Posted by: outandequal | August 16, 2012

2012 Out & Equal Workplace Summit – New Workshops for 2012, part 1

Workshops are the heart & soul of Out & Equal Workplace Summit. From passionate presenters to engaged participants, workshops allow Workplace Summit attendees to gather, share information, learn, teach, discuss and connect.

Every year at the Workplace Summit, approximately 120 workshops are presented over three days. This year, we look forward to a myriad of exciting new workshops that have been added to to our list.

Here are some  of the workshops that are new to the Workplace Summit in 2012. We’ll post the rest of the list in an upcoming blog:

A New Frontier in Workplace Equality: Mitigating the LGBT Tax
This workshop will feature a panel of speakers to include HR professionals in compensation and taxation, diversity group leaders, and a representative from our business colleagues at Google (the first major employer to mitigate the adverse impacts of the “gay tax”).
The objectives for the session are:
1. Understanding the impact that LGBT tax has on employees who elect health care benefits for same-sex spouses or partners.
2. Demonstrating how employers may assist employees facing the “LGBT Tax” to overcome the financial burden.
3. Sharing best practices for those employee resource groups, business leaders and HR executives who wish to implement tax equality for their employees.

Beyond Mentorship: Turning Allies into Career Sponsors
One of the most powerful keys to professional success can be the engagement of a career sponsor;  someone to take an active interest in helping you drive your own career. This workshop will explore mentorship fundamentals and empower participants to use these techniques in building and growing strong professional relationships beyond traditional mentorship to effective career sponsorships. We will discuss challenges that may exist in building relationships between LGBT and non-LGBT colleagues, and explore ways to overcome those challenges. Through interactive exercises, participants will develop a personal strategy to identify, engage, and maintain fruitful relationships with a career sponsor. This tactical how-to workshop will give participants tools they can begin to use immediately.

Transition Guideline Development: Revisited One Year Later
In the year since presenting the Gender Transition Guidelines at Johnson & Johnson, the business case for this document has intensified. During the course of the coming months following the implementation of these guidelines, Johnson & Johnson expanded from employing 1  Transgender employee to employing 4  transgender employees, all in different stages of transition. In revisiting these guidelines, we will investigate what parts of the plan worked and what parts have not, what has changed as a result of this influx of transgender employees and how we worked to accommodate multiple transitions, each with different factors playing into their employment and decisions to move forward with becoming their authentic selves in the workplace.

Where are They? Reaching out to LGBT employees of color
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people come in every race but very often those who are also people of color are not at the table. As LGBT people and as a people of color, they must manage multiple identities while navigating the corporate environment. LGBT people of color face unique challenges in moving into corporate management and leadership roles because of multiple layers of cultural, societal and historical discrimination. This session will examine some of the reasons why many LGBT people of color choose not to come out, the ways this may affect both their careers and the success of the organization, and actionable ways employers and coworkers can help make the workplace safer to be out as an LGBT person of color.

Helping ERGs Embrace the B and T
Does your Employee Resource Group’s alphabet begin with G and end with L? While your ERG may have the best intentions, it could be accidentally excluding others. Even the best ERG can become more inclusive.  This workshop, facilitated by a bisexual and a transgender woman, will include a forum to share ways to make your ERG more inclusive of sexual and gender diversity while helping to build equality.  Greater ERG diversity can help your company attract and retain top talent.

Trans Inclusive: Successful workplace transition with CH2MHill and The Center
In March 2011 The GLBT Community Center of Colorado and CH2MHill teamed up to provide a successful workplace transition opportunity for a trans employee. Center Legal Director Mindy Barton and Trans Program Coordinator Courtney Gray worked hand in hand with HR leadership at the company to provide 360 support and education to staff – co-workers, supervisors, and transitioning staff to create the right environment for success. This workshop will be a case study of what went right and best practices and policies your company can employ now to advance transgender inclusion in your workplace. We’ll also touch on ways your company can partner with local LGBT centers.

Recruiting LGBTQA College Students: Lessons From the Students
Learn the best practices and worst mistakes in recruiting LGBTQA college students from college students themselves.  The GLBTQA Business Student Association at The University of Texas is one of the first undergraduate business student organizations in the country dedicated to promoting LGBTQA diversity in the workplace.  As officers, we facilitated over 200 student-employer interactions in Fall 2011 alone.  We’re here to share which techniques will establish your employer as a student’s number one choice, and which will fail to build interest.  We also share the recruiting etiquette rule that if broken by the employer can end the employer’s relationship with the student organization.  These techniques can work in any field and at any campus, without or without a responsive LGBT student organization.

