Gregory Johnson, lead human resources business partner at Children’s Minnesota, was honored by the Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal with a 2020 Business of Pride award.
We sat down with Gregory to learn more about this award and his role at Children’s Minnesota.
Describe your role – what is a typical day like for you?
Unpredictable but predictable! In my role, I support a number of leaders with respect to their team/department HR needs; I’m a member of the HR leadership team and I lead a team of highly skilled HR consultants and HR specialists. The scope of work varies and every day is different; some days it’s predictable and I can stay the course of the plan, and other days I need to pivot to support needs that arise. That’s partly why I love my role – the variety! Often, my days are spent consulting on what I refer to as the talent management cycle, or the employment life cycle, and ranges from providing consultation / advice on HR-related matters to supporting organizational objectives and HR programs designed to attract and retain talent. In addition, I am a member of the PRIDE Employee Resource Group leadership team – where we assess LGBTQ equity and inclusion practices at Children’s Minnesota and recommend, advocate for and implement solutions that enhance the experience for our patients, families and employees who are LGBTQ.
You were recently recognized by the Mpls/St. Paul Business Journal in the “Business of Pride” awards. What is this award about and what does it mean to you to receive it?
This award recognizes LGBTQ business leaders, allies or advocates in the Twin Cities metro area who are making a difference in advancing equality in the business world and community, as well as demonstrating their own professional success. [You can read Greg’s interview here; subscription required]
Receiving the award has reminded me of where I came from and the progress made throughout the years. When I came out at the young age of 19, in small town Michigan, uncertainty and fear were real. Fast forward to 2020, and here I’m being recognized for my achievements. My 19-year-old self would have never imagined that this would be a possibility and would be so proud! The award signifies the progress made; that we can live our true authentic lives, fulfill our passions AND have successful careers – three pillars that would not have intersected in the past due to the uncertainty and fear of the impact that being out in the workplace could have.
It’s Pride month – how are you celebrating, despite the challenges of COVID-19?
For me, Pride month has been a bit of celebrating the progress and wins, while reflecting and reminding myself of how we got here and the tough work that is still ahead of us in the quest for full LGBTQ equality. This year, I’m keeping it a bit simpler. My husband and I hung our pride flag outside our home for the month and we’ll likely have a nice dinner at home (he’s a wonderful cook!) and will spend time connecting with friends and family, virtually. Outside of my career at Children’s Minnesota, I volunteer on a board of directors for a local LGBTQ non-profit. This non-profit is hosting Minnesota’s first and only employment equality and LGBTQ focused conference. As strange as it sounds, part of my Pride celebrations will be attending this virtual conference. It’s a way for me to be with the LGBTQ community and allies, to reflect, to be in amazement of the progress made to get us to this point, and to learn something while I’m at it.
How do you enjoy spending time outside of work?
My husband and I have a dog, (Boxer) by the name of Linus and for those who know the Boxer breed, they are high-energy and full of character – certainly never dull with this rowdy dog around! Other than time with the dog, I tend to stay busy out and about, exercising, time with friends, and enjoy live music. Lastly, one of my most favorite amateur hobbies is photography – there’s something about capturing a moment and preserving it.