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You're in: HRC WorkNet >> WorkAlert >> Vol. 4 No.9 >>

Motorola, IBM, Kodak, Avaya and Disney Awarded for GLBT Workplace Policies

SAN FRANCISCO — Motorola, IBM and employees and groups from Kodak, Avaya and Walt Disney will receive awards for their efforts to create safe and equitable workplaces for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees, according to Out & Equal Workplace Advocates.

The awards are slated to be presented during the 2001 Out & Equal Workplace Summit Oct. 5-7 in Cincinnati.

Motorola Inc. won the Significant Achievement Award for making the most progress in its own workplace policies in the past year. The company's achievements include adding same-sex domestic partners to its standard benefits package that includes health insurance; allowing partners to bedesignated as beneficiaries for retirement plans; travel discount benefits; and relocation expenses.

IBM picked up the Workplace Excellence Award for a company that has been historically supportive of GLBT employees. IBM has included sexual orientation in its non-discrimination policy since 1984 and has offered domestic partner benefits since 1997. Its gay and lesbian executives have been encouraged to sponsor professional development activities and the company also supports a mentoring program for gay and lesbian employees. IBM has also supported many GLBT organizations and recently created a team that focuses on selling to and recruiting from the GLBT community.

The winners of the Champion Award, which honors straight allies who have played key roles in equal treatment for GLBT employees, are Cathy Brill and Lisa Vitale of Eastman Kodak Co. As a human resources director, Brill was responsible for giving Kodak’s employee group Lambda Network a key role in the company’s "culture change initiative." Vitale was Lambda’s first straight activist and has been a prominent member since 1994.

The Trailblazer Award went to Mary Ann Horton, formerly of Avaya Inc. Horton led a successful effort to obtain protections for transgender employees at Lucent Technologies, and played a vital role in helping Lucent, Avaya and Agere to offer transgender health benefits. Horton also leads a forum called Transgender at Work that provides information and advocacy to improve workplace environment for transsexuals.

PRIDE at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., was named the Employee Resource Group of the Year. Among PRIDE’s achievements was a change in the way family passes were provided to employees, making it both inclusive and confidential.

Daryl Herrschaft, manager of HRC WorkNet, chaired the Out & Equal Awards Committee that helped select this years' winners.

"Our community is fortunate to have so many individuals committed to creating a better place to work for LGBT Americans," Herrschaft said. "The selection process was hard, but our winners stand as models for the rest of the corporate community."

Related links >>

The Out & Equal Workplace Summit, Oct. 5-7, Cincinnati

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates

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