LGBT executives declare: “We’re Better Together”

March 17, 2014 | San Francisco - The seventh annual Out & Equal Executive Forum convened 55 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) executives from many of the world’s largest companies to share success stories and advance LGBT equality in the workplace. Over the course of the two-day symposium, held March 12 and 13 at Le Meridien Hotel in San Francisco, leaders rallied around the theme: Better Together.

“Making connections and bold strides are what the Out & Equal Executive Forum is all about,” said Selisse Berry, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. “Increasingly, we see executives being visible role models as they progress in their careers, making connections across borders and boundaries of all kinds to advance LGBT workplace inclusion.”

The Forum began with a keynote address on the State of the LGBT Movement delivered by Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and participants spent the next two days focused on ways to work together to further equality in the workplace on a global scale. Topics included; the opportunities in a post ENDA environment in the US, joining forces in emerging markets like India and readiness to ascend to the C-Suite. As well as collaborating as one group in the plenary sessions, participants divided into two classes for more detailed work, one consisting of high-level executives and the other of emerging leaders, both addressing the need to continue sponsoring and mentoring rising LGBT talent and increased LGBT presence on corporate boards. A full list of participants and their affiliation is attached.

The Executive Forum was co-chaired by Laura Crumley, executive director of finance at Dell and Bobby Wilkinson, assistant vice-president of member experience at USAA. Classroom facilitators were Christie Hardwick and Vicky Keith.

The 2014 Out & Equal Executive Forum was made possible through the generous support of The Walt Disney Company, Intuit, The Advocate, The Clorox Company, Deloitte, Genentech, The Port of Oakland and Wells Fargo.

“For the past seventeen years, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates has been the leading organization advocating for LGBT workplace equality and inclusion. Our vision knows no borders and at this year’s Out & Equal Executive Forum we focused as never before on the work ahead and committed to advancing our movement,” concluded Berry.