Increasing the Impact of Diversity Through Connective Thinking
The purpose of this workshop is to empower members of a team to think of solutions to various problems starting with an emphasis on diversity of thought.  By moving the initial focus of problem solving from the solution itself to what qualities inherent in each group member makes their perspective unique, we enable a different set of answers to be uncovered. This is an approach that we’ve had success with at The Clorox Company when discussing new product attributes and would like to share with those focused on promoting diversity of thought.

LGBT Issues in a Globalized Workplace
In many countries outside the U.S., LGBT people face open discrimination, violence and criminal prosecution, creating special challenges for multinational corporations and their LGBT employees. This workshop will cover some of the opportunities and risks LGBT professionals face when working overseas, such as cultural differences between the U.S. and the West. You will learn where it is  and isn’t  safe to come out to your non-American colleagues, working virtually across borders, and laws addressing homosexuality across the globe.

Increasing the value of your professional image and balancing authenticity
Approximately 55 percent of first impressions are based on overall appearance, and people craft their first impressions of you within 10 seconds of a first encounter. As professionals we must recognize the inherent power of our professional presence and understand the impression it can form in the mind of those with whom we do business. This workshop intends to provide the audience with the tools to perform a self-assessment of their current image, identify the levers that can help balance authenticity in the workplace, as well as provide them with a set of concrete program ideas to take back to their local BRG organizations to share this valuable information with others.

Representing the Voiceless: Bringing Transgender Education to the Workplace
Mercer’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Ally Network share their approach on how they advocated, represented and spoke for the Transgender community internally and externally, despite having any active Transgender members.  This workshop explores how a network can effectively create communications, public education and partnership with the transgender community, creating a culture of inclusion and equality in the workforce.

The Next Frontier: Allies – Acceleration and Impact
There is a new constituency in workplace diversity with the potential to change the game – and that’s allies. Currently defined in the context of LGBT ERGs, allies are stepping forward like never before, swelling the ranks of ERG memberships and lending a new kind of support, influence, passion and political savvy to a company’s inclusion efforts. Whether your organization has an allies initiative underway or is simply wondering where to start, this panel will consist of the architects of allies programs at leading companies, who will share best practices, lessons learned, and future plans. The session will be moderated by Jennifer Brown, who along with her team at JBC is researching the allies phenomenon and creating corporate strategies to leverage this powerful resource.

Diversity in the Workforce–Thinking Beyond Locally and Acting Globally
Global employers are discovering both the advantages and challenges of creating a diverse workforce.  Perhaps one of the most difficult areas to address globally is the inclusion of LGBT employees into the organization, both at the employers’ local level as well as worldwide.  Progress toward achieving such a goal and employment equality is particularly daunting when trying to overcome not only internal challenges, but cultural ones as well.  For example,  how can one establish an inclusive workforce when the employer is located in a region hostile to LGBT individuals?  This workshop is designed to aid employers in establishing such a workforce through corporate infrastructure that includes creating ERG’s, training, and follow-through once programs and procedures are put in place.

Marketing to Your Marketers
Sometimes it takes more than just a great idea to create a successful partnership or event. Whether you are an ERG Leader or Community Partner, find out more about how to promote your organization and ideas into successful partnerships and events. Find out what you need to know when presenting your ideas to your marketing team. Learn directly from a PepsiCo brand manager; a Scott Seitz’s of SPI Marketing LGBT marketing expert and the NGLTF’s director of corporate relations on how to think like a marketer.

LGBT community: cross-cultural challenges in the global workplace
While LGBT issues are moving towards equality in some countries, the global workplace includes countries that have not or only recently have decriminalized homosexuality. The combination of being LGBT or ally in a culture faced with the harsh realities of prison or death for being perceived as LGBT introduces a level complexity that goes beyond basic cross-cultural communication and LGBT awareness. Those that are fortunate to experience LGBT progress have a role in bridging with and mentoring individual LGBTs and global network ERGs located in other cultures that have not yet come as far.  Although awareness of political oppression and complex cultures can facilitate healthy work relationships for global teams, continuing to expand our awareness and cultural sensitivity to support our LGBT colleagues abroad is the next tier in building a fully inclusive global workplace.

Inclusion & Diversity Competency:  How leveraging diverse workforces differentiates global leaders
Today, organizations face greater demands than ever, operating and competing in a time of unprecedented complexity and change.  They must grapple with new challenges from the external environment, such as fierce competition for and emerging needs of talent, shifting sources of talent, changing  organization structures and strategies, volatile political landscapes, changing workforce demographics, consumer preferences, and shifting centers of economic power and activity; as well as internal issues of efficiency, growth and transformation. Organizations that incorporate an inclusion and diversity infrastructure into their workforce strategy are more productive and innovative than their competitors, making them better equipped to tackle challenges from today’s multicultural and global marketplace.  Come hear from companies that “get it” and learn how the diversity of their workforce sets them apart from their competitors.

