OPEN, our Employee Resource Group (ERG) for LGBTQ+ employees and allies, recognized Pride Month with several educational and networking activities.

Leigha Wilson, co-chair of OPEN and Principal Product Safety Specialist for Learning & Development, wanted programming that would educate participants professionally and personally.

“I have connected with people I otherwise would not have gotten the privilege to know, and let me say, it really is a privilege. People I check on from time to time, people who check on me—these seemingly little things mean a lot to me. Connecting with and learning from people of all walks of life are the things that matter most,” Wilson said.

The month began with a fireside chat at our Atlanta, GA headquarters with Senior Vice President of Global Integrated Talent Bill Huffaker, titled “Leading Out and Proud.” Huffaker told stories from his career in Human Resources and answered audience questions about authenticity and the benefits of bringing one’s whole self to work.   

To conclude the month, OPEN hosted an event in partnership with Transformation Journeys Worldwide, hosted by their CEO, Gabrielle Claiborne. The organization facilitates respectful conversations about the trans community and best practices for fostering inclusive environments. The session, “Empowering the Present by Learning from the Past: The History of the LGBTQ+ Civil Rights Movement in the U.S.,” ended Pride Month with an educational walk through LGBTQ+ history and an inspiring message about resilience and the importance of being informed on the past to make change for the future.    

OPEN has greatly impacted my confidence, executive presence, leadership development, and ability to present. In addition to these career skills, I have met the most amazing people from other offices, regions, and businesses through OPEN with whom I would have never crossed paths via my job at Newell,” Todd Benjamin, a member of OPEN’s leadership team and Senior Manager, Joint Business Planning, said.

Outside Pride Month, OPEN plans celebratory and educational events all year, including marching in the Atlanta Pride Parade in October and educational programming for LGBTQ+ History Month.

We are excited to see all OPEN accomplishes this year! Visit the People page for more information about our ERGs.