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2020 Outies: Employee Resource Group of the Year

Outie Awards (the “Outies”) recognize individuals and organizations who are leaders in advancing equality for LGBTQ people in workplaces globally. Outies are awarded at the annual Out & Equal Workplace Summit.

This award recognizes a particular Employee Resource Group (ERG) that has a proven track record of success. A top contender will be an ERG that is continuously elevating diversity, implementing intersectional and collaborative programming with other ERGs, and advocating for LGBTQ equal rights in its workplace.



HP’s Global Pride Business Impact Network (BIN) not only enhances HP’s culture of inclusion and belonging, it is also aligned to support the business in ways that benefit the organization and the mission of LGBTQ equality. This came through a re-working of ERGs after HP Inc. was established by separating from Hewlett Packard Enterprise in 2015. And the approach clearly impacts Pride BIN’s impact! Through strategic partnerships with the legal and government relations teams, Pride BIN is able to elevate issues of concern, helping to shape HP’s advocacy on public policy matters – from the Equality Act, to anti-transgender legislation in Idaho, to a referendum on marriage equality in Taiwan (to name a few). In the past five years, Pride BIN has grown from eight to 18 chapters – more than doubling the number of chapters across the globe. Growth includes one overarching global chapter, two in the APAC region, three in Europe, and four in the US. Two notable additions are chapters in India and Singapore, where LGBTQ rights and public support are still growing. However, these two chapters have still been very successful in gaining leadership support, members, and business impact. HP has also effectively demonstrated great care for LGBTQ employees – from hosting a global memorial service for an LGBTQ employee lost to tragedy, to integrating a focus on mindfulness and wellbeing practices during virtual events.


“Our Pride BIN provides essential leadership on strategy, programming and processes to transform HP into a place of inclusion and belonging for LGBTQ+ people. Pride’s ability to make impactful change is supported by a strong corporate culture that is reinventing the standard for diversity and inclusion in the technology industry.”



John Deere’s LGBTQ ERG, Rainbow, focuses on organic growth and changing company culture at both the individual and departmental levels. Since the group’s creation nine years ago, the ERG has grown to cover four continents. Since the onset of COVID-19, ERG membership has increased 15% — a clear demonstration that they provide a platform where people want to belong! Rainbow ERG prides itself on being visible in the company so employees know that the company has LGBTQ and ally employees. The ERG has been effective in partnering with HR, Legal, and Diversity and Inclusion leaders to make important changes to company policies. An example of Rainbow’s strive for visibility is branded Ally Badges to go on employee badges and Safe Space magnets for employees’ desks. This past year, the Rainbow ERG led the release of the first ever LGBTQ-focused diversity training for John Deere employees. Additionally, the Rainbow ERG will lead the first-annual Ally Week later in 2020, to provide an opportunity for John Deere employees to gain skills around how to be an active ally.


“Rainbow ERG has an online Ally Pledge which employees can visit, read, and digitally sign their commitment to allyship. The online storage site lists the names and pictures of every employee who has signed their name. Entry level employees all the way up to the CEO, John May, have signed this pledge. Before Pride Month 2020 started, the storage site used since its origination in 2017 maxed out, and we had to relocate our pledge to a cloud-based server so that people could continue to add their name to this pledge.”


Toyota’s LGBTQ ERG, Spectrum, sets out to foster an inclusive and supportive work environment where LGBTQ people can bring their full selves to work and fully thrive.  In 2002, Toyota was one of the first automotive companies to include same-sex domestic partner benefits and set the bar for other automotive companies to do the same. Back then, Spectrum had just one chapter. It has grown to 11 chapters across North America. The chapters are governed by an advisory council (NAAC), which allows the opportunity to share best practices, collaborate, and create strategic visions across chapters. Spectrum’s presence is felt in the local communities, including many rural areas in the Midwest and South where Spectrum’s presence in the manufacturing facilities has created more accepting workplaces and communities. Spectrum partners with dozens of LGBTQ non-profits and universities across the country to host events, volunteer, and fundraise.


“As a company, we can’t flourish until all of our Team Members can come to work and not be afraid of being their authentic selves Spectrum’s activities throughout each year demonstrate that we embody this pillar in all of our work.”

More 2020 Outies


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Out & Equal is the global convener, thought leader and catalyst actively working to achieve workplaces of equality and belonging - supporting LGBTQ+ employees and leaders who thrive in their careers and lives and achieve greater impact on the world.