LGBT in Asian Outsourcing Centers:Growing Networks & Offering Benefits
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) makes up a significant amount of the employee base at most multinational corporations.  In today’s extremely global workplace, we should strive to embrace our diversity principles in all offices where our valued talent resides. India is the leading country for offshore outsourcing.  The Americas and Europe are the largest customers for the Indian outsourcing industry and account for 60 percent and 31 percent respectively of the Information Technology and BPO sectors.  The Philippines is second to India for business process outsourcing in Asia. The Philippine outsourcing industry alone currently holds 10% of the global market share and is one of the most preferred offshoring destinations in Southeast Asia because of the country’s high English literacy rate. With the inevitable expansion of business beyond the North American region, it is integral that core LGBT Activities and standards remain consistent globally, and focus is now being given on the faster growing communities within Asia. Our American and Filipino LGBTF Global Leadership Council Officers at Thomson Reuters will be sharing points on:  The LGBTF communities in the Philippines and India;  Gaining internal support for LGBTF networks outside of the Americas; Representation from the Asian Region on the Global LGBTF leadership team; Steps towards the globalization and standardization of benefits for LGBT community members; Challenges and victories

From Basement to Board Room: The Evolution of a Fortune 100 ERG
What started as a handful of hopeful people working without an Office of Diversity or a budget has grown into a leading ERG with packed monthly meetings, a full calendar of meaningful events and a business liaison committee with executive leadership’s ear. Founding and current leaders of MassMutual’s Pride ERG will provide insight into the necessary steps to these milestones including how to leverage your company’s sponsorships and work with other ERGs for effective programming with lasting impact.

Building Transgender Cultural Competence in the Culturally Diverse Organization
What is the best way to train your workforce in transgender inclusion? As organizations worldwide add gender identity to their diversity portfolios, advocates at all levels are seeking the best tools to provide professional learning opportunities that consider these issues. Which methods are most effective at extending a culture of inclusion to cover transgender workers, clients and customers — particularly in places where many perceive non-traditional gender identities as controversial? Drawing on her experience as the lead educator on transgender issues at the U.S.’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, Allyson Robinson will lay out a training framework organized around principles of cultural competence. Participants will learn how to employ a shared “culture of gender” to overcome other cultural barriers and build truly inclusive organizations.

Ideas to Actions: ERG & Regional Affiliate Strategic Planning
Ideas are easy.  Making them happen is hard.  So how do you focus and make it all happen?  Where to begin? Organizations that achieve lasting success have one thing in common: a robust strategic plan.  Creating a solid, workable and long-term plan for your ERG or Regional Affiliate is the key to taking ideas and transforming them into actions that support your organization’s goals. In this workshop, the leadership team from 2011 Regional Affiliate of the Year Out & Equal Houston will share the planning processes and tools used to create their 5-year strategic plan — including how to engage your membership, set reasonable, do-able goals, build multi-year “shaping curves”, activity planning, and budgeting. A downloadable toolkit will be provided to all workshop participants.

Leveraging the Regional Out and Equal Affiliate for Best Practices and On-Boarding of New Corporations
Out & Equal Regional Affiliates are often the first point of contact for LGBT employees from a company without ERGs, allowing them to find best practices for establishing a network or protections within their own workspace.  This workshop is designed to be a practical discussion on how to on-board new companies as they start to develop ERGs or parity statements for LGBT employees.  We will cover some of Out and Equal Indiana’s best practices for reaching out, engaging and then developing networks that will be of value to the new organization.

Members: Use them or lose them!
The purpose of this workshop is to share ideas for engaging all members of your employee resource group.  Examples will be provided of plans and events that were used to increase involvement your ERG, including working with other networks, linking the groups objectives your company’s business plans, and more.

Maximizing Your ROI on Community Partnerships
This workshop will teach you how your business can better build on relationships with LGBT non-profits. We will walk you through key ways you can use non-profit partnerships to shape how you want to be seen in the community and further the cause of LGBT equality. You will learn how to use your partnership to increase your marketing opportunities, your visibility, your employee civic engagement, and ultimately, your ROI. With real life examples and results, this workshop will give you the best solutions to benefit both your business and the LGBT non-profits you support.

LGBTQ in the Classroom
This session will explore schools as a workplace and discuss issues related to being out in the classroom and supporting LGBTQ students in low-income rural and urban communities. Teach For America staff and current teachers will share their experiences and the challenges they face in the classroom. The session will also contain a discussion of how to support “front-line” employees (in the case of TFA, teachers, but this could include sales people, assembly line workers, and public officials) as they navigate tricky social and political situations as “out” individuals.

