I’m honored to announce that I will be moderating a discussion panel on LGBT parenting at this year’s Out and Equal Workplace Summit. The Summit runs October 5-8 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The parenting session, “Our communities, our careers and our families: Being an LGBT parent in the workplace,” will be October 6, 3:00 to 5:30 p.m.
If you’re going, drop me a note or just drop by the session! I hope to see some of you there.
Here’s the description:
In many ways, our stories as working parents are no different than those of our straight colleagues. Being a parent who is also lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, however, has aspects that are unique to our community. Listen to a panel of LGBT executives discuss how they experience the issues facing all parents who work—and those of special concern to those who identify as LGBT.
My own brief workplace story is that I was working at Merrill Lynch (leading the LGBT employee group, in addition to my regular marketing job) when Helen and I decided to start our family. The company’s health insurance helped pay for our IVF; I received parental leave like anyone else (Helen was the pregnant one); and my coworkers threw us a baby shower. Say what you will about corporate America (and there are certainly criticisms to be made), but many companies have been leaders in extending benefits to LGBT employees and setting an example for others to follow.
Not everyone is that lucky, however. I’m looking forward to talking with the panelists—Renee Brown of Wachovia, Michelle Smith of Boeing, Stacy Smithers of Wells Fargo, and Mike Syers of Ernst & Young—about their personal parenting stories and their experiences, good and bad, as LGBT parents in the workplace. What would you ask such a panel of two lesbian moms, a transgender parent, and a gay dad?