The Outies: LGBT ERG of the Year

The Outie for LGBT Employee Resource Group of the Year recognizes a particular employee resource group (ERG) that has a proven track record of success in advocating for LGBT equal rights in its own workplace.

Blue_cross_blue_shield_of_massachusetts_logoBlue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts— Blue Pride

Blue Pride was launched in October 2013 and membership grew to over 100 within the first year. Since then, Blue Pride has been making amazing progress. From LGBT-specific recruiting events to adding gender expression to their EEO along with sexual orientation and gender identity, Blue Pride has done in three years what has taken other ERGs decades.

In Their Own Words: “Only 407 companies world-wide earned a 100% on the 2016 HRC CEI; there are many, many more companies out there like us with newer ERGs, and Blue Pride is proof that starting late doesn’t mean you can’t be impactful.”

Our Favorite Moment: While Blue Pride was only established in October 2013, they’ve made massive strides towards supporting the LGBTQ community, both within and outside of their own company.

CIACIA—Agency Network of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Transgender Officers & Allies (ANGLE)

ANGLE is a leader in advancing visibility and awareness of LGBT issues both inside CIA and across the Intelligence Community. Since its formation in 1996, ANGLE has held a variety of visibility and awareness events throughout each year, especially during annual June Pride month celebrations. These efforts were amped up between 2010 and 2015 when larger societal changes and a push for greater diversity and inclusion at the CIA allowed ANGLE to advance major initiatives.

In Their Own Words: “ANGLE supports CIA’s LGBT employees and families by working to identify and clarify policies and practices that create an equitable, inclusive, and supportive environment. ANGLE’s efforts led the way for cultural change within CIA, and LGBT officers are now working in one of the most open environments in the Agency’s history.”

Our Favorite Moment: In 2015, ANGLE worked to produce a documentary on the impact that Agency leaders have had in creating an inclusive environment at the CIA, particularly in the past 20 years since Executive Order 12968 allowed LGBT employees to hold security clearance.

IBMIBM Philippines—IBM EAGLE (Employee Alliance for LGBTQ+ Empowerment) Philippines

EAGLE Philippines is one of the first LGBTQ ERGs in the Philippines. The group not only supports IBM’s global strategies in diversity and inclusion through recruitment, talent retention, talent development, and market development, but has also become an informal support group by giving LGBTQ employees and allies a sense of community.

In Their Own Words: “Being able to establish EAGLE Philippines as one of the first LGBTQ+ ERGs in the Philippines is a feat upon itself in a country where diversity and inclusion are not popular or mature concepts yet. Between 2010 and 2015, EAGLE Philippines planted the seeds in making it an indispensable entity within IBM Philippines which later on helped in strongly influencing policies, implementing initiatives and affecting changes.”

Our Favorite Moment: EAGLE Philippines created a five minute introductory online video course on understanding sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, which was later deployed across IBM globally.

walmartWalmart—Walmart PRIDE

Walmart’s presence in the LGBT community has grown nationwide and internationally. In 2015, Walmart’s Global President & CEO issued a public statement reinforcing its basic belief in “Respect for the Individual” and calling on the Governor of Arkansas to veto a Religious Freedom Bill. Walmart has also created a support network for its trans employees, empowering them to be out at work and providing transition guidelines to help them through their transition should they choose to do so.

In Their Own Words: “Local PRIDE teams continued to make community partners aware of resource opportunities available across the company. For example, the Northwest Arkansas Center for Equality, a local LGBT nonprofit, received a local giving grant from the Walmart Foundation to support HIV/AIDS prevention and education among the region’s homeless population.”

Our Favorite Moment: Walmart was a sponsor for over 15 Pride Events across the United States as well as 15 additional events in the United Kingdom which were collectively attended by over 7.5 million people.

wells fargoWells Fargo— PRIDE Team Member Network (TMN)

Wells Fargo has become one of the most visible companies in LGBT Pride events around the country and worldwide. From London to Manila, PRIDE leadership has been busy building the numbers of those who participate in the PRIDE TMN. This includes building membership in virtual chapters which provide opportunity for LGBT members anywhere in the world to find the resources and support PRIDE can provide.

In Their Own Words: “PRIDE’s work to develop our members’ path to successful leadership within Wells Fargo took several forms this year.  The TMN focused resources and energy on developing its mentorship program, connecting over 200 team member mentors/mentees. ”

Our Favorite Moment: In 2015, PRIDE worked closely with Community Bank partners to ensure Wells Fargo’s transgender customers are treated with respect and dignity. The TMN leadership partnered with Wells Fargo Legal, Compliance, and HR teams to create resources that ensure transgender customers enjoy a positive and productive banking experience.

USICUS Intelligence Community— IC Pride

IC Pride maximizes the efforts of ERG’s across the 17 government agencies that comprise the US Intelligence Community (IC), which includes more than 100,000 employees, and a budget of over $60 billion. IC Pride had a dramatic increase in public visibility of the Intelligence Community’s LGBTQ population in 2015.   IC Pride participated in discussion panels at major industry conferences, including Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM); Out & Equal Workplace Summit; and South by Southwest (SXSW).  These sessions shared IC Pride’s model and discussed the way these 17 agencies are approaching diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

In Their Own Words: “The agencies that fall under IC Pride are not simply gathering to discuss LGBT issues relevant to their industry – they are creating policies among the collection of entities to be implemented by each one.  They are taking the biggest successes and best practices from individual agencies and sharing them among the whole.”

Our Favorite Moment: The Transgender Working Group ensures that trans voices and concerns from across the collection of agencies influence IC Pride direction, priorities, and initiatives.  Nearly every IC Pride engagement goes through a review process to ensure the trans community and its needs are addressed appropriately.

The Outies will be awarded at the 2016 Workplace Summit in Orlando, Florida on October 4th-7th to honor individuals and organizations who are leaders in advancing equality for LGBT employees in the workplace.

Don’t forget to register here!