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2022 Executive Forum Sessions

Scroll below to view the latest information about 2022 Executive Forum session descriptions. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

LGBTQ+ Leadership Track

This track explores strategies to maximize your leadership potential and bring together out LGBTQ+ executives and senior leaders, practitioners, and subject matter experts.

Mapping Your Spheres of Influence

LGBTQ+ Sr. Executives: When we pull the curtain back on moments of transformational change within businesses – from implementing LGBTQ+ -inclusive benefits to speaking out on public policy – the key players rarely were acting solely within their day jobs, instead they’re often LGBTQ+ leaders who leveraged their influence across the business. In this session, Out & Equal Managing Director, Deena Fidas and Out & Equal, Senior Director of Learning & Development, Isabel Porras facilitate a mapping of your spheres of influence to enhance your role as an LGBTQ+ change agent. In the second part of this session, we turn towards individual leadership and using elements of dramaturgy shed light on formative moments of daily bias and unpack their effects on us as LGBTQ+ leaders. Through interactive exercises, we will facilitate how to turn these moments inside out and translate our own reactions to them into leadership strengths rather than vulnerabilities.

Crafting Your LGBTQ+ Story     

LGBTQ+ Sr. Executives: Join us for an interactive experience to help you build your storytelling skills while also crafting your personal narrative. Drawing on lessons shared in his book Communicate with Mastery: Speak With Conviction and Write for Impact, author JD Schramm will show us the keys to effective storytelling.

Lead With Your Executive Brand™: Your Next Career Breakthrough

Open to all cohorts: Apple, Starbucks, & Nike. We all love brands. Lead With Your Executive Brand!™ is specially designed for diverse senior leaders looking to hone and refine their winning, super-premium, executive brands using a real marketer’s toolkit. In this fun and interactive workshop, join personal branding expert and inclusion thought leader Jayzen Patria to enhance and evolve the best of the brand that got you where you are today and identify the behaviors you need to stop that may be holding you back as you pivot to the next level.  Roll-up your sleeves and identify the target audience for your next step, define your value proposition, and determine how to thoughtfully “package” yourself as a growing executive. Explore the headwinds that impact the careers of LGBTQ+ leaders and build a plan to stand out from the crowd by turning up the volume on your best authentic self in a way that balances the expectations of senior leaders and compliments your company’s values.

LGBTQ+ Leadership Insights

LGBTQ+ Sr. Executives: In the session, participants gain key insights on career advancement from one of the world’s leading organizational consulting firms behind many of the most visible C-suite talent acquisition efforts. Additional details forthcoming.

LGBTQ+ Leadership Panel

LGBTQ+ Sr. Executives & DEI Practitioners: Too often, examinations of LGBTQ+ leadership are retrospective, that is, we are hearing from an out CEO or other C-suite leaders once they’ve made it to the highest echelons of business. In order to understand the challenges and the diversity of experiences in LGBTQ+ leaders, it’s vital to engage people who may not be presently in the highest levels of business but are leaders on the rise in their careers. In this unique panel, we begin with a senior leader’s reflections on his own career and navigating his LGBTQ+ identity, then move to a diverse set of emerging leaders from a cross-section of industries to learn from their experiences and goals.

Owning your LGBTQ+ Leadership Presence   

Open to all cohorts: All of us are expected to speak publicly whether in our “day jobs” or “gay jobs”. While that prospect may be challenging for many people, it can be particularly challenging for leaders in the LGBTQ+ community. Our experience of overt or subtle marginalization over the years can get in the way of our success when we communicate. In this session, JD Schramm shares his 4-point model for LGBTQ+ Leadership presence and helps participants see what’s possible to expand and own their authentic presence. Schramm, author of Communicate with Mastery: Speak With Conviction and Write for Impact, has worked for decades with leaders in a wide variety of fields on these exact topics.

DEI Best Practices  

This track focuses on emerging topics and best practices in workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion.     

Global Strategies for Nonbinary Inclusion

DEI Practitioners: As more employers invest in LGBTQ+ inclusion and gender-inclusive workplaces, nonbinary identities have become the focal point of many DEI initiatives. However, businesses are still grappling with how to incorporate the full spectrum of gender diversity – particularly nonbinary identity – into their LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusion initiatives. In this session, Out & Equal Associate Director of Global Stakeholder Engagement, CV Viverito; Senior Associate of Global Stakeholder Engagement, Corina Hendren; and Learning & Development Manager, Rebecca York explore cutting edge best practices for nonbinary inclusion on the global scale and build actionable next steps for your company’s nonbinary inclusion initiatives.

