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Nominations sought for Out & Equal Workplace Awards
Individuals and organizations to be honored for LGBT workplace equality

by Jere Keyes

Kate Clinton will host the Out and Equal Workplace Awards Sept. 28 in Washington, D.C.
NATIONWIDE — For the seventh consecutive year, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates is planning to honor individuals and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to workplace equality for LGBT employees. The Out & Equal Workplace Awards (or “Outies” as they’re more commonly known) provide organizations and LGBT communities with examples of innovative approaches and proven successes that help create safe and equitable workplaces.
Through May 7, nominations are being accepted for the five award categories. Out & Equal presents two awards for individuals, and three awards for organizations.

• The Trailblazer Award
This award recognizes an LGBT person who has made a significant contribution to advancing workplace equality. This individual’s activities will have made a marked improvement in their own workplace and/or have contributed to equality nationally.

• The Champion Award

This award recognizes a non-LGBT person who has played a pivotal role in championing equal treatment of LGBT employees on the job. This individual will have shown a unique commitment to LGBT workplace rights and will have used his or her talents to further that cause, even at some risk.

• LGBT Employee Resource Group of the Year
This award recognizes a particular employee resource group, sometimes referred to as an affinity group or network, that has a proven record of accomplishment in advocating for LGBT equal rights in its own workplace.

• Significant Achievement
This award recognizes any employer that has made significant strides recently in advancing a fair and equitable workplace for its LGBT employees, such as announcing parity in domestic partner health insurance, including gender identity diversity training, or initiating a unique general advertising campaign that includes LGBT people.

• Workplace Excellence
This award recognizes any employer that has an historic and ongoing commitment to pursuing and executing workplace equality for LGBT employees in their own workplace. This employer has a history of continually raising the bar of workplace equality for others to follow.

“Historically, the Outies have recognized many innovative and noteworthy businesses and people within some of the most successful and envied corporations in the world,” said Selisse Berry, executive director of Out & Equal. “But the awards are open to any type of workplace environment — education, public service, small business — and we certainly encourage anyone who is proud of their workplace to participate in the nominations. Just be ready to face some stiff competition!”

A panel of judges consisting of workplace equality activists across many industries will review the nominations and select the finalists. The winners will be announced during a gala dinner event presented on Sept. 28 at the Washington Hilton during Out & Equal’s 2007 Workplace Summit in Washington, D.C. Comedian Kate Clinton is scheduled to host the event, which attracts a veritable who’s who of LGBT activists, corporate executives and celebrities.

The Workplace Summit, held Sept. 27-29, is the premier conference on LGBT workplace equality, providing a unique opportunity to build alliances that foster safe and equitable work environments for everyone. An expected 2,000 LGBT employees, straight allies, and human resource and diversity professionals will convene to share best practices on workplace equality and essential education, information, and resources to address current workplace issues that affect the LGBT community. The three-day event offers internationally known keynote speakers, pre-Summit Seminars, and featured speakers and panels that collectively address the most relevant LGBT topics and issues in the workplace today.

— Organizations and coworkers may propose nominations by visiting the Out & Equal website and visiting the “Outie Awards” section of the site at www.outandequal.org.

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