2008 Out & Equal Workplace Awards

What Are the Out & Equal Workplace Awards?

Outie AwardThe Out & Equal The Out & Equal Workplace Awards (commonly referred to as "The Outies") honor individuals and organizations that are leaders in advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees in America’s workplaces. Through these awards, Out & Equal provides the business and LGBT communities with examples of innovative approaches and proven successes to help create safe and equitable workplaces. The awards are presented annually at the Out & Equal Workplace Summit, the nation’s preeminent conference addressing LGBT issues in the workplace.

Out & Equal accepts annual nominations in five categories; two awards recognize individuals and three recognize organizations.

Individual Awards

« Trailblazer Award

This award recognizes an LGBT person who has made a significant contribution to advancing workplace equality. This individual’s activities will have made a marked improvement in their own workplace and/or have contributed to equality nationally.

Chris Crespo
Crespo is the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Allies (LGBTA) Inclusive Strategy Leader at Ernst & Young (EY) and co-founded and leads bEYond, a support network within EY for LGBT employees, which continues to expand globally. Largely as a result of her leadership and commitment, Ernst & Young offers domestic partner benefits, includes sexual orientation, gender identity and expression in its EEO policies, and LGBT workplace diversity training. Crespo is the co-chair of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Corporate Advisory Board and serves on the Board of GenderPAC. She uses her networking skills to share best practices and to learn from other partnerships. She consistently brings together diverse groups and always encourages and empowers people to volunteer, to take on leadership roles and to make financial contributions to help connect people to a greater purpose.

« Champion Award

This award recognizes a non-LGBT person who has played a pivotal role in championing equal treatment of LGBT employees on the job. This individual will have shown a unique commitment to LGBT workplace rights and will have used his or her talents to further that cause, even at some risk.

William C. Thompson, Jr.
Thompson is New York City's 42nd Comptroller and has served the public for more than three decades, including former president of the NYC board of education. As Comptroller, he has leveraged the power of the New York City Pension Fund-the fifth largest public pension system in the nation-to convince America's largest companies to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. To date, he has successfully prompted 40 Fortune 1000 companies (most in the Fortune 500) to adopt fully-inclusive policies, and leads the charge year-after-year in urging ExxonMobil to bar such discrimination. Last year, his office released a report "Love Counts" to let New Yorkers know that marriage equality isn't just a moral and ethical issue, but a fiscally responsible move. The report argued that legalization of same-sex marriage could yield $184 million for New York State.

Organizational Awards

« Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Employee Resource Group of the Year

This award recognizes a particular employee resource group(ERG), sometimes referred to as a business group or network, that has a proven track record of success in advocating for LGBT equal rights in its own workplace.

Hewlett-Packard's HP PRIDE
HP PRIDE is the oldest identified LGBT Employee Resource Group (ERG) in the U.S. and has a long tradition of contributing within HP and the broader community. Over the past 30 years, HP PRIDE has partnered with management to enact significant internal change, including domestic partner benefits, early adoption of EEO policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and later on gender identity and expression. In 2001 after meeting with then CEO Carly Fiorina, HP PRIDE's leadership team formed a global council, uniting nearly two dozen local groups under one leadership team; later an advisory board of executives was added and has become the model for all HP ERGs. HP PRIDE has used a variety of tools, including Reader's Theater, Building Bridges and Safe Space to educate employees, executives and foster allies within the company.

« Significant Achievement

This award recognizes any employer that has made significant strides in the past year in advancing a fair and equitable workplace for its LGBT employees, such as: announcing domestic partner health insurance, including gender identity diversity training, or initiating a unique general advertising campaign that includes LGBT people.

Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Goldman Sachs learned early on that to maintain and strengthen its competitive edge requires a diverse workforce that offers the widest possible range of perspectives to its clients. In 2006 in response to an organizational assessment of the firm's diversity progress, they decided to increase its focus on issues of concern to the LGBT community. In 2007, Goldman Sachs convened an LGBT Interbank Conference on Wall Street to serve as a catalyst to make Wall Street a more inclusive environment. Over the past year, in partnership with its LGBT Network, they have increased advocacy and visible support from senior executives, including endorsement for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA); offered employees the ability to self-identify sexual orientation as part of their personal HR data and bi-annual employee climate survey; developed an LGBT-specific training "Working Out: Shaping Your Career as an Out Professional"; and raised awareness internally and across Wall Street by revamping its diversity and inclusion curriculum. In 2008, they were honored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) with a Respect Award and listed at No. 9 on FORTUNE's Best Companies to Work For list and revered for its health-coverage benefits for transgender employees.

« Workplace Excellence

This award recognizes any employer that has an historic and ongoing commitment to pursuing and executing workplace equality for LGBT employees in their own workplace. This employer has a history of continually raising the bar of workplace equality for others to follow.

PepsiCo is helping define what's next for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and ally (LGBTA) groups by leading the way with initiatives that continue to raise the bar through broader involvement and corporate giving. A clear and consistent vision, along with communication from senior leadership was paramount to the LGBT initiatives' success. The PepsiCo LGBT network (EQUAL) represents 160,000 employees worldwide and its four chapters span all company brand holdings. Though each chapter has its own organizational structure, an EQUAL website helps employees participate regardless of division or geographic location. In 2002, PepsiCo added sexual orientation to the companywide EEO statement; in 2004 gender identity and expression, along with domestic partner benefits were added. Over the past year, they have contributed more than $1 million to help create safe and equitable work environments through two programs: "Straight for Equality," a program designed to provide businesses with tools and resource linkages at a grassroots level; and "LGBT Inclusion Toolkit for Corporate America," a program to design, test and deliver cutting-edge tools and resources aimed at advancing workplace equality and foster the next of LGBT inclusion. In addition, their AIDS Task Force is reaching out to employees and the broader community of people touched by HIV/AIDS.

Awards of Distinction

Out & Equal may create awards that are unique and may not be awarded annually. Awards of Distinction are an honor bestowed upon an individual or organization who has made a significant difference or had a major influence in sustaining and growing LGBT workplace equality over an extended period of time. This honor is awarded only when Out & Equal Directors and the Governing Board want to recognize the outstanding and sustainable contributions of an individual or organization.

Additional Information

For specific questions about the Out & Equal Workplace Awards, please contact the Summit and Events department at (415) 694-6500 or summit@outandequal.org.

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