fbpx Skip to main content

This event was hosted Thursday, June 15, 2023 | Mobile, Alabama 
Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa

Hosted by:

The American South is rich with both challenges and opportunities for those passionate about LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion. While headlines blare the very real stories of damage done by lawmakers intent on undermining LGBTQ+ equality, there are other stories not making the front page—stories of courage, of compassion, and of leadership across the South. The LGBTQ+ community across the South is the most racially diverse, the most religious, and in many respects faces the most complex landscape of seeming contradictions.  

This year, the premier LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion conference focused on the US Southern States brought its Pride-themed forum to Mobile, Alabama, June 15th, 2023.  

Hosted by Airbus, Out & Equal’s “Pride in Who We Are” Southern States Forum brought together executives, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) and Human Resource (HR) practitioners, Employee Resource Group (ERG) leaders, and other workplace inclusion change-makers. 

This day-long event centered innovative best practices, professional networking opportunities with leaders from across the region, and a special invite-only tour of one of Airbus’s major manufacturing locations.  

Centered on storytelling as a cornerstone of workplace change, this year’s programming boasted inspirational keynotes, interactive workshopping of practical tools, and peer-to-peer educational sessions on innovative best practices, including on intersectionality and LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion.  

The Southern States Forum inspired, energized, and empowered participants with new tools for education and inclusion, including:  

  • Concrete skills in the necessary work of internal persuasion and storytelling for change;   
  • Practical toolkits for their LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion implementation; and,  
  • Ample professional networking opportunities. 

Together, through event like Southern States Forum and other intentional efforts, we will create workplaces where LGBTQ+ employees and allies belong, thrive, and contribute to greater impact throughout the Southern States and, by extension, across the country. 

Southern States Forum was held exclusively for Out & Equal Partner organizations.


Monique Evans


Senior Associate–CRE, Texas Capital Bank

Deena Fidas


Managing Director, Chief Programs and Partnerships Officer, Out & Equal 

Anthony Gutierrez, MA


Community Liaison, DC & Virginia, Gilead Sciences

Jennifer Ogle


Head of Employee Relations & Transformation, Airbus NA

Franklin Ortiz


Head of Finance, Airbus Services, President Pride@Airbus 

Isabel Porras


Sr Director, Leadership, Learning & Development, Out & Equal 

Allyn Shaw


CxO, Consumer Technology Group, Wells Fargo & Vice Chair, Out & Equal Board of Directors 

Sam Slate


Consultant, Commercial Client Product Marketing, Dell

Useful Links


Global workplaces where all people are equal, belong, and thrive.


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.