
Using Acceptance without Understanding™ is my How.
Creating safe spaces where people feel they belong is my Why!
"Cynthia was our guest speaker at The King's Fund in honour of Trans Day of Visibility 2022 and our team is still talking about the session she led weeks later. In advance of the session, Cynthia took the time to get to know the team and understand how best she could tailor her message to make the session accessible and ensure it met our objectives and expectations. On the day itself, she was a true professional - gracious and open in the sharing of her personal story and in her invitation for questions, even staying longer to make sure that our questions were answered. Cynthia was able to open a conversation that had previously felt inaccessible and used the power of connection to stimulate learning, combat misinformation and promote acceptance. I could not be more pleased with the way the session unfolded and thoroughly recommend her services. If you're on the fence and thinking about it, don't hesitate - book her today.."
- Dana James-Edwards, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Specialist
Acceptance without Understanding™
Learning Strategies For Diverse Cultures
From an early age, we are taught to ask why. Why is a question we ask to gain Understanding; therefore, as a society, we need to understand in order to accept. This is especially true when it comes to another person who has a diverse identity than our own.
Acceptance without Understanding teaches us to accept each other as human beings first. We do not need to understand each other’s journeys. We are all unique human beings on our own journey in life.
Start with Acceptance without Understanding
Grow to Acceptance with Understanding
- Cynthia Fortlage
Learning to live with acceptance will nurture your spirit, help you overcome personal challenges, and allow you to achieve your individual life goals as you learn to thrive in a diverse culture.
"Teaching others acceptance – it struck me her capacity of being extremely serious, assertive, decisive but warm & caring ... following her activity I'm amazed at seeing how powerful it can be to show your own vulnerability and experience to educate others. Cynthia is doing that, one conversation at a time."
- LinkedIn Employee at LinkedIn Internal Event
“Cynthia joined our annual Awards event as a speaker and it was one of the most inspiring talks of the day. Her stories opened hearts and minds, and for me personally, was the highlight of the day. One thing she shared that I'll never forget - do not stand behind me, nor in front of me, but beside me. If you're looking for a great speaker, she is it.”
Allyson Zimmermann, Executive Director at Catalyst Europe AG