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2022 Workplace Summit New ERG of the Year Outie Award

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 Employee Resource Group (ERG) chapter that has been established within the last few years (the organization’s ERG can have existed longer than that but the chapter must be new). This award recognizes a new chapter that has made a bold impact at their company, federal agency, or non-profit in their first few years.

The 2022 New ERG of the Year Outie Award finalists are below The winner will be announced at the 2022 Workplace Summit happening October 17-20th in Las Vegas!


Robert Half: BELONG

Launched in 2021, Robert Half’s LGBTQIA+ employee network group, BELONG, has been a catalyst for change by engaging over 300 active members across eight countries. BELONG routinely collaborates with human resources, community relations, legal, and DEI teams to advocate for change and improvements across the firm. BELONG led a firm-wide effort to expand their self-identification program to include capturing employee pronouns, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Despite the challenges of starting an employee network group during the pandemic, BELONG worked with senior leadership to develop a strategic business plan that allocates funds and resources to the group and LGBTQ+ inclusion across the firm.  

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: FWS Pride

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service formed the FWS ERG in September 2020 and in less than two years, the group has grown to over 280 active members and accomplished life-changing goals for LGBTQ+ people in the organization. FWS Pride has created a safe place for LGBTQ+ employees by addressing and changing discriminatory practices, providing resources, and removing unjust policies for FWS employees. FWS Pride has the challenge of having employees in a wide range of areas throughout the country, especially in rural communities where LGBTQ+ people often need the most support. Therefore, most FWS Pride activities are virtual and open to anyone in the agency and even those who are not comfortable being out at work can participate in activities anonymously.  

Medtronic: PRIDE Global Network

Medtronic launched their PRIDE Global Network in October 2019, just months before the COVID-19 pandemic would introduce significant challenges for ERGs everywhere. Despite the setbacks in the beginning of the pandemic, Medtronic established 21 ERG chapter locations reaching over 8,000 active members in over 50 countries. Within the first year, the PRIDE Global Network expanded Medtronic’s self-identification campaign to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The group created “Culture Circles”, where employees are invited into a safe space for action-oriented discussions around transgender and nonbinary inclusion, allyship, inclusive language, and global LGBTQ+ support. In Chile, Medtronic, through the PRIDE Global Network, was a founding member of a group of 20 companies joined together to promote marriage equality and by 2021, the group had grown to 65 companies. In 2022, Chile celebrated marriage equality becoming law.  


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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.