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
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
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.