The Workplace Excellence award recognizes an employer that has a historic and ongoing commitment to pursuing and executing equality for their LGBT employees. This year’s nominees have a history of continually raising the bar of workplace equality for others to follow.

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Bank of American Logo bac_lo1_293_186_hBank of America

In 2016, Bank of America launched the LGBT Executive Leadership Council.  The council is made up of top executives who are out at work. The mission of the council is “be visible to our employees, connect with our leadership team and make a difference for the LGBT Community and our Clients.”  The first year has focused on visibility, organizing the approach, and harnessing the power of the leadership team.  In 2016, the council nearly doubled in size,  from 26 members in the U.S. and EMEA to 51 members in four countries.  The council will be accountable for increasing the engagement of other out leaders at Bank of America, invest in and support LGBT teammates, serve as the voice of LGBT issues to leadership, and influence business strategies that impact our LGBT clients.

In Their Own Words: “Through Bank of America’s LGBT Ally Program, LGBT employees and their allies are visible throughout every line of business, across 36 countries and 48 U.S. states. Currently, more than 21,000 employees have made themselves visible as allies or by being out at work.”

Our Favorite Moment: In 2015, Bank of America began offering specialized support for transgender employees through its Life Event Services team, a dedicated team of Bank of America HR specialists with a simple mission- to help employees navigate significant life events.  Support for employees includes retirement, embarking on or returning from a leave of absence, bereavement, dealing with a critical event like a natural disaster or house fire, living with domestic violence and gender transition.

BlackRockBlackRock OUT Logo

In 2016, Larry Fink joined more than 200 CEOs urging NC Governor Pat McCrory and the state’s General Assembly to rescind HB2 legislation barring transgender people from using their preferred bathroom facilities. Signing this letter aligned with BlackRock’s values as a company: they viewed HB2 as a challenge for businesses in NC to recruit and retain the best talent and that the law could diminish the state’s draw as a destination for tourism, new businesses, and economic activity. BlackRock has put equality at the forefront of our corporate agenda, both internally and externally. In 2011, they introduced offsetting tax treatment in their employee benefits for LGBT partnerships. And a year later, began offering fully transgender-inclusive health benefits to align their coverage with their colleagues across the firm.

In Their Own Words: “All of our efforts relating to LGBT inclusion underscore our global talent agenda: to attract, develop, and support individuals from all walks of life, each with distinct skill sets and points of view, and to drive a workplace culture of inclusion and equality. The younger generations in our workplace expect that companies they work for will make LGBT inclusion and diversity a priority, because they are now starting to grow up around a culture of acceptance.”

Our Favorite Moment: In 2013, BlackRock added an LGBT self-identification question to the employee opinion survey (EOS) that is sent to all employees annually. The survey is designed to focus on two main areas: employee engagement and employee enablement.


Central Intelligence Agency

Over the last 20 years ANGLE has been instrumental in advancing visibility and awareness of LGBT issues inside CIA and across the Intelligence Community (IC); working to change internal policies to be more inclusive of LGBT employees and families; helping build a culture of inclusion for employees of ALL diversity groups whether here or abroad; and assisting the CIA with outreach to and recruiting of LGBT talent.  Their work has also included helping LGBT officers, wherever they are assigned, who may experience hostility towards the LGBT community, assisting LGBT officers navigate their way through their overseas tours, and providing any support that may be needed.

In Their Own Words: “ANGLE has played a key role in getting CIA to expand its external outreach to and recruiting of the LGBT community, with the goal of conveying that the Agency is a safe, diverse, and inclusive environment for LGBT employees to work.”

Our Favorite Moment: CIA hosted a reception at Headquarters cosponsored with Out & Equal  to celebrate Pride Month, the 20th Anniversaries of ANGLE and Out and Equal, and provided the opportunity to network with diversity and inclusion professionals from several organizations to provide a unique learning and networking experience.

Comcast_M_COLOR_BLKComcast NBCUniversal 

Comcast NBCUniversal champions LGBT inclusion among their employees, business partners, and the communities they serve. As a media and technology company, Comcast NBCUniversal’s most valuable contribution to the promotion of LGBT equality is ensuring that coverage of LGBT issues and initiatives is easily accessible online and on the airwaves.  They use their unique role to serve as an awareness partner on LGBT equality initiatives/issues and have a strong record of providing programming and news coverage of local, state, and federal legislation and initiatives that advance LGBT equality under the law. In 2016, Comcast NBCUniversal continued to make significant strides in enhancing LGBT inclusion with initiatives spanning all aspects of their business with key focus in Governance, Workforce, Procurement, Programming, and Community Investment.

In Their Own Words: “Diversity and inclusion D&I is ingrained in how we operate, and has become a competitive business advantage for us. Our commitment starts at the top, with dedicated leadership that supports our LGBT inclusion initiatives.”

