LGBT Executives Gather to Consider Global Equality

March 15, 2012 | San Francisco - The fifth annual Out & Equal Executive Forum convened over 40 high-ranking and emerging lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) corporate leaders from across the world to discuss best practices for advancing LGBT workplace equality.

Over the course of the three-day event, held March 12-14 at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco, participants focused on building their strengths as executives in the world’s largest corporations and furthering their skills as LGBT leaders.

“The Executive Forum brings together key people who are working within their companies to build greater equality for LGBT people,” noted Selisse Berry, Founding Executive Director of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. “Their work as global business leaders gives them a unique perspective on what is needed to further workplace place equality here in the United States and in the countries where they do business around the world.”

Forum participants focused on ways to further equality in the workplace on a global scale, considering innovative ways to effectively implement non-discrimination policies and equal benefits within the multiple national settings of their corporations. In addition to considering ways to end harassment and discrimination, the discussion also included strategies for gaining equal benefits for same-sex couples and their families and inclusive health care benefits for transgender employees. The group also took on the challenge of addressing their companies’ political activities, particularly those which have a direct impact on the LGBT community.

The event began with presentations by two experts who explored the domestic and international issues facing LGBT people. Dr. Gary Gates, Distinguished Scholar at the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at University of California Los Angeles, presented crucial data on the LGBT community within the United States. He was followed by Claudia Brind-Woody, Vice President and Managing Director for IBM Global Intellectual Property and Technology Licensing, who discussed the challenges that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals face outside of Europe and the United States. Her inspirational speech urged participants to be agents of change by advocating globally for workplace equality.

This year, the Executive Forum also featured a panel about executive sponsors of LGBT employee resource groups (ERGs) who are allies to the LGBT community. LGBT and non-LGBT executive employee resource group sponsors from a variety of industries discussed the critical role they play in providing leadership and support to their company’s ERGs. These leaders shared stories, lessons learned, and best practices for expanding and increasing their roles in advocating for workplace equality.

Those in attendance included:

James Bachand, Bank of America

Thomas Barefoot, Wells Fargo

Selisse Berry, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates

Scott Beth, Intuit

Renee Brown, Wells Fargo

Gerald Cacciotti, Oliver Wyman

Carlos Campoy, Eli Lilly and Company

Brett Cook, MassMutual Retirement Services

Christina Corsac

Mario Diaz, Wells Fargo

Mike Feldman, HP

Kenneth Fleming, HP

Lori Fox, Lori Fox Diversity Business Consulting

Terry Furr, The Disneyland Resort

Gary Gansle, Dorsey & Whitney

Charlene Grabowski, GE Healthcare

Lynda Higgs, Intuit

Julie Hogan, Xerox Corporation

Brian Huchro, Deloitte

George Kalogridis, The Disneyland Resort

BJ Kamigaki, HP

Greg Ligotti, The Clorox Company

Richard Linebaugh, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Gregg McConnell, Cardinal Health

Danielle Nolan, Ernst & Young LLP

Michael Oard, State Farm Insurance Companies

Patrick O'Donnell, Deloitte

Bryan Parsons, Ernst & Young LLP

Heath Rosenthal, ESPN

Scott Sansone, Genentech

Maria Shaw, McKesson

Stephanie Smith, Wells Fargo

Dan Staublin, The Clorox Company

Bruce Stuart

Neil Tallantire, Diageo

Elisabeth Warren, Genentech

Bobby Wilkinson, State Farm Insurance Companies

Angela Wilson, Ernst & Young LLP

Adam Wolf, HP

Tom Wynveen, The Clorox Company


Company affiliation is listed for identification purposes only.