June 12, 2008 – SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, the leading national nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to promoting workplace equality for LGBT employees, announced today the finalists for the annual Out & Equal Workplace Awards (commonly known as "The Outies"). From the stellar list of finalists, the winners of the 2008 Out & Equal Workplace Awards will be announced at a Gala Awards Dinner on September 12, at the Austin Convention Center, during the annual Out & Equal Workplace Summit. This year Out & Equal is expecting more than 3,000 attendees at the Summit, which includes human resources and diversity professionals, community advocates, LGBT employees and allies.
Since 2000, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates has recognized individuals and organizations in five categories for their contributions in advancing workplace environments where all people are treated equally regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. Past award winners have included many esteemed corporate leaders and several of the most admired and successful businesses.
"This year’s Outie Award finalists are truly a who’s who of business leaders that are helping to advance workplace equality every day," said Selisse Berry, executive director of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. "They [finalists] prove that a person’s actions can have a positive effect in shaping the workplace. I applaud all the finalists for standing with us as we advance equality together."
The 2008 Out & Equal Workplace Award finalists are:
Out & Equal Trailblazer Award – This award recognizes an LGBT person who has made a significant contribution to advancing workplace equality. This individual’s activities will have made a marked improvement in their own workplace and/or have contributed to equality nationally.
Chris Crespo, LGBT and Allies Inclusiveness Strategy Leader, Ernst & Young LLP
Mike DeGroot, Production Manager – Product Development and Sourcing, JCPenney
Keith Ford, Business Manager, Pratt & Whitney
Nikki Raeburn, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of San Francisco
Tim Stiles, Partner, KPMG
Lora Yates, Director of Global External Manufacturing Management, Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics at Johnson & Johnson
Out & Equal Champion Award – This award recognizes a non-LGBT person who has played a pivotal role in championing equal treatment of LGBT employees on the job. This individual will have shown a unique commitment to LGBT workplace rights and will have used his or her talents to further that cause, even at some risk.
Karen DeCuir-DiNicola, Manager of Diversity Initiatives, General Motors Corporation
Janet Miller-Eveland, National Client Executive – Corporate Services Division, Sodexo
Griffin Haviken, Director of Global Diversity and Inclusion, Merrill Lynch
Randy Kammer, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida
Mark Parker, President and Chief Executive Officer, Nike
William C. Thompson Jr., Comptroller, City of New York
Out & Equal Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Employee Resource Group of the Year – This award recognizes a particular employee resource group (ERG), sometimes referred to as a business group or network, that has a proven track record of success in advocating for LGBT equal rights in its own workplace.
3M PLUS (3M Companies)
EAGLE - Employee Alliance for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Empowerment (IBM)
GLBT Networking Circles (PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP)
HP PRIDE (Hewlett-Packard Company)
PRIDE - People Recognizing Individuality, Diversity & Equality (Sodexo)
TI Pride Network (Texas Instruments)
Out & Equal Significant Achievement Award – This award recognizes any employer that has made significant strides in the past year in advancing a fair and equitable workplace for its LGBT employees, such as: announcing domestic partner health insurance, including gender identity diversity training, or initiating a unique general advertising campaign that includes LGBT people.
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP
Out & Equal Workplace Excellence Award – This award recognizes any employer that has an historic and ongoing commitment to pursuing and executing workplace equality for LGBT employees in their own workplace. This employer has a history of continually raising the bar of workplace equality for others to business leaders to follow.
The Dow Chemical Company
Johnson & Johnson
Award finalists were selected from a pool of nominations that included dozens of worthy candidates. A volunteer committee of judges from diverse backgrounds will further evaluate the finalists and decide the winners. Award winners will be presented with Outie statuettes during the Gala Awards Dinner on September 12, emceed by celebrity comedian Kate Clinton.
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Out & Equal Workplace Advocates™ is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Out & Equal champions safe and equitable workplaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The organization advocates building and strengthening successful organizations that value all employees, customers, and communities. See our website, www.outandequal.org , for more details.
Media contact: Erik Olvera, email@example.com  or (415) 694-6512.