Our Favorite Moment: Comcast NBCUniversal invites the broader employee base employees to complete a voluntary, confidential, self-identification survey to disclose their sexual orientation and gender identity. The results of the survey help to measure the size and engagement of our LGBT community, including allies. To date, more than 15,000 employees have completed the LGBT self-ID survey.


Deloitte is committed to fostering an inclusive environment, one which unleashes the power of diversity of all kinds — racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives across all levels of our organization. Deloitte sees their commitment to an inclusive environment as an investment in their organization and talent. Over the 20+ years of inclusion efforts, each CEO has supported and has been deeply committed to the company’s inclusive culture. Since then, this personal commitment has not wavered and has continued to grow with each new leadership team. Deloitte’s Inclusion vision is to promote a brand that enables them to connect with world-class talent, foster a culture of inclusion where all people feel like they belong, and provide opportunities for people to grow personally and professionally.

In Their Own Words: “We bring our vision to life through the tenets of an inclusive culture. First, enabling a sense of purpose is an essential component of our inclusive culture. We want each of our people to feel that their work is valued and understand how their individual contribution impacts the big picture.”

Our Favorite Moment: Deloitte proudly change their signature green dot logo to a rainbow dot to reflect their core values and commitment to an inclusive culture on the day that the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) recognized same-sex marriage in the U.S.

First Data

In 2014, First Data’s journey to create a diverse and inclusive workplace had just begun.  UNITY was one of the first ERGs created, and with full backing from Chairman and CEO Frank Bisignano, it was launched loud and proud. Two years later, with the implementation of UNITY, the company’s LGBT employee resource group, there are nearly 400 members and nearly 15 percent of employees have signed the UNITY Ally Pledge. In 2016, First Data changed their anti-discrimination language to include gender identity, reviewed their benefits and policies and made changes to ensure complete equality for same-sex couples, transgender employees, and their dependents.

In Their Own Words: “Support from the top down is absolutely critical in implementing a culture transformation.  From First Data’s Chairman and CEO, to the board, to the Management Committee, all have consistently championed Diversity & Inclusion across the company.  And no where has that been more imperative than Diversity & Inclusion of the LGBT community.”

Our Favorite Moment: When the Georgia Legislature passed anti-LGBT legislation, First Data was one of the first members of Georgia Prospers to make sure this legislation was not signed into law by the governor. Chairman and CEO Frank Bisignano spoke with Georgia’s governor to express his gratitude when the governor vetoed the legislation.


McDonald’s Corporation

In 2013, McDonald’s expanded its non-discrimination policy to include gender identity and expression and enabled self-identification of its LGBT employees for the first time. Two years later, McDonald’s began offering health insurance coverage inclusively for all of its LGBT employees. Since its inception at the corporate headquarters in 2005, the McDonald’s PRIDE Employee Business Network (EBN) has grown to encompass all 22 regional business units throughout the country and thereby has continued visibility among its 1,000 plus national workforce.

In Their Own Words: “As a company, McDonald’s has a long-standing tradition of celebrating and leading through diversity. From the time McDonald’s corporate secretary/treasurer June Martino became the second woman ever allowed on the floor of the NYSE (Queen Elizabeth was the first) when McDonald’s stock was listed in 1966 to 2004 when McDonald’s formed it’s first corporate Diversity Advisory Council through today, at McDonald’s we stand by our founder Ray Kroc statement that “None of us is as good as all of us.”

Our Favorite Moment: In 2016, the Taiwan business unit created its first gay-themed McCafe commercial which aired on YouTube (click to view). McDonald’s U.S. also created it’s first PRIDE themed print ad which debuted at Out & Equal in 2016 featuring a rainbow of our famous Chicken McNugget sauces.

Wells FargoWells Fargo

At Wells Fargo, LGBT team members are visible throughout the organization, in everything from entry-level roles to SVPs/business leaders, with several leaders in roles of prominence in marketing, banking, operations, finance and HR. Their LGBT team members span a variety of gender identities, races and ethnicity. In addition to their visibility within the company, senior LGBTQ leaders serve on several national boards with key strategic partner organizations. Wells Fargo continues to develop its LGBTQ team members to ensure a deep talent pipeline through programming including its LGBTQ Diverse Leaders Program and a PRIDE-specific mentoring program. 2017 is the 30-year anniversary of Wells Fargo including sexual orientation in its non-discrimination policy. It is also the 25 year anniversary of its TMN and represents 25 years participation in Pride parades and festivals.

In Their Own Words: “Wells Fargo continues to develop its LGBTQ team members to ensure a deep talent pipeline through programming including its LGBTQ Diverse Leaders Program and a PRIDE-specific mentoring program.”

Our Favorite Moment: In 2016Wells Fargo spoke out against HB2 in North Carolina and one of Wells Fargo’s office buildings in Charlotte was lit up with the colors of the transgender flag to show solidarity with the community on Transgender Day of Visibility – a first for the city of Charlotte.