Think Like A CEO! Building ERG Strategy & Action For The Next Normal   

ERG Leaders: In a world of constant disruption from hybrid work environments and technology changes to long overdue conversations on race & equity, your employee resource groups cannot operate like it is business as usual. In this interactive lab, ERG Leaders will explore how to build new groups and pivot existing ones for the times by thinking like a CEO and identifying how to create value in the next normal. Hear from personal branding expert and inclusion thought leader Jayzen Patria on his experiences championing ERGs at companies including General Electric, Comcast & NBCUniversal and the best new practices he is seeing in action at top corporations. Use an executive’s strategy & action planning toolkit to define and refine a compelling Vision & Mission that sets a mindset for your team to drive results the C-suite is looking for today. Edit and refine ERG roles and processes that enable action for the current work environment. Identify the unique cross-cultural needs of your workforce and harness the opportunity to truly serve employees regardless of location. Imagine an environment where your business leaders are clamoring to hear from your ERGs on how to solve today’s toughest problems instead of begrudgingly participating in programs because they are “supposed to.”

Beyond Affinity: Best Practices for Impactful Resource Groups

DEI Practitioners: ERGs are central to the rapid evolutions in which businesses find themselves, from responding in real time to calls for racial justice to mental health and well-being to urgent demands for public policy advocacy. In this session, hear from leading companies’ ERGs as they share case studies and adoptable best practices to strengthen your ERGs and DEI offices’ intersectional engagement. Speaker details forthcoming.

That Song is Already 10 Years Old?!: Intergenerational Reference Points, LGBTQ+ Leadership and You     

Open to all cohorts: Have you been caught off guard that the song you’re singing along to is already a decade old? Where does the time go? And how do our generational reference points manifest in our LGBTQ+ leadership? Your 25-year-old colleagues were: babies when Matthew Shepard was murdered, toddlers when Will & Grace aired, 14 when Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed, and high schoolers when Edie Windsor got her day at the Supreme Court and the Defense of Marriage Act was overturned. Have you ever paused to ponder if your LGBTQ+ history is also theirs? Join Out & Equal’s Managing Director, Deena Fidas and Learning & Development Manager, Rebecca York for a highly interactive workshop to learn new ways of creating meaningful, cross-generational dialogue around LGBTQ+ history and how these can inform your day-to-day leadership and ERG plans. This session will kick off a series of resources throughout the year from Out & Equal’s Next Gen program, powered by Bank of America, that will target best practices for engaging Gen Z in your company’s inclusion work.

Intersectional Frameworks         

This track brings to bear case studies and strategies for making intersectional inclusion core to LGBTQ+ efforts.

Realizing the Dream: LGBTQ+ Equality Under the Law and Your Role

Open to all cohorts: Full LGBTQ+ equality is a dream not yet realized. The United States does not yet have clear and consistent federal civil rights protections for the LGBTQ+ community, leaving the community vulnerable to the rising tide of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that has taken over state houses for the last seven years. Despite this, watershed Supreme Court decisions, state and municipal laws have provided protections and rights, from marriage equality to nondiscrimination ordinances. Cutting across gains in LGBTQ+ equality under the law is a sustained effort by advocates and the business community to harness their voices in the public policy arena. Major businesses are currently among the most muscular defenders of LGBTQ+ equality and have been instrumental in advocating for protections as well as blunting attacks. In this special session, you will learn from two of the leading organizers of the last fifteen years of legal and business advocacy for LGBTQ+ equality, HRC Legal Director, Sarah Warbelow and Out & Equal Managing Director, Deena Fidas on the path forward to full LGBTQ+ legal equality, the changing contours of attacks on the community’s rights, and opportunities for you and your business to become effective advocates.

Pride on Purpose: Thriving as a Purpose-Driven LGBTQ+ Leader

Open to all cohorts: Being an out LGBTQ+ leader while functioning in a society that often ostracizes our community isn’t easy. Despite our value and potential, LGBTQ+ leaders face unique challenges such as underrepresentation in role models, earning a seat at the decision table, and barriers to advancement opportunities. While enduring the uncertainty of the future, it is important now more than ever to anchor down in our purpose. In this interactive workshop, Kalyela Josephs, Inspirational Speaker and Performance Coach, will lead LGBTQ+ leaders to the revelation that there is purpose in our identity that allows us to enact change and inspire others. You will dig deep into your “whys” in life and work, exploring how to align your individual purpose with your organizational mission in order to thrive as a purpose-driven leader. Uncover how purpose can be used as a catalyst for growth and help you THRIVE as a LGBTQ+ leader.


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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.