Suzanne is Founder and CEO of Highborn Communications, a company dedicated to helping people communicate with more harmony at work and at home – one conversation at a time.
She launched Highborn Communications after having spent more than 20 years providing communication services to teams and leaders in workplaces across the country and witnessing consistent high levels of conflict. With expertise in Mediation, Facilitation, Training, and Conflict Coaching, she positioned Highborn to address conflict in workplace teams by introducing effective communication practices. Over the years, her work expanded to address issues around mental health, gender, and addiction in workplaces, communities, and families.
She brings an accomplished and diverse background to her work as a Master Trainer in Neuro-linguistics Programming (NLP), a Qualified Mediator, and a Certified Conflict Coach. Suzanne helps you navigate difficult conversations in ways that result in more understanding, more listening, and more harmonious outcomes. Having conversations about difference is never easy – particularly when there is fear of judgement. Suzanne understands this, has experience with this, and has an ability to conduct difficult conversations in a spirit of trust.
Her first book, ‘When Gender is in Question, A Guide to Understanding’ was written in response to her own quest for information when her youngest began their own gender questioning. Now Suzanne speaks extensively to workplaces across the country to help shift attitudes and policy towards embracing greater inclusion of gender diversity in workplaces.
A current project that Suzanne is deeply involved with is reducing gender-based violence in Malawi, Africa. Suzanne is a founding member of ‘Harmony for Families in Malawi’, a not-for-profit organization that works on the ground with community members to help reduce conflict, increase the rights for women, and bring new strategies of harmony for families in the community.
Suzanne rides a Harley to maintain her own life balance.
Suzanne works with teams and leaders in public and private-sector organizations to help create a respectful culture that embraces gender diversity.
She does this by facilitating a safe and informed integration of gender transitioning employees, training staff and management in the concepts and language of the dialogue, and helps develop Respectful Workplace policies and procedures.
With effective communication comes understanding, and with understanding comes respectful behaviours. In addition to her training, Suzanne applies her extensive experience as a Mediator to facilitate difficult conversations and address issues of harassment or stigma.
At the core of Suzanne’s work is her dedication to working with families and helping facilitate difficult conversations around gender.
Perhaps a child is beginning to question their gender and the parents or caregivers don’t know how to navigate the conversation or even understand how to talk about it. Perhaps a spousal partner or a parent is questioning their gender or has announced their decision to transition.
How does that conversation take place and how are the impacts addressed and managed? Suzanne’s lived experience as a parent of trans child together with her experience as a skillful mediator provides significant support in conducting these conversations.
With Suzanne’s lived experience as the mother of a trans child, she brings a high level of passion, understanding, and knowledge to the subject of gender questioning and gender identity.
A skillful presenter, Suzanne is equally effective speaking to students, educators, and administrators in sharing information and insights about the concepts and language of the current dialogue about gender questioning and gender diversity.
Her son Skyler, a co-author of their book, When Gender is In Question: A Guide to Understanding, is also a skilled public speaker as well as a Mental Health Counsellor. Together they present a dynamic mother and son duo in presenting to student and educator audiences.