By Pat Baillie:
LGBT Workplace equality has been taking major strides over the last year. The status of marriage equality in the US changes almost daily and globally we are seeing more countries joining the dialogue about inclusion. How do you keep up with it all?
I am a believer in one-stop shopping and the 2014 Out & Equal Workplace Summit is definitely the best way to discover the most current trends and best practices to take back to your company. We have panel discussions featuring leaders in the field and workshops that specifically address global issues during each of our workshop sessions. But, to get down to the nuts and bolts of how to run effective programs and increase inclusion, there are also 16 tracks in the six workshop sessions for you to choose from. Here is a brief description of each track to help you select the workshops that fit your needs:
Allies – Learn to advocate for and support members of a community other than your own, working across differences to achieve mutual goals.
Beyond Corporate Workplaces – Gain valuable insights and new perspectives on best practices in the government, non-profit and academic sectors.
Beyond LGBT Diversity – Learn about the many other civil rights and human rights issues in our workplaces and communities, such as those affecting women, people of color, people with disabilities and veterans.
Bisexual – Get current with the research and best practices regarding the inclusion of bisexual employees in the workplace.
Changing Workplace Climate – Get up-to-date with the latest trends and data beyond the foundation blocks of policies and benefits: everything from self-ID to moving D&I out of WHQ and across the whole company.
Employee Resource Group (ERG)/Business Resource Group (BRG) Basics – How to start, grow, lead and sustain your ERG, at home and around the world.
Employee Resource Group (ERG)/Business Resource Group (BRG) Advanced – How to develop your ERG to serve as a business resource in the areas of employee growth/development and recruitment/retention, meeting the needs of a more diverse customer base and employee workforce.
Executives/Management – How to support managers at all levels to enact D&I values and educate all employees.
General – Learn the basics of skill development, personal/professional planning and address areas beyond the scope of LGBT Workplace Equality not covered in the other categories.
Law, Policy & Benefits – How to build a basic Equal Employment Opportunity Policy to include sexual orientation/gender identity/gender expression and corresponding benefit packages at home and around the world for your employees. Plus, get the latest on ENDA and DOMA in the US.
Professional Development – Hone your HR and leadership skills, as well as mull over trainer and career development topics to advance equality and career opportunities.
- Transgender – Get the latest research and best practices regarding inclusion of transgender employees in the workplace.
Click here for the full schedule of workshops. The detailed descriptions will be posted shortly. Many companies organize their Summit attendance to ensure maximum coverage by using the schedule to assign attendees to the various workshops. Then at the end of the day or the week, teams meet and debrief their takeaways.
Apart from the Leadership Day seminars, we do not pre-register attendees for specific workshops and all are open on a first-come, first-seated basis.
Workshop presenters come from all sectors of business, government and the non-profit (NGO) world to represent different perspectives on how to address the issues you face in the workplace. Panelists will provide lessons learned from their experiences and provide space for attendees to gather knowledge and advance the work they are doing within their companies. Most of our presenters are more than willing to work with you beyond the workshop to extend the reach of equality. Our network of instructors is a ready source of expertise and provides that all-important takeaway from the session you attend.
In addition to the workshops, we have created two other educational opportunities during each of the six workshop sessions:
- Case studies – a deeper dive into innovative programs at specific companies. Sharing the way the programs are designed and inviting the audience to engage in-depth, allows attendees to gain a deeper understanding of leading-edge practices at these benchmark companies.
- Roundtable discussions – moderated forums that stimulate focused discussions around questions, issues and solutions, driven by the attendees. Each roundtable will either be based on a topic e.g., transgender, bisexual, faith etc., or around a sector e.g., agricultural, government, retail etc. The key points and recommendations will be captured and compiled by the facilitator. These notes will help shape future programming by Out & Equal during our Summit, Town Calls and Out & Equal University – classrooms and online training. The work you are doing helps to build the concept of best practices so, be sure to share your viewpoints during these roundtable sessions.
Thank you to each of our presenters for their willingness to share their expertise and insights and the Out & Equal staff and board is looking forward to hosting everyone here in San Francisco. If you have any questions on the workshops be sure to reach out to us via twitter @OutandEqual using the hashtag #OESummit2014.
Pat Baillie, Director of Training and Professional Development, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates