There are three sessions on Thursday. Click on a session to view the workshops in each.

EARLY BIRD SESSION: 9:00 – 10:30 AM

SESSION 5: 10:30 – 12 PM

SESSION 6: 2 – 3:30 PM


EARLY BIRD SESSION | 9:00 – 10:30 AM


Advancing LGBT Inclusion Within A Conservative Organization | Track: General | Level: Intermediate

The financial services industry is not historically known for its diversity. Michelle Hyde and Raymone Jackson of Northwestern Mutual have seen this first-hand. The tide, however, has been turning in the last five years, and Michelle and Raymone have learned a few things along the way. If you work in a conservative industry or organization and are looking for some guidance on how to navigate a conservative landscape while furthering LGBT inclusion initiatives, this is the session for you. This interactive session will share the lessons Northwestern Mutual has learned, encourage you to share your own stories, and will culminate with a brainstorm of ideas that can be implemented within your organization.

Speakers: Michelle Hyde (Northwestern Mutual), Raymone Jackson (Northwestern Mutual)


Thinking Differently: Celebrating Psychological Diversity with Deloitte Business Chemistry | Track: Professional Development | Level: Introductory

Expressly designed for use in a business context, Deloitte’s proprietary Business Chemistry tool is a personality system that draws upon the latest analytics technologies to reveal four scientifically based patterns of behavior. The system is designed to provide insights about individuals and teams based on observable business behaviors. Deloitte teamed with scientists from the fields of neuro-anthropology and genetics to develop a personality system that leverages modern computational techniques to bring a data-driven approach to observing and understanding personality differences. The resulting system is easy to remember, but with a sophisticated underpinning that highlights statistically relevant behavioral cues in a business environment. Over 150,000 users around the world have completed the assessment and now use Business Chemistry in their workplaces. Please bring your laptop to the workshop.

Speakers: Joshua Chappell (Deloitte) and Jake Lewitz (Deloitte)


Expanding Corporate Responsibility: Engaging Trans Youth and Families | Track: General | Level: Intermediate

This panel will explore expanding the social responsibility of corporations in two ways: to create pathways through mentorship for transgender people entering the corporate talent pool and to create support systems for talent with LGBTQA family members. The Ackerman Institute’s Gender & Family Project (GFP) is a program providing gender inclusive services to transgender youth, families, institutions and corporations. Acknowledging the significant underrepresentation of trans people in the corporate workforce as well as the lack of support for families of LGBTQA youth, GFP has begun to work with corporate partners on a structure for trans young people to access meaningful mentorship and on the inclusion of parents of LGBTQA youth, while also supporting an organization’s mission and goals on diversity and inclusion.

Speakers: Jenna Cook (Johnson & Johnson), Ben Davis (The Ackerman Institute’s Gender & Family Project), Enrique Perez Grovas (EY), Jean Malpas (The Ackerman Institute’s Gender & Family Project)


Now that We Found (Legal) Love, What are We Gonna Do? | Track: General | Level: Intermediate

Now that we have the nationwide freedom to marry, we will have a decidedly unromantic discussion about marriage and what you need to consider, depending on individual circumstances.  The author of Before I Do: A Legal Guide to Marriage, Gay & Otherwise, will explore some of the automatic rights marriage brings, including on death and divorce, and how tying the knot could raise your income taxes and might jeopardize certain government benefits that are based on household income. We’ll discuss what employers need to know about marriage equality, whether we should hold on to company-provided unmarried domestic partner benefits, and the status of LGBTQ rights under the current administration.

Speakers: Elizabeth Schwartz (Elizabeth F. Schwartz, PA)


SESSION 5 | 10:30 – 12 PM


Exploring Multiple Realities: The Power of Courageous Conversations | Track: Professional Development | Level: Intermediate

This highly interactive session explores the power of engaging in courageous conversations to move from us versus them to us AND them. We will share a tool used in Wells Fargo to engage in courageous conversations across differences on a variety of topics from Marriage Equality, to HB2, to addressing non-inclusive behaviors. Whether used at the individual level or group level, or to open the door to systemic change, the tool has been powerful in connecting people across differences and fostering inclusion.

