Employees Shine with Pride
June 20, 2014
The spirit of inclusiveness fills the halls of FCA US LLC headquarters this month as the company celebrates the vibrancy of its lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees and their allies.
The exhibit is comprised of 15 poster boards, with each one highlighting a different GALA member, including allies (a non-LGBT employee who openly supports GALA) at the Company’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich. Each poster board features a photo, name, job title and a quote about being a part of the GALA community.
To some, the exhibit’s concept may seem simple, but GALA members are confident that by making themselves visible they will be able to convey a deeper human message—they are just like everyone else.
“Often, in the media and in Hollywood, members of the LGBT community are portrayed in a certain light, to fit a certain stereotype,” said Curt Briski, an Innovation Awareness and Training Manager at FCA US and GALA board member. “Faces of GALA shows that we are all on the same human level; we are your co-workers, we’re the person that sits in the cube next to you, your friend, or the person you always go out to lunch with.”
Moreover, Briski and other members of GALA hope to reach other FCA US employees who are fearful of being open in the workplace.
“Everyone has their own individual comfort level which is absolutely fine, but we want to make it clear to everyone that you don’t need to hide who you are,” Briski said. “We have an open and inclusive corporate culture where our LGBT employees can feel safe. If ‘Faces of GALA’ can help one person to be a little more open, it will make our efforts worthwhile.”
FCA US has a longstanding support of LGBT employees, communities and issues; however many members of GALA feel now more than ever, it is the right time to share their pride with others in the company.
“I’m proud of what FCA US has achieved in creating a work culture that is diverse, respectful and inclusive,” said Gregory Hawkins, an engineer at FCA US, who serves as chair of GALA. “It makes me as a LGBT employee feel valued and comforted to know that my Company stands behind me and is committed to supporting projects like this exhibit.”
Motor City Pride
FCA US also played a prominent role in a statewide celebration of LGBT Pride month by supporting the 2014 Motor City Pride Festival, the largest LGBT gathering in Michigan.
FCA US sponsored the parade portion of the festival, as well as an interactive product display including the new Chrysler 200, Jeep® Cherokee Limited and Fiat 500L. FCA US also provided the Grand Marshal vehicle—a 1967 Plymouth Fury—that Grand Marshals April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, and their children, drove during the parade.
Despite the rain, the two-day festival enjoyed a record attendance of more than 45,000 attendees.
Casey Hurbis, Head of FIAT Brand Communication, Kelly Hanlon, FCA US Employee and co-chair of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance (GALA), and Gregory Hawkins, FCA US Employee and GALA Chair
Motor City Pride Festival and Parade
Motor City Pride Parade Grand Marshals, the DeBoer-Rowse family, kicked off the parade in a 1967 Plymouth Fury.
FCA US celebrates its products, people and culture at Detroit’s Motor City Pride on June 8, 2014.
FCA US LLC’s gold sponsorship of Motor City Pride was provided on behalf of its LGBT employee resource group (ERG), the Gay and Lesbian Alliance (GALA).
From left to right: Gregory Hawkins, FCA US Employee and Chair - Gay and Lesbian Alliance (GALA), and Kelly Hanlon, FCA US Employee and co-chair of GALA stand next to a 2014 Fiat 500L
FCA US celebrates its products, people and culture at Detroit’s Motor City Pride on June 7, 2014.
FCA US supports the annual Motor City Pride festival in Detroit through parade sponsorship and an interactive product display.
FCA US is proud to be a longtime supporter of LGBT employees, communities and issues.
Chrysler was a leader among U.S. employers in providing domestic partner benefits to its employees in 2000. In 2013, FCA US was among a small group of leading employers to achieve a perfect score of 100 percent on Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Corporate Equality Index. The HRC is the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, America’s largest civil rights organization, and is dedicated to achieving LGBT equality. The Company has achieved this benchmark eight times since it was established and, until recent years, FCA US was the only automaker to consistently achieve a perfect CEI rating.
FCA US also is a member of the Michigan Competitive Workforce Coalition seeking an update to Michigan’s anti-discrimination law to prohibit discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity.