Erin’s Letters: Open Letter to Federal Agency Colleagues, Friends, and LGBTQ ERGs

My name is Erin Uritus, and I am the new CEO of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates (O&E).  Many of you know O&E through our annual Out & Equal Workplace Summits,  educational programs, and annual Executive Forum.  Some of you may even know me through my previous work running pre-Workplace Summit workshops for ERG leaders and through my various roles at Booz Allen Hamilton supporting federal agencies.

I am writing today to reach out directly, to let all of you know that Out & Equal Workplace Advocates (O&E) has you in our thoughts and in our hearts. Like many others working to protect LGBTQ equality and a growing majority of the U.S. population at large, we have grown increasingly concerned as progressive policies, guidelines, language, and even entire offices within federal agencies have been eroded or dismantled in just the first year of this Administration. Further, as we have seen with the new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division at HHS, the Administration is taking alarming measures to embed discrimination into our structures and make it harder for agencies to fulfill their own missions of serving the population as a whole.

Based on our long organizational history and my personal history with ERGs, I want to reiterate O&E’s commitment to and support of you and your ERGs.  We have your back. We understand the important role ERG leaders play in federal agencies. You are often the front-line force against efforts to erase our identities, marginalize our contributions and undermine our progress towards equality.
At O&E we remain ever vigilant as new obstacles challenge equality in the workplace at all levels—from cubicles to corner offices, corporations to government agencies—and we will stop at nothing to change it for the better, for everyone.

As we boldly move forward to create deeper support, sustainable change, acceptance and equality in the workplace, I want to hear from you about what you need and want from Out & Equal. We are here for you. I am starting my tenure on a “Listening Tour” and will be scheduling meetings with people where they are—both physically in the workplace and virtually—to hear directly about what O&E can do to better support you.  For more immediate action, please communicate your thoughts directly to me by completing this short survey. Also, be on the lookout for an upcoming survey that will take a deeper dive into the world of ERGs—your current reality, concerns, priorities and ideas.

I leave you with this thought:  We see you, we know this is hard, we support you, and we will work tirelessly alongside you to improve the circumstances within federal agencies through these difficult times.

Please know you hold a special place in my heart.

Erin Uritus

Out & Equal CEO


PS

Please leave your own message of support to our friends and colleauges in the Government and we’ll share your notes with them throughout the year.