Speakers: Felicia Byrd (Wells Fargo), Jay Norvell (Wells Fargo), June Carter (Wells Fargo), Peter Kouzmov (Wells Fargo)


Extended Engagement Group: Comprehensive Engagement to Extend Influence Beyond Employees | Track: ERG/BRG | Level: Intermediate

The session will be an interactive workshop in which participants are provided with guidance and best practices, prompts, and handouts, to use in-session, to identify myriad ways to increase engagement bi-directionally between their Employee Resource Group and other internal non-LGBTQIA+ ERGs, external LGBTQIA+ ERGs, community organizations (LGBTQIA+ and non), families of employees, and management within your organization. Participant-completed materials will guide each participant’s work with other participants to customize solutions for their particular ERG. “Lessons Learned about Partnering” will also be shared.

Speakers: Dawn Prince (Deutsche Bank), Shraddha Pai (Deutsche Bank), Neeti Shenai (Deutsche Bank)


Featured Panel: LGBT SWAT Team: Navigating Policy in the New Administration

From religious-based discrimination to prohibitive access to public facilities by transgender people, corporate leadership has emerged as a key voice in local and national policy debates. How can LGBT and Ally leaders work together to engage corporate affairs and government relations to quickly and effectively formulate a response?  Our panel will explore corporate pushback against anti-LGBT legislation and share best practices for developing “SWAT” or “tiger teams” of key stakeholders in order to advance an inclusive agenda.


From Tokenism to True Representation: Lessons From LGBTQ Healthcare Marketing | Track: LGBT Marketing | Level: Intermediate

For years, depictions of LGBT+ people in mainstream consumer marketing were limited to putting identifiably gay but nonthreatening heteronormative-appearing people or images in a campaign (at best) or making sexual orientation the butt of a joke (at worst). Whether the messages were targeting straight or LGBT+ consumers, the use of LGBT+ tokens often failed to treat diverse consumers with respect or to meet them where they are. As marketers and consumers have become savvier and more accepting, LGBT+ marketing has become braver and bolder, producing campaigns that are unapologetic, diverse and empowering. Nowhere has this been more evident than in healthcare marketing, where tokenism has given way to true representation. This session features compelling case studies that illustrate how health marketing has pushed the envelope.

Speakers: Ben Kozub (Gilead Sciences, Inc.), Ed Hunt (Digitas Health), Lauren Locke (Grindr), Tom Whitman (Ion Marketing Group)


Get SASSy: Tapping the power of Visible Allies at work | Track: Allies | Level: Intermediate

Allies are an important contingent in the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights and workplace inclusion. In this session, we’ll explore: why visible allies are critical to fostering an inclusive workplace; why calling yourself an ally is different than “acting in visible ally-ship”; how to make a plan that you can take back to your teams; and how to prepare for the consequences (both good and bad) of visibility. We’ll share tactical steps allies can take to Support, Advocate, Speak Out, and Stand Up (SASS) in visible “ally-ship” for their LGBTQ+ colleagues, as told from a bisexual, gay, and straight perspective. Allies… it’s time to get SASSy!

Speakers: Laura Martin (Northwestern Mutual), Ryan Everson (Northwestern Mutual)


Healthcare Update with a Focus on LGBT Issues | Track: Law, Policy & Benefits | Level: Intermediate

A presentation providing up to the minute update on healthcare legislation and what it means for your workforce, with a focus on LGBT issues, jointly presented by Willis Towers Watson, a global advisory and benefits consulting firm, and SAGE, the country’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT older adults, followed by a panel discussion featuring Willis Towers Watson, SAGE, and NY Life, who will provide the individual employer perspective

Speakers: Ann Marie Breheny (Willis Towers Watson), Elise Colomer (SAGE), Lauren Hoeck (Willis Towers Watson), Aaron Tax (SAGE)


PRIDE! Create a Symphony Between Your ERG and Marketing Team | Track: General; LGBT Marketing | Level:

Annual Pride Parades & Festivals are one the best places for a company to activate locally to large numbers of LGBT consumers. But what is the value for a company to showcase products and services to LGBT consumers if they don’t believe the company really cares about the community? Conversely, how can you showcase yourself as an employer of choice and engage your employees when consumer messaging is absent or unprofessionally executed? In this interactive session, learn how corporations Hilton and NBCUniversal as well as agency New Avenue Marketing are bringing marketers and ERGs together to execute holistic Pride Parade and Festival entries that lift brands and corporate profiles. Hear from both marketers and ERG leaders with successful case studies of major Pride activations.

