On the Role of the Partner Community and Companies in Advancing Representation, Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging 

What role do companies play in advancing LGBTQ+ representation, inclusion, equity, and belonging? 

Organizations have a unique opportunity to drive incremental change that leads to movement-making impact. We drive change by implementing inclusive practices and policies that set the standard and lead the way. We drive change by creating platforms that elevate and invest in LGBTQ+ voices and talent. We drive change by leveraging channels that change perceptions through representation and inclusion. 

We value representation, inclusion, belonging, and equity at our core, because it is the right thing to do and a smart business practice. Our world continues to evolve as our customers become more diverse and multidimensional. We must ensure our teams, policies, products, and marketing reflect where we are going. If not, we’ll be left behind.

How is the Out & Equal Workplace Summit driving change and advancing equity in the workplace and beyond?

You’ll hear the term “transformative” a lot when describing the Summit, and that’s because it’s true. We Are creating changemakers and measurable, lasting impact:

  • In community as we convene.
  • By exchanging stories, best practices, missteps, and successes.
  • Through honest dialogue and friendship.

Summit programming inspires us, because it offers opportunities to build relationships, share knowledge, and delivers take-home learnings to create change within our teams, organizations, and beyond!

Summit reminds us that together, we can achieve anything. It reminds us that in the face of adversity, our community is strong and resilient. Through perseverance, we will always thrive. 

Each year, I leave Summit feeling seen, heard, valued, energized, inspired, and ready to advance the movement!

In your final year as Board Chair, what changes in our movement have surprised you the most?  What are you most proud of? What keeps you hopeful? How do you stay inspired?

I am always surprised to “feel” like progress is going backwards. In an interview I did last year, I remember my guest saying to me that the reason for a lot of the “anti-[insert identity/community here]” rhetoric is the fear of progress and the fear of difference. However, slowing down social progress is like slowing down technology advancements, clean air evolution, electric cars, or even time. While detractors may try to prevent progress, I know our work will prevail. My surprise is less around the push back and more around parts of society believing they can actually stall, stop, or change the direction of progress. 

Our resilience always inspires me, and I take solace in it. As hard as legislators and individuals may try, no one can erase us. 

When I’m at Summit, I can’t help but remember our power. I am proud of the support that we, as well as the allies and advocates within our community, provide one another.  

We Are united in our common mission to keep pushing forward, and I Am hopeful, optimistic, resolute, and activated for another amazing Out & Equal Workplace Summit this year.