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2021 Summit Premier Sessions Rewind

Urgent topics central to workplace inclusion and belonging were elevated at the 2021 Summit in twelve Premier Sessions. All of these sessions are viewable below.

Nonbinary in Four Languages

The way that we use language holds power. A simple word we use can offer a person or a community validation, acknowledgment and respect…and it can also have the power to deny them. Inclusive language matters to the LGBTQ community, especially gender-expansive language. In 2019, Merriam-Webster deemed the singular pronoun “they” the word of the year. Though nonbinary identities are not new, the rise in awareness, visibility, and freedom to explore one’s gender identity is increasingly a reality for many around the world. In this exciting session, CV Viverito, who leads O&E’s global work, sits down with advocates from four countries and holds a multi-lingual conversation about nonbinary identities, language evolution and workplace inclusion.

Speakers: Moderator, CV Viverito, Out & Equal, Deputy Director, Global Programs & Stakeholder Engagement, They/Them; Aritra Kanjilal, NielsenIQ, Sr. Manager, Product Leadership & PRIDE South Asia ERG Lead, He/Him; Mikkel Mergener, Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados, Intern, They/She/He; SaSa Testa, Gerencia de Género, Diversidad y Derechos Humanos del Banco de la Nación Argentina y Co Coordinador del Área Educación de la Fundación Igualdad, He/They

Belonging in Crisis: Lessons for the World

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in catastrophic losses, and has taken an immeasurable toll on people around the world, with India being one of the hardest hit countries. Mental health rose to the top of our radars as employers have had to implement new support structures amidst emergency lockdowns and a global health pandemic. As businesses act, in real time, to adapt to our new reality and to engage in collective action, we must ask ourselves: What does belonging look like amidst a crisis? In this session, we learn from leading employers in India on how they have responded and continue to respond, as well as the ways in which they are transforming commitments to mental health and well-being to the actual implementation of life-changing initiatives. Understanding  how employers are emerging from the COVID crisis in India yields lessons for individual leaders and companies alike, in India and around the world.

Speakers: Moderator, Ramkrishna Sinha, Pride Circle, Co-Founder, He/Him; Mukesh Batra, Bank of America, Senior Vice President, He/Him; Lakshmi Chandrasekharan, Accenture, Managing Director – Human Resources Lead, She/Her; Apoorva Gandhi, Marriott International, Senior Vice President Multicultural Affairs, Social Impact and Business Councils, He/Him; Keshav Suri, ED-The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group and  Founder- Keshav Suri Foundation, Co-Chair FICCI Task Force on D&I Executive Director- The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group  Founder- Keshav Suri Foundation, He/Him

NBCU News Group Summit: Covering SCOTUS and LGBTQ+ Issues In America

Over the years, our partners at NBC Universal have joined us during Summit to discuss current issues central to the LGBTQ+ community through the lens of politics, the law, and the Supreme Court. This year, Shepard Smith, Kendis Gibson, Pete Williams, Brooke Sopelsa, and Jo Yurcaba will  provide insights on the latest news facing the LGBTQ+ community.

Speakers: Kendis Gibson, MSNBC, Anchor, “Gibson and Reiser Report”, He/him; Shepard Smith, CNBC, Anchor and Executive Editor of “The News with Shepard Smith”, He/him; Brooke Sopelsa, NBC News, Editorial Director of NBC Out, She/Her; Pete Williams, NBC News, NBC News Justice Correspondent, He/him; Jo Yurcaba, NBC News, Reporter, They/them

On Leadership: A Conversation with Land O’Lakes CEO Beth Ford and Out & Equal CEO Erin Uritus

Land O’ Lakes CEO, Beth Ford, the first openly gay, woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company sits down with Out & Equal CEO Erin Uritus for a conversation on the essentials of leadership, innovation and equity within the company she leads and in communities at-large, and what leaders must prioritize to create a more inclusive future of work.

Speakers: Beth Ford, Present & CEO, Land O’ Lakes, She/Her, Erin Uritus, CEO, Out & Equal, She/Her

Gender in Latin America: Roadmap for Progress

This multi-lingual session draws from the experiences and expertise of LGBTQ workplace advocates from across Latin America to identify new paths forward toward expansive gender inclusion. For every exciting headline, such as Argentina’s recent adoption of nonbinary identity documents, there are sobering data points as well, such as the 70% rise in anti-transgender violence in Brazil in 2020 alone. In order to identify our roadmap for progress, we first need to begin to bridge the silos of civil society and business, address how the gender ideology movement is affecting the workplace, as well as examine how the gender binary is deeply infused into so many of our structures, even the very fabric of languages such as Spanish and Portuguese. This session explores these topics and more, in a thought-provoking conversation around gender in workplaces across Latin America.

Speakers: Moderator, Ananda Puchta, ELLA Global Community, Country Director, She/Her; Karla Avila, Intel, HR Senior Case Manager, She/Ella; Ti Marinho, Twilio, Customer Success Manager LATAM, They/Them; Juan Pablo Marulanda, Dow Chemical, Customer Manager & GLAD Employee Experience Co-lead, He/Him; Avril Tapia, Pemex, Vicepresidenta de la red por la diversidad de Pemex, She/Ella

Working for Change Across APAC: Common Goals, Distinct Challenges

Full of unique and distinct cultural traditions and government models, the Asia Pacific region cannot be painted with one brush. At the same time, the economic and business constructs that connect these countries under one region can unify many multinationals’ efforts around LGBTQ+ inclusion, and broader DEI efforts. In this session, Deena Fidas, O&E’s Managing Director and Chief Program & Partnerships Officer sits down for a fireside chat with Fern Ngai, former CEO of Community Business and seasoned leader and changemaker with experience successfully leading major DEI strategies throughout Asia. We also hear from key leaders across four countries on the most pressing opportunities for progress and collaboration across the region towards a shared vision of the future of work.

Speakers: Moderator, Alexis Lin, She/Her; Alexander Dmitrenko, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Counsel / Head of Sanctions, He/Him; Chris Eugenio, Philippine Financial & Inter-Industry Pride, Board of Trustee, He/Him; Deena Fidas, Managing Director and Chief Program & Partnerships Officer, Out & Equal, She/Her; Justine Hsu, Nike, GC 365 Experience Assistant Manager, She/They; Fern Ngai, KELY Support Group, Chairperson, She/Her; Geraldine Tay, Oracle, Employee Experience, HR, She/Her

The Moment We’re In: A Dialogue Between Jane Coaston, host of “The Argument” at the New York Times and Pri Bertucci, CEO of [DIVERSITY BBOX]

Jane Coasten, host of “The Argument” at the New York Times and Pri Bertucci, CEO of [DIVERSITY BBOX” join in conversation to talk about navigating the workplace as queer people of color, the role race and colorism have to play in society and workplaces, and the importance of coming together as a community to create better workplaces for the future. 

SpeakersJane Coaston, New York Times, Host of the Argument, She/Her; Pri Bertucci, [DIVERISTY BBOX], CEO, They/Them

Queering Leadership 

Increased access to technological innovation in the late 1990s and early 2000s led to conversations about the future of work and the changing nature of leadership expectations, as employees placed higher value on engagement, job satisfaction, and morale. Researching what he called the “reconstruction of contemporary employees” at the time, Kirk Snyder found that employees reporting to LGBTQ+ managers had higher levels of satisfaction, engagement, and morale than other employees. In the fifteen years since the publication of The G Quotient: Why Gay Executives are Excelling as Leaders… and What Every Manager Needs to Know, how have LGBTQ leaders responded to the needs of the workforce? As employee expectations continue to shift towards belonging and equity, what does it mean to be yourself and find work you love? What lessons can we draw from LGBTQ+ leaders on leveraging difference to foster team inclusion? What exactly does it mean to be an “LGBTQ leader,” and how do our identities and experiences inform our leadership practice? This premier session, moderated by Kirk Snyder, author of The G Quotient and Finding Work You Love, features senior LGBTQ+ leaders across various industries sharing their personal experiences at work. 

