Work Life Matters Magazine held their 11th Annual Work Life Matters Gala honoring Top Companies for LGBT Equality at Club 101 on October 23rd. Lori Sokol, Ph.D., the Founder and Publisher of Work Life Matters Magazine, hosted the event. She is one of the nation’s most influential writers and editors covering women’s issues, politics, business, and LGBT issues. The gala drew together over 200 people, including executives, performing artists, celebrities, philanthropists, authors, models, entrepreneurs, TV news media and activists.
The Keynote Speakers were Marie C. Wilson, Co-founder of Take Our Daughters to Work Day, Founder & President Emertia The White House Project & Ms. Foundation for Women, and Mel Wymore, former New York City Council Candidate. This was the third consecutive year that the magazine specifically honored top companies for implementing and supporting LGBT equality programs and practices throughout their organizations. Honorees for their Pioneering Leadership in LGBT Equality included Avon, CVS Caremark, Dechert LLP, Discovery Communications, Eli Lilly, Intel, MasterCard, MetLife, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, New York Life, TD Bank, United Airlines and Wells Fargo.
There was a compelling video that was screened which displayed the challenges that LGBT youth are faced with “coming out.” A chilling two-thirds of teenage suicides are by LGBT youth. Therefore, it is clear that adequate support is lacking. Those who are marginalized must be able to feel a sense of belonging so as to not feel so isolated and hopeless. Mel Wymore suggested, “Emphasize community. Because community, I believe for us, is the pathway to a different world. Engage everyone in their ownership of the whole- especially those who are marginalized.” One point that was made was that these young people could benefit by their parents finding a mentor for them who has been through the same kind of hardship.
Attendees included Mark Tallman, Star of the hit series “In Between Men,” “Single Ladies,” & “Damages;” Tamsen Fadal, Emmy winning Anchor of PIX 11 News; Scott Stanford, Co-Anchor, PIX 11 News; Nick Mathews, Star of “In Between Men”; Chase Coleman, Star of the hit series “In Between Men;” Jennifer Gelfer, Actress, Director, Co-Executive Producer & Director of “In Between Men;” Quincy Morris, Executive Producer & Creator of “In Between Men;” Brice Mousset, Artistic director & founder of the acclaimed dance company OUI DANSE; Erik Bottcher, Assistant Deputy Director of Community Outreach New York City Council; Lois Braverman, President & CEO Ackerman Institute for the Family; Lauren Logiudice, Actress/Writer; Timothy Mandala from 30 Rock, The Ropes & All My Children; Aryn Cole from The Sisters Plotz , Ugly Betty, All My Children; Camilla Barungi, Model/Entrepreneur/Activist of “Project Runway” fame; Javier Gomez, fine art photographer/Activist; Stacey Tisdale, Business Correspondent, Al Jazeera America; Levi Wilson, Actor on “The Sisters Plotz;” Lisa Ferber, Playwright, visual artist, screenwriter, story writer, lyricist & Creator of The Sisters Plotz; Josh Folan, “What Would Bears Do?,” “All God’s Creatures,” “All My Children,” “One Life to Live;” Lisa Hammer, Filmmaker, actress, composer & singer, The Sister Plotz; Wendy Diamond, Publisher of Animal Fair Media/Philanthropist/Television Personality; Linda Stein, noted sculptor, curator, lecturer, and writer.
Past honorees include Alcoa, BASF Corporation, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Campbell Soup Company, Credit Suisse, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLC., ESPN, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP, KPMG, NBCUniversal, Orbitz Worldwide, PricewaterhouseCoopers, The New York Times and Unilever. Indeed, diversity in the workplace fosters profitable new ideas and relationships, so it is no wonder that some of America’s top companies were awarded.