Income Tax Issues around LGBT Registered Domestic Partners and Married Couples
This workshop covers the key issues around LGBT couples and income taxes.  Topics covered include the effect of community property laws and reporting of income, questions to ask when planning for taxable events like the exercise of options or sales of real estate, information the attorney and tax preparer needs to know about the couple, tax tips, and how to avoid traps for the unwary.

Boxes Are For Paper, Not People: emPowering Employees for Success
Throughout our careers and lives, we often find ourselves stuck in the box. Whether it’s keeping up with the status quo to please those around you or feeling afraid to just be who you really are, these boxes are no fun. Because playing in the box often means sacrificing your voice, limiting your creativity, and shortchanging your innovation. This interactive session includes hands-on activities to help you gain a deeper understanding of what truly matters to you and how to bring your whole self to work to thrive professionally and personally.

The Power of Out:  Building an Inclusive Workplace
This workshop will unpack of the results of the Center for Talent Innovation’s new study on LGBT in the Workplace, looking at the challenges and opportunities for building a more inclusive workplace both in the U.S. and globally. We found that staying in the closet has huge consequences. Those who are out flourish at work, while those who are in the closet languish or leave. With national surveys and focus groups done in the U.S., UK, India and Japan this work gives a truly global look at the realities for LGBT employees.  The research looks at homophobia and transphobia in the LGBT community, the divide between gay men and lesbians, the role of allies, and executive presence.

LGBT Hospitality:  An Authentic 360 Degree Global Business Strategy
Global brands have to “get it right” across various market segments, cultures and business functions.  At Marriott International, we have adopted an authentic 360 degree approach to global hospitality in our attempt to “open doors to a world of opportunity” for the LGBT traveler (as we do for our LGBT associates, too).  Join our panel of Marriott International leaders from Brand Management, Global Sales, eCommerce/Marketing, Human Resources, Communications, Owner & Franchise Services and Supplier Diversity as they discuss the collaborative and cross-departmental strategies they apply to achieve a truly 360 degree LGBT global business approach.

Arbitration: Why Side-Stepping the Courts Might Benefit Your Business
Arbitration is one way for businesses to resolve disputes with employees without spending time and money fighting a lawsuit. At first blush, arbitration of LGBTQ issues might appear to be just as complicated as litigating the same issue in court. This workshop will dispel that misconception. Attendees will learn the basics of how to seek/compel arbitration, as well as the pros and cons of arbitration as compared to litigation. Issues covered will include arbitrators’ treatment of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression discrimination, whether denying domestic partnership benefits to an employee violates a company policy against sexual orientation discrimination, and whether employees are eligible for employer-sponsored insurance coverage for sex reassignment surgery.

Time to grow up! Moving from Reactive to  Creative for LGBT Leaders
What’s in your “leadership closet”? Sure, you may be very out at work, but the closet didn’t disappear.  We all still have some residual limiting beliefs lurking in the background that keep us from being a more authentic leader. Coping strategies developed to stay safely hidden are at odds with powerful, effective leadership. Maybe you’re ready to inventory what’s hiding in your leadership closet, and come out as even more effective leader?  Using the validated, research-based Leadership Circle Profile 360assessment as a model, two experienced leadership coaches will demonstrate how  and  strategies inform how we are in the world as leaders. You will also learn how to do a mini 360 of your own. You will walk away with a new way to see yourself and others as leaders.

Transgender Insurance Task Force: Report from the Front Line
To help companies achieve transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits, the HRC Workplace Project joined forces with Jamison Green & Associates to engage insurance company representatives to revise the insurance products that are available to employers that want to offer transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits to their employees. In this session, we will report what we are finding in the field, and what employers can reasonably expect their carriers to provide next year and in the future.

Engaging Corporations for Local Support
Mutually beneficial, sustainable and rewarding partnerships between nonprofits and corporations are those that are aligned in mission, vision and objectives. Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, in collaboration with the Gill Foundation, has launched the Business of Change website, a digital platform offering practical and actionable recommendations for nonprofits and corporations, citing concrete examples of successful partnerships large and small. Join us as we talk to nonprofit and corporate representatives about successful partnerships and collaborations, the steps they took to get there, and the advice they have for others. We’ll also introduce the Business of Change website and social media sites, and discuss how you can best use them.

Past Outie Winners – How Do You Continue to Raise the Bar?
Panel of past Outie winners who share what happens after an award win.  How do you keep the team motivated?  What did the win mean to your team?  What is next – how do you raise the bar?



  1. […] are the remaining workshops that are being presented for the first time at Workplace Summit. Click here to see the first part of the […]

  2. […] course, we welcome you to explore all of our workshop opportunities here and here, to customize your Out & Equal Summit […]

  3. […] you to explore all of our current workshop opportunities, including the new workshops this year,  here and here, to customize your Out & Equal Summit […]


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