Speakers: Kristin Wygal (Comcast NBCUniversal), Joe Keenan (New Avenue Marketing), Andrea Richardson (Hilton Worldwide), Derek Tarcza (Comcast NBCUniversal), Mike Pirone (Comcast NBCUniversal)


Progressing Towards Success: Maximize Your ERG for Business Impact | Track: ERG/BRG | Level: Intermediate

In business today, what gets measured gets done. Successful ERGs are always aware of their journey towards maturity, setting specific and achievable goals to advance in the areas most important to their membership AND their organization. It is often difficult for ERG leaders to perceive the steps in the progression to business impact, and importantly, master each stage of the journey before moving to the next. In this interactive session, Jennifer Brown will provide an overview of JBC’s trademark ERG Progression Model, followed by presentations from two corporate speakers who have implemented the model and who will share internal case studies from their ERGs, including challenges, lessons learned, and impact achieved.

Speakers: Jennifer Brown (Jennifer Brown Consulting), Kevin England, Ph.D. (Jennifer Brown Consulting), Michael Lopez (Arconic)


The Power of Intersectionalities | Track: Intersectionality | Level: Intermediate

The Clorox Pride ERG, along with Diane Amos (the Pine Sol Lady!!), will present on the importance and power of intersectionalities, both personally and for companies as we think about how to market to consumers. No two consumers are alike, and experiences are shaped by many things in addition to LGBT.

Speakers: Matthew Richards (The Clorox Company), Amir Diwane (Heartbeat Ideas)


The Q in LGBTQ – Including Non-LGBT Queers in Our Organizations | Track: Intersectionality | Level: Intermediate

Is your organization queer-inclusive? Does the language your ERG use (or doesn’t use) unintentionally exclude people or make them feel unwelcome? Does your organization’s ERG reflect a concept of sexual and gender identity that is at odds with your millennial workforce and prospective employees? As the world moves to a more fluid understanding of sexuality and gender, many of our organizations are still rooted in the language and perspectives of the past. This workshop will help organizations 1) understand evolving perspectives on gender and sexual identities (including queer identities) and 2) make strategic changes to better engage employees in the light of these “evolutions”. Specifically, this workshop will discuss how ERG acronyms, Self ID, marketing, and D&I policies can be adapted to be more queer-inclusive.

Speakers: Casey Robinson (Willis Towers Watson), Meg Gibbon (Willis Towers Watson)


The Secret to Driving Inclusion and Engagement: Storytelling | Track: General | Level: Introductory

As companies commit to creating a welcome and inclusive culture, the story you are telling is more important than ever. This interactive workshop introduces participants to the power of storytelling as a technique to engage employees, and to understand the rationale and implications of using this method in the leadership space versus the management space.

Speakers: Amber Maynard (The Dow Chemical Company), Trevor Ewers, PhD (The Dow Chemical Company)


Transgender Youth Inclusion in the Corporate Workplace – Latin America | Track: Global; Trans | Level: Intermediate

This workshop will help on the understanding of the main models of transgender inclusion Dow has promoted within Latin America: Brazilian model (through Apprentice Program) and Argentinian model (through Open Doors to Diversity Program, in partnership with another corporation). Main topics that will be discussed are: 1. how the company first learned about the topic and defined how it would be approached; 2. preparation of the organization; 3. selection program (talent acquisition) and 4. program structure, additional policies and inclusion needs encountered while having these people onboard. Through this workshop you will be able to benchmark best-practices and key learnings (what worked and what could have been done differently), paving your path on the “T” inclusion.

Speakers: Joao Torres (The Dow Chemical Company), Matias Finkelstein (The Dow Chemical Company)


LGBT Organization Sponsorships: Gay Polo League & RSM Story | Track: ERG/BRG | Level: Intermediate

LGBT Employee Network Group (ENG/BRGs) have more pressure than ever to find partnering opportunities that maximize budgets and meet return on investment objectives. This session will share the four pillars of return on investment of workplace, workforce, marketplace and community using internal and external activities as definitions. Participants will use a workplan to assist in alignment of sponsorships of LGBT organizations to the four pillars using the relationship between RSM US LLP and the Gay Polo League as a case study. Participants will have time to use the workplan for identification of a LGBT organization that align the four pillars to their mission, budget and company brand.

Speakers: Chip McKenney (GPL Polo Club and Gay Polo League), Carolyn Pettke (RSM), Phil Tremo (GPL Polo Club and Gay Polo League), and Steve Kampa (RSM)


UpLyfting LGBTQ Team Members: Inclusion, Affirmation, & Empowering ERGs | Track: Trans; Law, Policy & Benefits | Level: Intermediate

An inclusive and affirming workplace doesn’t begin and end at the executive level; in fact, it takes a critical mass of committed team members. At Lyft, the LGBTQQIA Employee Resource Group, LyftOut, led the effort to ensure the safety, visibility, health, and productivity of team members of all genders through a Gender Inclusion & Affirmation policy. Lyft’s team members want to share the details of both the groundbreaking policy and its origin to make these protections available for companies around the world, and guarantee that trans team members are safe, and allies are empowered, notwithstanding the current (or future) political climate. What makes this policy extraordinary is that it was a combined effort between executives, our People team, and an empowered ERG.

