Out & Equal Awards Excellence in Workplace Equality

Finalists for the Annual Outie! Awards Announced

The Out & Equal Workplace Awards - known as the "Outies" - recognize individuals and organizations who are leaders in advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in workplaces across the world. Today, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates announced the finalists for these coveted awards.

Through the Outies, Out & Equal provides the business and LGBT communities with examples of innovative approaches and proven successes that create safe and equitable workplaces for the world's LGBT workforce. The award winners are selected from a pool of highly qualified finalists.

"Positive and effective changes happen in workplaces because of the choices that individual people make," noted Selisse Berry, the founding executive director of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. "The finalists for the Outies are all people and groups who have done amazing work to make their companies places where LGBT employees are valued and welcomed. It is so important that we honor their commitment, celebrate their successes, and then use their examples to inspire others to transform their workplaces."

The awards - given in five categories - will be presented at the 2011 Out & Equal Workplace Summit, the world's premier conference on LGBT workplace equality, which will take place from October 25-28 in Dallas, Texas. The categories and finalists are:

The Trailblazer Award recognizes an LGBT person who has made a significant contribution to advancing workplace equality by helping improve their own workplace or contributing to equality nationally. The finalists for the Trailblazer Award are:

Keith Ford, Pratt & Whitney, United Technologies Corporation
Lance Freedman, Lockheed Martin
Anthony Imgrund, Draftfcb
Brian McNaught, Workplace educator and author
Claudia Woody, IBM

The Champion Award recognizes a non-LGBT person who has played a pivotal role in advancing equal treatment of LGBT employees on the job. This individual will have demonstrated a significant commitment to LGBT workplace rights. The finalists for the Champion Award are:

Fanée Harrison, The Boeing Company
Tom Mielke, Kimberly Clark
Dr. Sophie Vandebroek, Xerox
Thomas J. Vilsack, Secretary, United States Department of Agriculture
Carole Young, Chevron

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Employee Resource Group of the Year Award recognizes a particular ERG, sometimes referred to as a business group or network, with an exemplary track record of leadership in advocating for LGBT equal rights over the past year. The finalists for the LGBT ERG of the Year Award are:

Bank of America LGBT Pride Resource Group        
RESPECT (Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida)
Marsh & McLennan Companies LGBT Employee Resource Groups
Pride (LGBT) Employee Networking Group (Morgan Stanley)            

The Significant Achievement Award recognizes an employer that has made significant recent strides in advancing a fair and equitable workplace for its LGBT employees. The finalists for the Significant Achievement Award are:

Alcoa, Inc
Barclays Capital               
City of Fort Worth              
Google, Inc  

The Workplace Excellence Award recognizes an employer that has an ongoing commitment to workplace equality, demonstrated by unquestioned leadership, dedication and innovation on behalf of LGBT employees everywhere. The finalists for the Workplace Excellence Award are:

Ernst & Young  

Individuals and companies were nominated for the Outies during the past several months. A selection committee determined the finalists for the each award.  An independent panel of business and community leaders will determine the winners based on information and references provided for each finalist.

The Out & Equal Workplace Summit will bring together 3,000 business leaders, human resources and diversity professionals, employee resource group leaders, executive sponsors, LGBT employees and allies for a three day conference to examine issues of sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace. Long considered the leading conference on the topic, the event features more than 140 workshops, panels and speakers, along with cultural programming and entertainment. For more information about the Summit, and to register, click here.