Business leaders speak out on ending discrimination against LGBT employees

SAN FRANCISCO – Gathered for Out & Equal’s annual Executive Forum, executives and business leaders made the following statement about yesterday’s introduction of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA):

As out lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) executives and business leaders, we know the importance of creating open and equitable workplaces that foster the innovation we need in today’s markets. Equality in the workplace is vital for business so that employees can focus their best energies on the job at hand and not on discrimination.

Yet LGBT people continue to lose their jobs because of their sexual orientation or gender  identity. In the majority of states, it remains legal to fire to someone on this basis alone, regardless of their job performance. Simply put, that is wrong. The majority of Americans  believe as we do—that people should be judged on the quality of their work and not on their identities.

That’s why we, as individual business people, support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which was introduced in the United States House of Representatives today. We believe that ENDA is an important step in creating a business climate in which people are free to be themselves and to contribute all of their skills and talents to their work. At a time when creating and sustaining jobs is essential to the well-being of our country, we need to be very clear that  discrimination removes qualified, experienced employees from their jobs for no good reason.

We applaud the steps that so many companies have taken to ensure that they are doing all that  they can to create a strong workforce and a dynamic working environment. When employees can bring all that they are to work, they bring the highest level of creativity, energy, and skill—and that’s exactly what businesses need and deserve.

Stewart Anderson, Business Operations Manager, Hewlett-Packard

Jonathon Aubry, Publisher, The Advocate Group

Selisse Berry, Founding Executive Director, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates

Scott Beth, Vice President of Finance Operations, Intuit

Tara Bunch, Senior Vice President, Hewlett Packard

Laurie Burns, President, Bahama Breeze

Elizabeth L. Carswell

Brett Cook, Director, MassMutual Financial Group

Steven Evans, Vice President, JPMorgan Chase

Rodney Frazier, Director, eDell Global Online, Dell Inc.

Lynda Higgs, Director, Development Operations, Intuit

Julie Hogan
, Region Vice President, Xerox Corporation

Casey Horton

Nancy Linzy, Academic Dean, St. Louis Community College

Eric Lybeck, Global Privacy Manager, Cargill

Tom Moore, Partner, Ernst & Young LLP

David Perel, Partner, Windward Partners

Robert Pompey

Scott Reiber, Director, Public Sector Business Development, Xerox Corporation

Kayla Shell, Legal Counsel, Executive Director, Dell Inc.

Andy Smith, Director of Corporate Philanthropy, Texas Instruments

Atticus Tysen, Vice President of Product Development, Intuit Inc.

Elisabeth Warren, Group leader, Portfolio Management and Operations, Genentech

Michael Welch, Chief Financial Officer/Partner, Stephan Pyles Enterprises, LLC

Bobby Wilkinson, Zone Marketing Manager, State Farm Insurance Company

Scott Willoughby, Senior Corporate Counsel, The Clorox Company

Adam Wolf, Operations Manager, Hewlett-Packard

More information about the Executive Forum can be found on our website at http://outandequal.org/execforum.

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Contact: Justin Tanis, Director of Communications
jtanis@outandequal.org
415.984.9512

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
155 Sansome Street, Suite 450 . San Francisco, California 94104 . 415.984.6512 . www.OutandEqual.org