• LGBT Chamber Members Share Self-Identification Methods

    At the March Power Lunch, hosted by Waller, attendees heard about methods of LGBT Self Identification at Cummins and KPMG. Marcya Carter, a Human Resources professional at Cummins, explained her company initiated self-ID for LGBT employees to help them live up to their value statement.  "If you say you value a certain segment of your employee population, but you are not measuring it, then how much do you really value it?" 

    James Powell, Office Managing Partner at KPMG, discussed the first impression all KPMG employees have when they have the opportunity to voluntarily self-identify as LGBT in the onboarding process. "Whether you are LGBT or not, whether you choose to check that box or not, it sends a strong message to all new hires that this matters to the employer; therefore, it matters to the employees," said Powell.

    The third panelist was Melody Fowler-Green, Executive Director of the Metro Human Relations Commission. A former workforce attorney, Ms. Fowler-Green, justified the time is right for more employers to begin measuring and evaluating their employees based on LGBT, disability, and veterans status. "Employers who claim self-disclosure can lead to lawsuits are off track. 45% of Fortune 500 companies and the federal government already have methods for LGBT self-disclosure in place. It gives them a baseline, and allows them to truly engage their LGBT employees. Companies who measure in order to manage and engage will be in a better position to attract and retain talent."

    The panel was moderated by Lisa Howe. After testifying in front of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in favor of ENDA last year,  Howe returned with the understanding of the value and importance of self-identification for LGBT employees. The Executive Director told the audience, "If LGBT employees are not checking a box, then they are leaving opportunities and resources on the table. When there is data collection for LGBT people, then employers and policy makers can make better budget and policy decisions that are LGBT-inclusive." 

    Attendees included representatives from Dell, Vanderbilt, UPS, and the Mayor's Office. The LGBT Chamber and the Human Relations Commission are co-authoring a white paper with this recommended policy change for Metro.