Introducing HRC’s Business Council
June 10, 2009
Ed. Note: This post by Wesley Combs is the first of a regular column from HRC's Business Council spotlighting LGBT workplace news.
As we enter Pride Month, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and our issues are front and center in communities, the media and sometimes at work. Being visible matters and people are much more likely to be supportive of LGBT issues if they know someone LGBT. Businesses are leading the way in ensuring inclusion for the LGBT community and here are a few examples. LGBT employee resource groups are helping management see how workplace policies often discriminate against LGBT workers. And, companies like Levi Strauss & Co are letting legislators and the public know that LGBT equality is a business issue through support of important legislation. In fact, the workplace has been far ahead of the nation's lawmakers when it comes to providing equality for LGBT employees. That's one of the key reasons why the Human Rights Campaign formed its Business Council in 1997 - to leverage the seeds of progress at work and have it extend well beyond to the community at large. The 27 members of the HRC Business Council use their workplace expertise to help establish and promote best practices for others to replicate, develop resources that can be utilized by employers to establish parity for LGBT employees and assist HRC with the passage legislation that protects LGBTs on the job. Beginning today, HRC Back Story is adding a regular column featuring the work of the Business Council (BC). In the months to come, we will share with you the important work of these dedicated volunteer advisors by sharing advice, best practices and anecdotes that you can put to use in advancing LGBT inclusion in your workplace. Here are just some of the ways Business Council members have gotten involved in securing equality in the workplace for LGBT people:
- BC co-chair Susan McManus from Nationwide testified in front of the Ohio state legislature to register her employer's support for a statewide non-discrimination bill.
- BC member John Barry worked within J.P. Morgan Chase for three years with PRIDE, the companies LGBT employee resource group, to have his firm endorse the Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act - ENDA.
- BC members Robb Puckett and Vanessa Benavides presented a workshop for local business in Dallas/Ft. Worth at American Airlines HQ on the upcoming changes to the HRC Corporate Equality Index
- BC member Meghan Stabler presented to the Congressional LGBT Caucus of the US Congress on a transgender inclusive ENDA and DP Tax Equity legislation.
These are just some of the ways HRC's Business Council is engaged on a national and local level to assist HRC with securing equality in the workplace for all LGBT people. A full listing of Business Council members follows the jump... John K. Barry: VP, Relationship Manager for Pensions, Endowments and Foundations, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Chicago, Illinois Vanessa Benavides: Senior Counsel, Tenet Healthcare, Dallas, Texas Charles A. Berardesco: Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Constellation Energy Group Inc., Baltimore, Maryland Richard P. Clark:Director of Finance, Communications and Technology Markets, Accenture Ltd., Wellesley, Massachusetts Wesley Combs:President, Witeck-Combs Communications, Washington, District of Columbia Troup Coronado: Vice President, External Affairs - Los Angeles, AT&T Inc., Los Angeles, California Elaine DeCanio: Region Manager, Shell Oil Co., Houston, Texas Jorge Farias:Managing Director, Novations Group Inc., Boston, Massachusetts Troy Greenstreet:Senior Group Manager, PepsiCo Inc., Purchase, New York John P. Isa:Associate, Employment Department, Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP, Washington, District of Columbia Emily Jones: Eastman Kodak Co. (Retired), Rochester, New York J. Kevin Jones, Jr.: Deputy Director, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, San Francisco, California Trish Jones: Senior Vice President, Strategic Audience Solutions, Turner Broadcasting System Inc., Atlanta, Georgia Susan King:Senior Vice President, Aon. Mark McLane:Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., McLean, Virginia Susan McManus: Associate Vice President, Internet, Nationwide Insurance, Columbus, Ohio Marc Nichols: Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, Green Advantage, Frederick, Maryland Bryan Parsons: Manager, Strategy and Operations/Financial Services, Ernst & Young LLP, New York, New York Keith Powell:Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer, KodakGallery, Concord, California Robb Puckett: Irving, Texas Robert E. Shook III:Business Development Executive, Global Market Strategist, Linux and Open Source Middleware, IBM Software Group, Austin, Texas Meghan Stabler: Director & Strategist, Worldwide Marketing, BMC Software Inc. Houston, Texas Chuck Stephens: Atlanta, Georgia Atticus Tysen: Vice President, Product Development, Intuit Inc., Mountain View, California David Wilson:Diversity Consultant, AKConsulting Services Inc., Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts Helga Ying: Director Worldwide Govt. Affairs & Public Policy, Levi Strauss & Co., San Francisco, California Betty Young: Director, Diverse Segment Marketing, AMR Corp. (American Airlines), Fort Worth, Texas For more information on the HRC Business Council visit: www.hrc.org/about_us/business_council.htm