Adam Bernard, chair of GM PLUS, with Tina Seitz, GM PLUS board member, holding their Outie award for the 2009 Out & Equal Employee Resource Group of the Year.

GM PLUS wins 'Outie'

Detroit-based automaker named LGBT Employee Resource Group of the Year

by BTL staff

ORLANDO, Fla. - General Motors' GM PLUS (People Like US) was recognized by Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, the leading national organization advocating for LGBT equality in the workplace, on Oct. 8 at the Out & Equal annual summit in Orlando, Fla. GM PLUS, the company's resource group for LGBT employees, was honored with the 2009 Out & Equal Workplace Award for Employee Resource Group of the Year.

The Out & Equal Workplace Awards (commonly known as the "Outies") honor individuals and organizations that are leading the way to advance equal rights for LGBT employees in America's workplaces.

"GM is honored to be the first automaker recognized by Out & Equal with its Outie Award for LGBT Employee Resource Group of the Year," said Adam Bernard, chair, GM PLUS. "This is a tremendous testament of GM's dedication to workplace diversity, justice and equality."

GM's LGBT employee group started in 1993 primarily as a social networking group, eventually becoming known as GM PLUS. Today it consists of more than 200 members and helped GM achieve the top rating of 100 percent from the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index.

"It is our diverse workforce that connects us to the global marketplace," said Karen DeCuir-DiNicola, manager of GM diversity initiatives. "Their talent and ideas drive innovation and enhance our ability to compete in the world economy now and in the future. We are honored to receive this award that recognizes our success in advocating for LGBT equal rights in the GM workplace."

As part of the awards ceremony, GM presented a video that included highlights of the work of GM PLUS as well as a personal message from GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz.

GM PLUS tied for ERG of the Year with GLIFAA, the ERG of the U.S. Department of State and USAID. Their award acceptance video featured U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

GM PLUS Board Member Tina Seitz was also a finalist for the Trailblazer Award, which recognizes an LGBT person who has made a significant contribution to advancing workplace equality by helping improve their own workplace or contributing to equality nationally.

Accenture Managing Director of Investor Relations Richard Clark won the Trailblazer Award. Blue Cross, Blue Shield VP Randy Kammer was presented with the Champion Award, which ecognizes a non-LGBT person who has played a pivotal role in championing equal treatment of LGBT employees on the job. The Significant Achievement Award, which recognizes an employer that has made significant strides in advancing a fair and equitable workplace for its LGBT employees, was given to the Salt Lake City Corporation.

Lastly, the event's largest award - the Workplace Excellence Award, presented to an an employer that has a historic and ongoing commitment to pursuing and executing workplace equality for LGBT employees, continually raising the bar of workplace equality for others to follow - went to Sun Microsystems.

"We have accomplished so much in our move toward fully equitable workplaces, and this year is even more significant and special," said Out & Equal Executive Director Selisse Berry. "Not only did we recognize and honor the stewards of workplace equality, but we also celebrated the 10th anniversary of these very special awards. So much progress has been made in corporations across the country since we began presenting the Outies, and we will continue progress as we enter our second decade."

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