Work Life Matters Magazine hosted their 10th Annual Gala, and yours truly was there to witness the monumental event. Held at the prestigious Club 101 in New York City, the event brought people of all ages together to honor the Top Companies for LGBT Equality. From having a “Rainbow Carpet” instead of a Red Carpet, no detail was left untouched. The night was both personal and worldly as it shined on the future of companies and each individual’s impact.
Since 2002, Work Life Matters Magazine annually pays tribute to companies that serve as leaders in their respective fields by providing innovative and effective work/life balance programs and policies for their employees. Work Life Matters magazine is a national quarterly publication that educates senior executives at Fortune 100 companies about the importance of providing work life services and resources to our nation’s workforce. Celebrating the 10th Annual Gala is a milestone as it shows how far society has come in those years and what people can accomplish.
Lori Sokol, Ph.D., Founder & Publisher of Work Life Matters, gave the opening remarks to the event. Sokol explained how LGBT Equality has evolved in today’s work environment. According to recent survey, Sokol explained that 2/3 LGBT adults speak up over anti-gay remarks in work. More often than not, people are starting to equate “equality” with both heterosexuality and homosexuality. Listening to Sokol’s passionate opening remarks started the night off in a special and positive way.
Sokol is well known in the media world. A regular contributor to The Huffington Post, she has written for The New York Times, Women’s eNews, The Baltimore Sun, and several other publications, and additionally making television appearances. Her versatile background gave her the knowledge and credibility for Work Life Matters Magazine.
The first speaker of the night was Jonathan Lovitz. As a proud Democrat and a member of the LGBT community, Jonathan dreams of serving his country in public office. His passion for equality was apparent and promising. I had the pleasure of speaking to Jonathan prior to the event. As both an advocate and entertainer, Lovitz is creating a buzz with his possible political run. From traveling to high schools or the white house, his drive and motivation shines. When I asked him what was the best part of being an advocate for the LGBT community, he explained that it was his love of speaking to students and his peers that keeps him going. Although still on a “life high” from speaking to Judith Light and Hilary Clinton at an event, his greatest high is making a difference in someone’s life. Intellectual, motivated, and well versed, Jonathon is a triple threat in politics and a vital part of the LGBT community.
Followed by Lovitz was Loreen Arbus, a trailblazer for equality. As President to the Loreen Arbus Foundation, The Goldenson-Arbus Foundation, and Loreen Arbus Productions, her life’s work has been devoted to awareness of equality in the workforce. She is the first woman in the United States to head programming for a national network, and a well-known Disability Rights Activist in society. Her speech was empowering and emotional, as she brought light to the work that still needs to be done in the workforce.
Companies such as ESPN, Davis Polk & Wardwell, Discovery Communications, Orbitz Worldwide, Eli Lilly & Co., and Microsoft are just a few of this year’s honorees. This will also be the second consecutive year that the magazine will specifically honor top companies for implementing and supporting LGBT equality programs and practices throughout their organizations.
“This year’s honorees are serving as corporate pioneers by supporting the advancement of LGBT equality within their organizations, as well as to the community-at-large,” says Lori Sokol, “The importance of ensuring LGBT equality throughout the workplace is becoming increasingly evident, so we are thrilled to pay tribute to each of these companies that have proven to be leaders in their respective industries.”
The event was thoughtful, empowering, and celebratory of the strides companies are doing in creating equality. The room was filled with inspiring individuals filled with selfless perseverance and passion. One of my favorite interviews were with Nick Matthews and Margot Bingham of “In Between Men”. A little scandalous, a little controversial, and alot of fun, In Between Men focuses on four NYC based friends who are not defined by their sexuality. The trials and tribulations of everyday life is exactly what many can relate to, regardless of their sexual orientation. Matthews and Bingham explained that the show is “a perfect example of LGBT equality and life situations.” “People need to be educated,” explained Matthews, “Our characters deal with relatable to anyone. There no character stereotypes”.
It was an honor to attend the event and truly see how far we have come in today’s society.
**NY Social Status would like to congratulate these Top Companies for their perseverance and dedication to the cause.