Speakers: Moderator, Kirk Snyder, University of Southern California, Professor and Chair, Department of Business Communication, He/him; Beck Bailey, Accenture, Managing Director, Global Inclusion & Diversity, He/Him; Patty Dingle, BNY Mellon, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Americas, She/Her; Chris Mossiah, J.P. Morgan Chase, Vice President, They/Them; Stephen Huey, Out & Equal, Senior Director of Corporate Engagement, He/Him

New Directions for the Federal Workforce: Inclusion and Belonging Across Agencies

One year ago, an Executive Order under the Trump Administration banned participation in various types of diversity training and sent ambiguity and fear across the public sector. Months later, the Biden-Harris Administration quickly reversed course and implemented the Bostock decision to bolster LGBTQ+ protections across federal agencies. One year ago, an Executive Order under the Trump Administration banned various types of diversity trainings sparking fear across the public sector. Months later, the Biden-Harris Administration reversed course and implemented the Bostock decision to bolster LGBTQ+ protections across federal agencies. This session will kick off with Jamie Keen, Domestic Policy Council with the Executive Office of the President, who is helping lead the current administration in its mission to advance LGBTQ equality throughout the country. Following that, we’ll hear from a panel of leaders from different agencies to learn more about how they are institutionalizing LGBTQ inclusion now and their own individual experiences with public service. And finally, we are thrilled to hear from Kiran Ahuja, Director of the Office of Personnel Management, the first South Asian American and first Asian American woman to lead OPM.

Speakers: Kiran Ahuja, Director of the Office of Personnel Management, She/Her; Jamie Keen, Domestic Policy Council with the Executive Office of the President; Mahri Monson, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Diversity Program Manager, They/them/She/Her; Rita Sampson, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Chief of Equal Employment Opportunity, She/Her; Natalie Veeney, US Office of Personnel Management, Deputy Director, She/her; Bali White, Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion / National Institutes of Health, Strategist, Sexual & Gender Minority Portfolio, She/Her

Beyond a “Reckoning” to Sustained Change: Digging Deep and Transforming Belonging Initiatives 

As communities mobilized to protest racial inequity and violence throughout 2020 and into 2021, businesses small to large vowed to enact change and foster inclusion. Whether through internal DEI initiatives, inclusive marketing, and/or community philanthropy, corporate leaders reaffirmed their commitment to racial equity. We now need to ask ourselves, “what has changed and how can progress be sustainable?” How do we transform the conversations and aspirations to implementation of meaningful change? By which metrics do we measure success? The urgency of now demands real sustained change and breakthrough programs and conversation. In this session, corporate leaders driving belonging initiatives across different spheres of business discuss new programs, lessons learned, and best practices for creating meaningful change to drive full equity and inclusion. 

Speakers: Moderator, Isabel Porras, Out & Equal, Senior Director of Learning & Development, She/Her; Tara Hogan Charles, Procter & Gamble, Senior Director, Race Equity Programs & Partnerships, She/Her; Rolddy Leyva, Capital One, Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging, He/Him; Anna Mok, Partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP, President & Co-Founder, Ascend; Co-Founder, Ascend Pinnacle, She/Her; Alex Rhodes, Bank of America, Head of Diversity and Inclusion for Global Banking and Markets and International, He/Him; Wil Lewis, Experian, Global Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, He/Him

Reclaiming Names, Reclaiming Space: An AAPI Fireside Chat with Michelle MiJung Kim and Michelle Meow

Michelle Meow, host and producer of “The Michelle Meow Show” and a producer of programs at the Commonwealth Club, and Michelle MiJung Kim, a queer, immigrant, Korean American writer, speaker, activist, and CEO, join together in conversation about how we can address anti-Asian hate. The two advocates discuss navigating their careers as queer, AAPI women, personal reflections on the current social and cultural moment for AAPI communities in the US, shared and differing individual experiences, and strategies for how to strengthen AAPI cultures of belonging.

Speakers: ​​Michelle MiJung Kim, Awaken, Author, The Wake Up, She/Her; Michelle Meow, Commonwealth Club of CA, Producer/Host, She/Her

A View From the Stage: A Roundtable with Broadway Professionals

The pandemic has had an impact on everybody’s work, from continuing to work in a remote environment, to COVID safety protocols, to not being able to work at all. This panel discussion features seven Broadway professionals who discuss learnings from the past year, shared experiences being in the entertainment business, and how they hope all of us can move forward from the pandemic into a better future.

Speakers: Moderator, Paul Oakley Stovall, He/Him; Stephanie Umoh, She/Her; Osh Ghanimah, He/Him; Olivia Puckett, She/Her; Michael Balderrama, He/Him; Matu Ngaropo, He/Him; Sarina Riversa, She/Her


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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.