“Our power as a global community comes from our ability to transform individual experiences into collective strength. In our Global Forums, we generate innovative solutions to create workplaces of true belonging around the world.” – CV Viverito (they/them), Director of Global Impact Programs, Out & Equal.  

On December 15th, Out & Equal hosted the Global Forum, “Charting Our Path, Sustaining Ourselves: Reflecting on Global DEI Initiatives of 2022 and Readying for 2023. During this session, over 100 participants from around the world came together to reflect on lessons learned during 2022 and think creatively about how to infuse this experiential knowledge into intersectional, global, and inclusive strategies for success in 2023. 

Out & Equal’s Director of Global Impact Programs, CV Viverito, moderated an engaging discussion among four global workplace inclusion leaders who provided their expertise and insight on the various elements that go charting our DEI journeys. 

Here are five key takeaways from the Global Forum:   

  1. If the value proposition for LGBTQ+ inclusion isn’t enterprise-wide, it will remain an island. 
  • LGBTQ+ inclusion cannot happen in a silo – it needs to be a business value across an entire organization. 
  • Engage in knowledge-sharing across departments and levels of management to grow understanding of foundational DEI concepts and how they relate to overall mission and goals.  
  • Utilize both data and storytelling to set specific benchmarks with different teams and functions, including recruitment and onboarding, managerial trainings, vendor relationships, and more. 

– Ashley Innes (she/her), Regional Director HIV Community Operations, Gilead Sciences Inc.   

  1. Think global, impact local – embrace the “glocal” framework.  
  • DEI goals and initiatives should be “glocalized” to ensure opportunities for adaptation, contextualization, local buy-in, and maximized impact. 
  • Translate policies and practices into local languages and use relevant cultural examples and scenarios.  
  • Leverage your “local influencers”: Support local management to drive and champion goals and lead conversations around the positive impact within each line of business and day-to-day work life. 

  – Charlene Liu (she/her), Co-Founder, ShanghaiPRIDE 

  1. Structural problems require structural solutions.  
  • People with historically excluded identities are the most disproportionately affected by structural inequalities. It is essential to take a systemic approach to incorporating diverse perspectives into decision-making processes when crafting our DEI goals.  
  • The true value of cultivating greater diversity, equity, and inclusion derives from collective participation and creating intentional space for all voices to be heard. 
  • Call in and recognize a diverse group of leaders within your company to be a part of the process and build meaningful partnerships with local community groups and government entities. 

– Melina “Melu” López (she/ella/ela), Product & Inclusion Marketing Manager, Google 

  1. Identify gaps and build bridges between policy on paper and daily workplace realities to make lasting change.  
  • Communicate with company leaders around the world to identify local priorities in order to drive structural and cultural change that speaks to the local reality. 
  • Support cannot only be internal – it must also be made tangible through external advocacy and community initiatives in partnership with local LGBTQ+ organizations.  
  • Your ERGs around the world hold valuable insight into the reality of workplace culture in each location and should be a key thought leadership partner in ensuring a holistic approach to creating workplaces where everyone belongs.  

– Miguel Castro (he/him), Global Lead for Diversity and Inclusion, SAP 

(PS – If you’re curious to learn more about bridging these gaps, check out Out & Equal’s Global Toolkit for Change.) 

  1. Together, we are unstoppable!

We asked and you responded! Here are our audience’s top responses to a few of our questions:  

How would you describe your 2022 DEI journey in one word? 

  1. Learning 
  1. Emotional 
  1. Growth 
  1. Challenging 
  1. Personal 

What message of solidarity, hope, and inspiration would you like to leave for everyone? 

  1. You are not alone – we are everywhere and together we are unstoppable. 
  1. Care for yourself and let’s advocate together. We got this! 
  1. Progress may be slow, but it happens when we work together. 
  1. Keep in touch! There are so many of us on this journey together.  
  1. We all belong ❤️ 

Thank you again to our expert speakers and to everyone who joined us to take part in this conversation. Another format where you can build capacity and share your experiences with others is on the Out & Equal Global Hub. The Hub, which has over 500 resources, workshops, case studies, and webinars on various topics related to LGBTQI+ workplace inclusion, as well as spaces for community dialogue, is a great place to continue the conversations that we have had today.  

The Global Hub is available exclusively to Out & Equal partners. For more information about how your company can be part of the Hub, please contact: globalhubsupport@outandequal.org.