American Airlines Celebrates Gleam`s 15th Anniversary
Posted: 06/19/2009 - 15:16
• American Airlines LGBT and Allied Employees and Community Leaders Gather at C.R. Smith Museum Event
June 18, 2009 -- American Airlines celebrated the historic launch and 15th anniversary milestone of its first employee resource group – the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and allied employees of American Airlines and American Eagle (GLEAM) – with a special reception last night at the C.R. Smith Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.
Employees launched GLEAM during the summer of 1994 and have been instrumental in making American a leader in diversity and inclusion, progressive employment policies, segment marketing, and public policy endorsement for the fair and equitable treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees. Together, American Airlines and American Eagle now have 16 employee resource groups representing the rich diversity and backgrounds of their global workforce.
The anniversary event welcomed nearly 300 attendees, including special guests and numerous business and nonprofit leaders representing Lambda Legal, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, the Human Rights Campaign, the Dallas Black Tie Dinner Committee, the North Texas Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and the Dallas Voice. Special remarks were delivered by Dennis Coleman and Kenneth Upton on behalf of Lambda Legal, and a raffle was launched to benefit Out & Equal and the Dallas Black Tie Dinner.
Denise Lynn, American’s Vice President – Diversity and Leadership Strategies, spoke for the company in honoring GLEAM leaders and members for serving as a bridge within and beyond the company to make inclusion authentic and lasting.
“We are truly honored to toast the pioneers of GLEAM for their principled and hard work to lead us all in getting it right. Valuing and promoting diversity and inclusion among employees is good for our workforce and our customers, smart for our business – and most important, it is the right thing to do as a good corporate citizen,” Lynn said.
“We are proud to have earned many firsts as a company in the fair, equal and respectful treatment of all our employees and our customers,” said Edward Dykes, American’s Senior Financial Analyst – Purchasing, and GLEAM Chairman. “Today’s historic event is a meaningful way to recognize American’s 15 year-commitment to be an advocate for LGBT concerns in the workplace and also for promoting a sense of community, good will and collegiality that we hope continues to ensure American Airlines always is best in class.”
Some of those firsts include:
Employment Policies/Workplace Environment:
· First major airline to have a company-recognized LGBT employee resource group – GLEAM. Formed in 1994, GLEAM’s mission is to work with management and to reach out to allies and other employee groups to embrace the principles of fairness, acceptance and diversity in all company policies and programs.
· First major airline to implement same-sex domestic partner benefits (2000). Offers equal health and travel benefits to same-sex partners of LGBT employees.
· First major airline to implement both sexual orientation (1993) and gender identity (2001) in its workplace nondiscrimination policies.
Public Policy Advocate
· First major airline to endorse the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (2008) as well as the Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act (2009), to treat taxation of health insurance benefits for domestic partners equally with married spouses.
Diverse Segment Marketing
· First major airline to launch a dedicated LGBT-specific website complete with comprehensive LGBT event calendar, consumer newsletter and booking engine, www.aa.com/rainbow (November 2006) and first LGBT site www.aavacations.com/rainbow for booking leisure and vacation travel to gay-welcoming destinations (November 2005.)
· First Fortune 100 company to establish an entire gay and lesbian national marketing and sales team: The Rainbow TeAAm. The team consists of travel specialists working with gay and lesbian community groups and national and local organizations to expertly handle travel needs and benefits.
· One of the leading corporate members of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) – the world’s leading gay and lesbian travel association.
· American Airlines is a founding corporate member of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, as well as the first and only airline today to include LGBT-owned businesses in its supplier diversity program.
· Long-time sponsor and supporter of key LGBT pillar community organizations such as Lambda Legal, HRC, amfAR, and many more organizations across the country.
Each month, American’s Rainbow Team publishes a newsletter discussing travel and travel-related topics. For more information and to sign up for the newsletter, visit www.aa.com/rainbow.
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