The Oracle Pride Employee Network (OPEN) was recognized with a 2021 Outie Award from Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, just in time for National Coming Out Day on October 11, 2021.
The award recognizes OPEN as an Employee Resource Group of the Year (ERG). ERGs are voluntary, employee-led groups that aim to foster a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with the organizations they serve. OPEN received the honor for its proven commitment to continuously advocate to build an inclusive culture that provides a safe and authentic workplace that supports LGBTQ+ employees and allies. Oracle was one of two winners in the ERG category and competed against 28 other companies.
“Organizations perform better when they have a diverse group of people in their employee base,” says Paul Boyd, executive sponsor of OPEN. “I’m incredibly proud of this community that’s worked so hard to develop programming, thought leadership, events, and much more to instill a sense of belonging within the LGBTQ+ community at Oracle. This award would not have been possible without their hard work. I’m especially grateful for the contributions of Paula Getz and Christine Coats, who were the pioneers of OPEN. It was a big risk to step out back then and they did it bravely and built OPEN into a global, intersectional organization.”
OPEN was launched in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2010 with a mission to educate and bring awareness to Oracle and the surrounding community about issues concerning the LGBTQ+ community. Since then, OPEN has become the largest ERG at Oracle, with 36 chapters and membership across 45 countries. OPEN members network with each other, collaborate with other ERGs, and contribute to Oracle’s success by educating on topics important to LGBTQ+ employees and potential talent. “Oracle Pride Employee Network (OPEN) is a shining example of the greatness that comes from community and allyship,” says Traci Wade, senior director of diversity and inclusion at Oracle. “Diversity, equity and inclusion are part of Oracle’s DNA, and we have immense appreciation for OPEN volunteers who add to our culture of belonging and help all employees thrive.”
OPEN has demonstrated this dedication to instilling a sense of belonging among the LGBTQ+ community through various engagements, including working with senior leaders to record videos that make explicit how much the LGBTQ+ community belongs in each of their teams, and the creation of Oracle’s Executive Diversity Council, which spearheads inclusion initiatives across the company.
Global events also play a key role in the OPEN mission. For example, in honor of National Coming Out Day (October 11) the OPEN JAPAC network is hosting a range of events, including a fireside chat featuring inspiring coming out stories and a session on supporting parents as allies.
“This year’s Outie Award winners represent some of the best and most innovative work done at large companies to create cultures where LGBTQ+ employees belong and thrive,” said Erin Uritus, CEO of Out & Equal. “These individuals, companies, and ERGs are blazing new trails and creating a future of work that is more accepting, inclusive, and intersectional. Congratulations to all of our winners and honorees!”
Out & Equal focuses exclusively on LGBTQ+ workplace equality. The Outies recognize individuals and organizations who are leaders in advancing equality for LGBTQ+ people in workplaces globally. Outies are awarded at the annual Out & Equal Workplace Summit. More information about the Outies is available at: https://outandequal.org/the-outie-awards/.
Photography: FG Trade/Getty Images
Justine Kavanaugh-Brown is a senior writer at Oracle. She was previously a writer and editor for e.Republic’s Content Studio, where she worked with numerous enterprise technology companies.