Sunday, February 3, 2013

New anthology showcases how equality in the workplace advances companies

‘Out & Equal at Work: From Closet to Corner Office’ shares stories from 36 LGBT and ally executives. This groundbreaking anthology will be released on Valentine’s Day 2013, from the world’s Largest nonprofit organization dedicated to creating workplace equality for LGBT people.

You can attend the book launch party of this important book at Book Passage on Feb. 12 at 6 p.m. at 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco.

A major change is underway in today’s workplace. Out & Equal at Work: From Closet to Corner Office is a groundbreaking anthology which chronicles personal narratives from straight allies and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) executives and workplace leaders who have conquered adversity and ushered in policies that affirm and support the LGBT community in the workplace. The book profiles an advocacy organization located at the intersection of the private sector and a broader social movement—Out & Equal Workplace Advocates—and its visionary Founding Executive Director, Selisse Berry.

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates founding executive director Selisse Berry, who edited the anthology, said the book is a reminder that “it really does get better. Out & Equal at Work is the first time that business leaders, including C-Suite executives from Fortune 500 Companies, have come together to share their personal stories of facing discrimination and forwarding LGBT equality in the workplace.” Some of these contributors lost their jobs, family, friends and some even nearly their lives. But by being their authentic selves at work, many saw their careers – and companies – blossom.

The anthology shows how advancing LGBT rights in the workplace helped advance Kayla Shell to her current role of Legal Director at Dell, how Maggie Stumpp found support as an executive at Prudential during her transition from male to female, how George Kalogridis bravely came out and worked his way to President of Disneyland Resort, and how some contributors dealt with multiple diversity issues like Rosalyn Taylor O’Neale, Chief Diversity Officer of Campbell Soup, as an African American woman and lesbian. Deborah Dagit, Chief Diversity Officer of Merck, shares her experience of being part of the differently-abled community and an ally to the LGBT community.

Readers will cheer on the many other contributors who were bullied as a youth but persevered to become wildly successful adults. Pioneers from the United Kingdom, France, Hungary, and across the United States provide unique perspectives on the state of workplace equality around the world.

“While some countries have better protections than the U.S., many more still have laws criminalizing homosexuality,” Berry said, adding, “Policies are only one step towards true inclusion. True change occurs when equality is no longer a piece of legislation, but the experience of real people in the workplace.”

Xerox Corporate Vice President Sophie Vandebroek raves “these are the stories that executives around the world should hear, coming from the brave voices of smart, successful executives who are making important contributions in business, in government and in the ways they conduct their lives with dignity and integrity.” Senator Tammy Baldwin called Out & Equal at Work “educational and inspirational,” and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was proud to share a quote in the foreword of the book.

Pre-release copies of the book are available online here.

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