Speakers: Samuel Carrington (Lyft)


SESSION 6 | 2 – 3:30 PM


#MobilizeforEquality & Amplify #UnlimitedPride | Track: General | Level: Intermediate

Building, Growing, & Engaging ERG Chapters. T-Mobile’s unique structure for our Diversity & Inclusion program has supported the rapid growth of our Pride & Allies Network (PAN) to over 3,000 members across the country in just 3 short years. Learn how T-Mobile Diversity & Inclusion simplified structure of Diversity & Inclusion Chapters rather than Network specific chapters allows our employees to experience Diversity & Inclusion beyond its Pride & Allies Network creating a more inclusive environment for all.

Speakers: Anneke Blair (T-Mobile), Jen Palmer (T-Mobile)


Engaging the Silent Majority: Tools to Empower Allies In the Workplace | Track: Allies | Level: Intermediate

When discussing diversity in the workplace, the focus is often on eliminating discrimination and bias from the work environment. While these efforts ensure a lack of negative workplace experiences for minority employees, they do not cement an actively inclusive workplace culture. Transgender and gender non-binary employees may face particular challenges in this arena, given that public education on gender expression inclusivity is lacking. Better understanding how to actively create inclusive workplace environments for transgender and gender non-binary employees is key in moving the needle forward in corporations today. We will present a framework for courageous allyship, derived from real-world experiences of transgender employees at work, to promote a more actively inclusive work environment for transgender employees, versus a work environment that is simply discrimination-free.

Speakers: Carol Levey (The Dow Chemical Company), Christian Thoroughgood (Villanova University), Joy Gallagher (The Dow Chemical Company), Katina Sawyer (Villanova University), Steven Wensing (The Dow Chemical Company)


Featured Panel: LGBT Marketing

What role can diversity & inclusion and LGBT ERG leaders play in helping to shape authentic LGBT marketing strategies? Our panel of senior marketing executives will share case studies of successful LGBT marketing campaigns and strategies for ERG leaders and members looking to help shape LGBT marketing at their organizations.


Frenemies: Leveraging Friendly Competition to Drive Workplace Equality Across Firms | Track: General | Level: Intermediate

Out Professionals Exchange Network for Finance (OPEN Finance) has been a driving force in advancing LGBT equality and inclusion in the workplaces of almost 45 financial services companies by harnessing the competitive nature of our members.  During this interactive session, the leaders of the organization will discuss how an Employee Resource Group made up of ERGs has created a volunteer run, grass roots operation to continue to make financial services and all employers more inclusive for LGBT and all employees.  This workshop will take the format of a short presentation with video followed by a panel discussion of ERG leaders from various member firms as well as community partners.

Speakers: Elise Colomer-Cheadle (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)), George Miranda (JPMorgan Chase), Jennifer Brown (Jennifer Brown Consulting), Jon Tilli (Deutsche Bank), Matthew Toole (ThomsonReuters)


Preparing for HRC’s 2019 Corporate Equality Index Criteria Changes | Track: Law, Policy & Benefits | Level: Intermediate

This session will provide an overview of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, the national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees, and provide expert guidance and insight into the 2019 CEI criteria changes. To earn a 100 in the 2019 CEI, businesses must: offer domestic partner benefits; remove any blanket exclusions for transition related care in all health care plans; and include LGBTQ suppliers in their outreach efforts of existing supplier diversity programs. This session will feature best practice guidance from HRC staff, and recommendations from subject matter experts from our corporate and organizational partners.

Speakers: Casey Oakes (NGLCC), Cigna TBD Cigna TBD (Cigna), Liz Cooper (Human Rights Campaign)


Running an ERG effectively with minimal budget through global partnerships | Track: ERG/BRG; Global | Level: Intermediate

Employee Resource Groups require funding to function, but what do you do when funding is limited? Can an ERG still be successful? This panel discusses how money doesn’t inherently equal success and provides examples for how to have a positive impact while operating on a smaller budget. We will also cover how global collaboration and creative approaches to funding can increase leadership commitment and community involvement. Case study examples will be provided from the following regional perspectives: US, UK, Ireland, and India.

Speakers: Cass Averill (Symantec), Chandramoulee L U (Symantec), Nick Coates (Symantec), Rachel Armstrong (Symantec)


Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity under the Trump Administration | Track: Law, Policy & Benefits | Level: Intermediate

This session will address emerging issues surrounding legal protection for LGBTQ individuals under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Executive Orders. How will those initiatives fare under the current administration? The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has focused on protecting the legal rights of LGBTQ community. Will that emphasis shift under the new administration? Will state and local laws continue to be the primary avenue for protection? How are employers addressing these issues? What are the risks to employers for claims by LGBTQ employees, and what role does employment practices liability insurance play in mitigating the risks? The panel will explore these issues and discuss proactive steps employers can take.

Speakers: Adeola Adele (Willis Towers Watson), Mark T. Phillis (Littler Mendelson)


State Legislative Actions 2017: Emphasis on Texas and North Carolina | Track: Law, Policy & Benefits | Level: Intermediate

This year has seen the trend for increased activity for both pro-equality and anti-LGBT bills continued across the US. This session will start with a review of LGBT themed legislation actions introduced in 2017 by representatives from Freedom for All Americans and HRC. Current legislation can be broadly divided into four categories (anti-transgender, marriage protection, religious refusal and municipal preemption). After this overview, we will move to examine corporate engagement specifically in Texas and North Carolina to review these fast-paced and difficult political undertakings. Finally, Dow will review their engagement in 2017: how they vet items to engage, typical types of engagement and the impact the engagement has had.

Speakers: Alex Papastrat (The Dow Chemical Company), Bill Hendrix (The Dow Chemical Company), Janet Boyd (The Dow Chemical Company), Katie Belanger (Freedom for All Americans), Lynne Bowman (HRC)


Supporting the journey – transitions in the global workplace | Track: Trans; Global | Level: Advanced

Recognized as a global leader for implementing LGBT inclusive programs and policies, IBM is committed to providing a safe, open and inclusive working environment for its 375,000 employees worldwide. In June 2017, IBM released a new, comprehensive & thoughtful set of global workplace transition modules that will guide & support the entire transition journey – for the employee, the team, the manager, the HR staff and business line executives. These policies were developed in consultation with nine trans coaches, IBM employees who were invited to contribute to the creation of the new program. IBM is proud to share this best in class framework that addresses the commonality of experience while acknowledging the individuality of every transitioning employee.

Speakers: Beck Bailey (Human Rights Campaign), Connie Rice (IBM), Joy Dettorre (IBM), Kathy Brenneman (Chevron), Kimberley Messer (IBM)


The Alchemy of Transforming your ERG into a BRAN | Track: ERG/BRG | Level: Intermediate

Have you been searching for the magic behind transforming your affinity network to a business resource? Have you read a policy, seen a commercial, or attended an event that you felt could have been better with input from your ERG? Learn about the transformative journey of Campbell’s LBGTQ Business Resource Affinity Network (BRAN) from a group created to connect our LGBTQ employees and their allies to one that can leverage those connections.

Speakers: Caleb Kearney (Campbell Soup Company), Dave Lenahan (Campbell Soup Company), Debbie Sisson (Pepperidge Farm), Jim Guyon (Campbell Soup Company)


The World of Work: Global Talent Trends and the Young LGBTQI+ Workforce | Track: Global | Level: Intermediate

This workshop will utilize Mercer’s ‘Global Talent Trends Survey 2017’ and the ‘LGBT benefits Around the World 2017’ reports to explore the developing importance that the emerging LGBTQI+ millennial workforce places upon having their health and lifestyle needs met, and how companies can attract and retain tomorrows talent, build for an unknown future and cultivate a thriving workforce.

Speakers: Rhys McKinnon (Marsh & McLennan Companies), Edith Clee (Marsh & McLennan Companies), Diego Ramirez (Marsh & McLennan Companies)


Work environments that value diversity know how to embrace vulnerability. | Track: Intersectionality | Level: Intermediate

There isn’t anyone you can’t come to love once you know their story, and people can’t come to love you until you are willing to share your story. We don’t learn to value diversity in the workplace through corporate policy but we can through embracing vulnerability and sharing our stories with each other.Explore how a gender transition led an entire team to embrace the individual diversity in each other. Effective communication, coaching, trust and facing our fears can lead to developing stronger teams that value what really matters, our contribution to the team. It starts by sharing our most valuable resource, our own story.

Speakers: Kate Fisher (Oracle)