October 27, 2011 Five silver ‘Outie’ statuettes were bestowed upon Outie Award winners this week, while over 2,500 Summit attendees gathered at the Out & Equal Workplace Summit in Dallas, Texas. 

LGBT employees and allies, along with human resources and diversity professional, many representing Fortune 500 companies, attended the Out & Equal Workplace Summit . The Summit is the nation’s leading LGBT professional development conference. Individuals and companies from across the nation are nominated for their demonstrated leadership and diversity programs aimed at advancing fair, safe and equitable work environments for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

The winners were chosen from a competitive slate of nominees and voted on by an independent panel of experts from companies and nonprofits that set the standard for LGBT workplace equality.  The award winners represent the people and companies who are changing the face of our culture by working to end LGBT discrimination in the workplace.

And the 2011 Out & Equal Outie Award winners are:

Workplace Excellence Award

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 winner is:

  • Accenture

Accenture has driven the development of LGBT networks in nations such as India, Mexico, and the Philippines, to expand Global LGBT network to include 18 countries and 19 local US offices. Accenture has extended their commitment to workplace equality by becoming one of nine companies in the US to implement World Professional Association for Transgender Health compliant transgender benefits, adding to the transgender transition guidelines implemented last year.

Trailblazer for Workplace Equality

The Trailblazer Award recognizes an LGBT person who has made a significant contribution to advancing workplace equality by helping improve their own workplace and contributing to equality for all. The winner is:

  • Claudia Woody

Claudia is an incredible motivational speaker, she has reached an audience of thousands and thousands members of the GLBT community, in- and outside of IBM, to which she serves as a role-model and a mentor. As a co-chair of the Global GLBT Council since 1996, she has been personally involved in almost each and every initiative that serves the GLBT population at IBM.

Champion for Workplace Equality

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 winner is:

  • Dr. Sophie Vandebroek

Sophie continues to challenge Xerox to look beyond the numbers by listening to the LGBT employees of Xerox and companies who participate with Out & Equal. By learning first hand the issues of LGBT employees, educating herself on the laws and policies, learning from other companies, and spending quality time with the leadership of the ERG GALAXe, she has enabled significant change at Xerox.  She demonstrates true leadership by leading authentically and accepting all for who they are.

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

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 winner is:

  • LGBT Pride Resource Group, Bank of America

LGBT Pride has increased its international membership 112% (to nearly 3,400 members), which included significant growth in straight ally membership. LGBT Pride leaders have engaged with the bank's philanthropic leaders, market leaders and line of business leaders. LGBT Pride has also focused its efforts externally, conducting over 100 LGBT events internationally in 2010, which included over 20 events supporting HIV/AIDS causes and 20 local pride celebrations across the globe from Tokyo to San Francisco to London.

Significant Achievement in Workplace Equality

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

  • Google, Inc.

This year, Google grossed up health benefits coverage for same-sex domestic partners, offering an equivalent to the Family Medical Leave Act for same-sex domestic partners and changing the definition of infertility to expand fertility assistance. It also altered its systems to recognize marriage as independent of the sex of the partners. LGBT Benefits enhancements received recognition as one of the 15 Best HR Ideas for 2011 by Human Resource Executive.

Regional Affiliate of the Year

The Regional Affiliate of the Year honor is awarded to a regional affiliate that has demonstrated commitment to the Out & Equal mission through exceptional programming and sound organizational practices. The winner is:

  • Out & Equal Houston

Selisse Berry Leadership Award

In 2008, the Board of Out & Equal announced a new award named in honor of our Founding Executive Director, Selisse Berry. The Selisse Berry Leadership Award recognizes an exceptional individual whose visionary leadership, tireless efforts, and remarkable accomplishments have been a critical contribution toward achieving LGBT workplace equality. In addition to leading change in the world of employment, this leader inspires countless individuals to champion the cause which is our vision: Workplace equality for all inclusive of sexual orientation, gender identity, expression, or characteristics. Unlike other Outie awards which are chosen by an independent panel of judges, the Out & Equal Board of Directors awards the Selisse Berry Leadership Award from time to time to deserving individuals.

  • Brian McNaught