Coming Out at Work

HRC survey results suggest better education of LGBTQ issues supports workplace equality

Recognizing that increased understanding of LGBTQ realities could foster greater support for inclusion, the Lambda Network strategically embarked on educational initiatives beyond their annual Education Events.

One noteworthy program was the "Can We Talk?" workshop, a hands-on learning experience tailored for Kodak managers upon request. This workshop aimed to facilitate discussions about sexual orientation that might be challenging within typical workplace settings. Creating an environment of mutual vulnerability, participants were encouraged to openly share their thoughts and experiences. The workshop initiated with participants self-identifying their sexual orientation, leading to the formation of two groups – one LGBTQ and the other non-LGBTQ. The structured setup involved the LGBTQ group sitting in a circle, surrounded by the non-LGBTQ group, all facing inwards. A facilitator posed questions to the LGBTQ group, with the non-LGBTQ group in listening mode. After a dinner break, the groups swapped positions and roles, concluding the workshop with a debriefing session. By fostering small group interactions and promoting the sharing of personal experiences and empathy, these workshops provided a safe space for participants to challenge assumptions and reshape their perspectives.

In addition to the "Can We Talk?" workshop, the Lambda Network developed various Other Educational Programs, creating a comprehensive approach to fostering understanding.

The Lambda Network's efficacy as an educational force positioned it as a vital asset for Kodak. Collaborating with Kodak marketing, the network sought to connect with LGBTQ customers, while partnering with HR aimed at enhancing workplace equality across the entire company. The growth of the Lambda Network paralleled an expansion of its partnerships and responsibilities. 

LNAK exhibit audio · David Kosel recalls a time when HR invoked the Lambda Network

In 1998, recognizing the need for strategic focus, Lambda established four strategy teams, later expanding to six: the Lambda-HR Partnership Team, Education Strategy Team, Marketing Strategy Team, Communication Strategy Team, Networking Strategy Team, and Membership Strategy Team. The Lambda Network's success prompted senior managers to seek its insights into its achievements, treating Lambda as a model to enhance the effectiveness of other employee networks within the company.