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 an LGBTQ individual who is actively advocating to improve their organization’s inclusion efforts, pushing significant adoption of best/innovative practices, benefiting LGBTQ employees and advancing their organizations’ standing as a true leader in this work. These advocates are bold and are making a difference outside their workplace to drive change and equality in their community, their country, and the world.
The 2021 LGBTQ Corporate Advocate Outie Award honorees are below. The Outie winners were announced at the annual Workplace Summit happening October 6-8, 2021.
Dr. Shilpen Patel (he/him), Genentech/Roche
Dr. Shilpen Patel is the Principal Medical Director at Genentech/Roche. Shilpen identified the need to collect data on LGBTQ+ employees to ensure they were receiving the support, benefits, and rights they deserved. He then led the task force dedicated to collecting sexual orientation and gender identity data across the entire organization. This helped shed light on LGBTQ+ diversity across the organization, sparked conversations among executive leadership, drove the creation of a diversity matrix tool to ensure adequate diversity across the company, and changed the way the organization conducts crucial, life-saving research that serves the LGBTQ+ community and others. Shilpen also works outside of his organization to ensure LGBTQ+ people are counted in global clinical research. For instance, as the chair of the LGBTQ Advisory Committee of the American Medical Association, he has been part of amicus briefs by the AMA Litigation Center to address LGBTQ+ issues in 11 federal cases.
In the nominator’s words: “Talking at someone is no longer feasible in creating change, and leadership will require a strong listener, amplified by a passion to serve. Dr. Shilpen Patel has spent his life advocating for LGBTQ+ health, but most of all, he has demonstrated his servant leadership in multiple avenues, making him stand out as an LGBTQ+ corporate leader.”
Aro Royston (he/him), Boeing
Aro Royston is a visible mentor and role model for LGBTQ+ people at Boeing, drawing on his own experience as a trans person to help LGBTQ+ employees thrive in the workplace. Grounded in the knowledge that the LGBTQ+ community is comprised of individuals that belong to every other community and demographic, Aro is known for looking for opportunities to partner and cross-promote with numerous ERGs at Boeing. Aro is the founding member of Boeing’s Racial Equity Task Force, where he works directly with Boeing’s Executive Council and Board of Directors to advance equality for employees of color. Additionally, he played a critical role in the implementation of self-identification policies for all Boeing employees and helped secure wig benefits for transgender women at the company.
In the nominator’s words: “Aro is an empathetic servant leader who fights for anyone and everyone that needs his help. Aro’s words carry great weight and he doesn’t hesitate to use his voice if he sees something that isn’t right. When there are people too afraid to speak out on their own, he is there to voice their concerns.”
Paul Treagold (he/him), EMD Group
Paul Treagold is the Director of Corporate Policy and External Affairs for EMD Group and is a leader in the North America LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group – the Rainbow Network. Through his leadership, Paul has doubled the size of the Rainbow Network in the past few years and has turned the ERG into one of the most successful groups at the organization and a strategic model that other ERG’s routinely follow. Paul spearheaded the company’s shift from never lobbying on social issues to being one of the companies at the forefront of advocating for the LGBTQ+ community, including initiatives to support the Equality Act and advocating against the Trump Administration’s efforts to undo protections guaranteed by Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. After meeting with LGBTQ+ employees across the company, Paul saw the need for company-wide gender transition guidelines and self-identification data. He worked with executive leadership to quickly adopt and implement these practices.
In the nominator’s words: “Paul is a tireless advocate who knows how to deftly navigate corporate politics and internal hierarchies to get things done. Paul is unapologetic about who he is and the ERG members whom he represents and is not afraid of having difficult conversations with senior leaders when he perceives the company is not living up to its corporate values.”