Intelligence Community Bests Major Corporations in LGBTA Awards

Intelligence Community Bests Major Corporations in LGBTA Awards



IC Pride Named Best Employee Resource Group by "Out & Equal,"

Beating Comparable Groups from Comcast NBC Universal, Deutsche Bank, Verizon, AT&T

The Intelligence Community’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and ally group "IC Pride" won a major award at Out & Equal's annual summit in Philadelphia last month. The “Outie” award for Employee Resource Group of the Year recognizes organizations as leaders in advancing global workplace equality for LGBT employees. IC Pride—which unifies LGBTA resources from across all 17 IC agencies and elements—beat Fortune 500 peer groups, including Comcast NBC Universal, Deutsche Bank, Verizon, and AT&T.




IC Pride Chair Lee M., an officer for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) said, "It is extremely gratifying to see IC Pride recognized as a global leader in advancing LGBTA workplace equality. It wasn’t that long ago when gay and lesbian intelligence officers could not even be ‘Out’ at work.” When asked what has made IC Pride successful, he shared “IC Pride is most notable for three things - the way it maximizes and propels rapid diversity change, its use of senior executives to support that speed of change, and the way it has helped reverse long-lived stereotypes of the U.S. government and the IC as non-LGBTA-friendly employers.” He noted, “We’ve taken the biggest successes from individual agencies, lifted them up, and implemented them across the IC."

Nearly 30 professionals from across the IC–including from CIA, DIA, ODNI, FBI, NGA, NRO, NSA, and Treasury—attended Out & Equal's annual workplace summit, where they took part in a leadership day, plenary events with keynote speakers, panels, and educational breakout sessions. By participating in the summit, IC Pride is able to draw on best practices in LGBTA workplace inclusion from across the private sector, academia, and government.


IC Pride stems from early pioneering efforts at both CIA and NSA. Chartered at CIA in 1996, the Agency Network of Gay and Lesbian Employees was the first employee resource group within the IC. In 1999, the Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual Employees became officially recognized as an NSA Employee Organization. By 2008, other agencies, such as NGA, also formed LGBTA groups or special emphasis programs. IC Pride was created in 2009 with only a vision, a chairperson, and an executive champion, officially launching in 2011. Since then, IC Pride has quickly matured, drawing upon ODNI’s IC leadership role to identify and shape LGBTA community priorities and implement best practices across the Community.


In just the last year, IC Pride, in partnership with ODNI, developed Transgender Employee Guidelines to assist all 17 IC agencies and elements with the preparation of policies relating to the treatment of transgender individuals in the federal workplace. Additionally, IC Pride developed and launched an Ally training module specifically for executive leaders and has conducted this training throughout the Metropolitan DC area as well as Military Combatant Command Headquarters and Military Intelligence Centers. IC Pride members participated in several public forums—as keynote speakers, panels and workshops—to showcase the IC as an LGBTA employer of choice.


When asked how IC Pride has empowered them professionally or their mission, members shared:


“Being part of IC Pride has had a tremendous benefit to me, both professionally and personally. First, I have learned to be an effective advocate for diversity and inclusion at my Agency and in the IC. This has allowed me to interact with offices and other agencies that I don’t normally work with in my current position. Second, I now have contacts at IC agencies that I did not before. This has allowed me to expand my understanding of the IC and to find counterparts for my position that I was not exposed to previously. I wish I knew about IC Pride five years ago – it would have made me a more effective leader then to now. I really appreciate the opportunity to work with and learn from my IC Pride colleagues.”
– Barb M., DIA

“IC Pride has helped me have a sense of community at work. As a member of IC Pride, I get to actively create the type of workplace I want to be in and I work with some of the best talent the IC has to offer to make the workplace more inclusive for everyone. The friends and mentors I have met through IC Pride have enriched my career and helped me grow as an IC professional.”
– Mackensey B., NSA


“IC Pride is important to me for two reasons. First, it challenges me to think about what more I can do as an ally to support our LGBTQ team mates, or as I learned last week at Out & Equal, moving from an Ally to an Advocate. Second, IC Pride helps promote the IC as a good place to work. I truly believe, in order to solve the really hard problems we will deal with going forward, we cannot alienate any segment of our population, including our LGBTQ citizens”
– Stephan J. NGA


“To me it’s the collaboration that is impressive. The impact of IC Pride is portable to each of the IC member agencies, and the depth of the group can be brought to bear on any issue – as there are successes to share and gaps to fill.”
– Tish T. NGA


“Employee Resource Groups play a critical role in the IC’s ability to promote diversity, inclusion, and equal employment opportunity. IC Pride stands out as a leader among ERGs – both in the IC and across industry. It’s a pleasure to work with such talented and dedicated officers who are advancing our national security mission. IC Pride sets the standard for employee-led groups, and they have created a space where all members of the workforce can learn, contribute and feel a sense of belonging here in the IC. Congratulations, and thank you to IC Pride.”
Rita Sampson, Chief of Equal Employment Opportunity & Diversity for the IC

IC Pride has several ambitious goals for the upcoming year. First they will focus on strengthening their membership in order to bring in additional perspectives and talent. The Ally program intends to develop teams of additional ally instructors across multiple agencies. IC Pride also will strengthen partnerships with other employee resource groups across the IC, to work together on common issues for diversity and inclusion.


For more on IC Pride, see Intelligence Community Comes Out in Austin

For more on the Outie Awards, see The 2017 Outie Awards