By Caterin Wall
Despite the disruption caused by Hurricane Sandy, over 20 HP employees from around the world braved the weather to attend the Out & Equal Workplace Summit on Oct. 29 – Nov. 1. The Out & Equal Workplace Summit is an annual meeting that brings together LGBT employees, allies, human resource and organization professionals with the goal of working towards creating safe and equitable work environments for all.
As the Presenting Sponsor, HP has a long history of partnership with Out & Equal, and the company works with Out & Equal throughout the year to build and strengthen our company as an organization that values all employees, customers and communities. HP has been involved with Out & Equal since 1999.
Over 1,300 attendees attended the summit this year, and many of HP’s partners and customers are included in the 118 companies represented at the summit. HP’s participation at the Summit provides a number of benefits to the company, including:
- Significant visibility for HP to other leading corporations – including key business partners – and their LGBT employees. HP’s booth at the Summit’s exhibition showcase highlighted a number of the latest PPS products, including new touch-enabled Windows 8 notebooks. Attendees were wowed by the latest HP has to offer both consumer and commercial clients.
- An opportunity to showcase the company’s commitment to and leadership in diversity and inclusion as an employer and provider of choice.
- A variety of learning and professional development experiences to advance diversity and inclusion employee leadership skills.
The Summit included inspiring keynote speakers as well as opportunities to learn from industry leaders and experts. With over 100 workshops offered, attendees learn insights into lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and ally issues in today’s ever-changing workplace environment.
As a highlight of the Summit, HP sponsored the celebration Gala on Nov. 1. The company auctioned a technology suite of products, raising thousands of dollars for Out & Equal. Michael Thacker in HP’s corporate communications department also addressed the attendees at the Gala, highlighting HP’s committee to diversity and inclusion, as well as the great work of the HP Pride Employee Resource Group.
HP Pride Employee Resource Group
A critical element to HP’s diversity and inclusion strategy, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) help employees not only navigate the corporate environment, but serve as a valuable business resource. The HP Pride ERG is believed to be the first LGBT and Ally ERG to be founded inside a corporation, in 1978.
One of their key initiatives are their participation in PrideFests that happen all over the US as well as in countries such as Canada, the UK, Switzerland and Costa Rica to name a few. Through community engagement and product exhibit opportunities, HP’s brand reaches hundreds of thousands of consumers thanks to the efforts of HP’s Pride ERG. They are wonderful examples of HP employees as ambassadors of our brand.
The work of the HP Pride ERG not only increases HP’s visibility to customers, but it also helps make HP an employer of choice for the LGBT community. For the 10th year, HP has received 100% on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, which provides an in-depth analysis and rating of large U.S. employers and their policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.
The Pride ERG is currently putting finishing touches on a series of “It Gets Better” videos. The It Gets Better Project was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years. The It Gets Better Project wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone — and it WILL get better. Look for the HP videos very soon.
KEYWORDS: Hewlett Packard, HP, Workplace Equality, out & equal workplace summit, LGBT, HP Pride Employee Resource Group, diversity, inclusion, corporate equality index, It Gets Better
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