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2020 Outies: Workplace Excellence

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 is the most prestigious Outie. It recognizes an employer that has a historic and ongoing commitment to pursuing and executing workplace equality for LGBTQ employees in their workplace. This employer has a history of not only continually raising the bar of workplace equality for others to follow but also supports other organizations’ diversity and inclusion efforts as well through active knowledge sharing and peer organization mentoring.



Dow’s LGBTQ inclusion leadership is the essence of, “Think globally, act locally.” From its headquarters and C-suite to plant floors around the world, Dow has made the support of its people – including LGBTQ employees and their families – central to business operations. Dow’s LGBTQ Employee Resource Group, GLAD, has become one of the largest and most established ERGs at the company with over 4,600 members across the globe – representing more than 10% of the total company. GLAD’s network is organized to reach across the world, including regional leads in North America, Latin America, EMEAI, and APAC regions. Even before naming openly gay leader, Jim Fitterling, to the CEO role, Dow had a long history of visible LGBTQ and allied executives and mentors. For over a decade, Dow has stood as one of the strongest and most consistent champions for LGBTQ equality in public policy. The company was one of the first to publicly support the Equality Act and continues to engage in numerous state-base efforts to fight against anti-LGBTQ legislation.


“Before working at Dow, I was unsure if I could be out at work. Since being at Dow over 8 years, I know that it is absolutely possible and that being an out manager and leader has been one of the most rewarding and humbling experiences for me. I am constantly amazed and energized by the amazing executive sponsors who promote GLAD and everything it stands for at Dow.”


Toyota’s organizational values are focused through two main pillars – “Respect for People” and “Continuous Improvement.” These commitments show in their approach to the LGBTQ community. In 2002, Toyota was among the first auto companies to adopt domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples. Spectrum, Toyota’s LGBTQ Business Partnering Group, has 11 chapters that work across North America towards a more inclusive environment – not only in the workplace but also in local communities and through partnerships with dozens of LGBTQ organizations. An example of this is their work with LGBTQ youth, in partnership with the Los Angeles LGBT Center, with a program called “OUT for Safe Schools.” This program provides training for staff, in more than a dozen major school districts in the LA-area, to help LGBTQ youth who are facing mental health issues or bullying.


“One of Toyota’s key pillars is ‘Respect for People.’ We embrace this pillar as the truth for our company, and as such, Toyota has zero-tolerance policies against discrimination. Through HR policies, onboarding trainings, and our LGBTQ+ ERG, Spectrum, we work to create an atmosphere that not only discourages discrimination, but actively values and highlights the lived experiences of our LGBTQ+ Team Members.”


Wells Fargo’s commitment to the LGBTQ community is clear in its 30+ year track record. Wells Fargo was one of the first large companies to add sexual orientation to their non-discrimination policy in 1987. It established the PRIDE Employee Resource Group in 1992. Today, the PRIDE ERG has over 16,000 members with 47 chapters in the United States, and four more outside of the U.S. Wells Fargo scored a perfect score on the HRC Corporate Equality Index for 16 years, and is a strong supporter of the Equality Act and state-based LGBTQ initiatives. The company was also the first financial institution to tell an LGBTQ story in a national advertising campaign.


“Wells Fargo understands that the benefits of telling our stories extend into the corporate sphere, where learning from each other’s successes and varied approaches can help move forward our entire community at an accelerated pace. Each year, we proudly partner with national organizations at conferences and in virtual trainings to discuss how we approach advancements in the diversity and inclusion space, including for the LGBTQ community.”

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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.