As ENDA is Reintroduced, LGBT Executives Gather to Plan Big Moves for Workplace Equality

April 25, 2013 | San Francisco - The sixth annual Out & Equal Executive Forum convened over 30 high-ranking and emerging lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) leaders to share best practices for advancing LGBT workplace equality. Over the course of the two-day symposium, held April 24 & 25 at the Four Seasons in San Francisco, participants focused on building their strengths as executives in some of the world's largest corporations and furthering their skills as LGBT leaders. Meanwhile in Washington, the reintroduction of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act provided a source of momentum for participants and proved that the work of corporate LGBT leaders to promote workplace equality has and will continue to incite progress and change.

"The Executive Forum is the only event of its kind, that brings together leaders from the world of business who are working within their companies to build greater equality for LGBT people," said Selisse Berry, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. "Their work 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 "Big Moves" - the theme of the gathering. Many participants were instrumental in their company's signing on to the Amicus Brief in Re: Windsor, the implementation of Transgender Health Benefits, and extending inclusion in territories outside of the US. They also discussed the need to continue the sponsoring and mentoring of rising LGBT talent and increased LGBT presence on corporate boards.

Presenters at the Executive Forum included; Caryl Athanasiu - Executive Vice-President and Chief Operational Risk Officer at Wells Fargo; Cathy Halligan - Board Member at ULTA Beauty; Matt Foreman - Director of Gay and Immigrant Rights at the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Junior Fund; Claudia Brind-Woody - Vice President and Managing Director for IBM Global Intellectual Property and Technology Licensing; Scott Beth - Vice President of Finance Operations at Intuit; Renee Brown - Senior Vice President and the Director of Enterprise Social Media at Wells Fargo; and Tom Johnson - Vice President of Finance, Global Business Services at The Clorox Company.

Meeting jointly for panels and discussions, the participants also divided into two classes to explore the issues in depth. The Senior Class was co-chaired by Charlene Grabowski - General Manager of Sales Force Excellence at GE Healthcare and Patrick O'Donnell - a principal in the New York office of Deloitte. The class for Emerging Leaders was co-chaired by Lis Warren - Associate Director of Strategic Pricing and Contracting at Genentech, and Adam Wolf - Director, North America End User Services at Unisys. Classroom facilitators were Christie Hardwick (Senior Class) and Vicky Keith (Emerging Class).

Participants also took part in a special panel event, which brought together contributors from Out & Equal at Work - From Closet to Corner Office, a new book chronicling the emergence of the LGBT workplace equality movement as told through the personal stories of 37 trailblazers.

The 2013 Executive Forum was made possible through the generous support of Intuit, Wells Fargo, The Clorox Company, The Walt Disney Company, Deloitte and Genentech.

"Out & Equal has been at the forefront of creating workplace equality for fifteen years. As marriage equality gains momentum, we must not forget to advance our rights in the workplace - where many of us spend the bulk of our waking lives - with equal vigor. It is astonishing that in 2013, you can still be fired simply for being LGBT in 29 states. At the Executive Forum, we gathered, we learned, we taught and we move forward to advance freedom's frontiers in this, the year of Workplace Equality," concluded Berry.

2013 Executive Forum Participants included:
Selisse Berry, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
Scott Beth, Intuit
Claudia Brind-Woody, IBM
Renee Brown, Wells Fargo
Robert Camilleri, Publicis Kaplan Thaler
Jay Carducci, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Sean Chang, The Clorox Company
Laura Crumley, Dell
Lori Fox, Lori Fox Diversity
Christy Gaughan, Genentech
Mel Glennon, GE Power & Water
Charlene Grabowski, GE Healthcare
Jamison Green, World Professional Association for Transgender Health
Paul Hardoin, Ernst & Young
Kevin Janes, Ernst & Young
Tom Johnson, The Clorox Company
Charles Lickel, IBM (retired)
Rich Linebaugh, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Kristine Korva, Deloitte
Gregg McConnell, Cardinal Health
Bart Narter, Marsh & McLennan
Patrick O'Donnell, Deloitte
Robert Pompey, TD Bank
Reza Rahaman, The Clorox Company
Nick Routson, Wells Fargo
Kayla Shell, Dell
John Stotler, Wells Fargo
Christie Smith, Deloitte
Dan Smith, Cardinal Health
Lis Warren, Genentech
Jennifer Werner, Ernst & Young
Bobby Wilkinson, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
Rod Wingfield, The Walt Disney Company
Adam Wolf, Unisys

Company affiliation is listed for identification purposes only.