Creating LBGT+ Inclusion in the Workplace

For decades, the LBGTQ+ community has been faced with widespread discrimination in the workplace. Even today, many LBGTQIA individuals have few protections against intolerance in the professional world. This session will work to help answer some of the question around this issue and how organizations can foster inclusivity as part of their core values. Even today, only 18 states and D.C. have laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the private sector. What is holding back the expansion of LBGTQIA protections in the workplace? In the current political climate, how can advocates fight to protect and assist LBGTQIA folk in the workplace?

Speakers include: Colleen Finnegan (Pandora PRIDE); Rachel Rubin (Out & Equal); Mordecai Cohen Ettinger (California Institute of Integral Studies) 


Mordecai Cohen Ettinger Author Educator, California Institute of Integral Studies.

Mordecai Cohen Ettinger
Educator, California Institute of Integral Studies.

Mordecai is the author of the forthcoming book, We All Hold Up the Sky: Lessons in Health Justice for the 21st Century. He has over 20 years experience as a social justice change maker, scholar, educator, and holistic healer. He serves as adjunct faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies where he teaches Science and Technology Studies. His academic research focuses on the neurobiology of the social nervous system, and its implications with regard to collective trauma, healing, transformational leadership and social change.  Trained in Somatic Experiencing, Reiki, and Cranial Sacral therapy, he has studied with Dr. Peter Levine, biophysicist and creator of Somatic Experiencing and Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, the trauma expert and the only psychiatrist to be invited to participate in South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  Mordecai applies his two decades of inter-disciplinary study of the processes of change and what makes it possible along with the knowledge he’s gained in the social justice field to his work with individuals. Mordecai holds a BA from McGill University in Montreal and earned his Masters degree in Ecology.

Colleen Finnegan Sr Manager of Employee Experience & Marketing, Pandora.

Colleen Finnegan
Sr Manager of Employee Experience & Marketing, Pandora.

In addition to her role in marketing and employee experience at Pandora, Colleen is the leader of the company’s LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group, Pandora Pride. Her focus is on telling the story of Pandora’s unique culture across multiple digital and experiential channels, as well as working to foster an inclusive, people-first, and music centric environment. She is passionate about company cultures, employment branding, employee experience, diversity & inclusion, and specifically increasing the percentage of the LGBTQ+ population in music and tech. She has spoken about LGBTQ+ youth empowerment programs at SXSWi and at Medium’s HQ.

Rachel Rubin Deputy Director, Out and Equal

Rachel Rubin
Deputy Director, Out and Equal

Rachel joined the Out & Equal staff in November 2014. She leads a team that manages corporate partnerships for more than 400 Fortune 1,000 companies, Out & Equal events including the Workplace Summit, Executive Forums, and Global Round-Tables, as well as the organizations marketing and communications department. She brings unparalleled experience in fundraising strategy, portfolio diversification, and relationship building. Rachel has a proven track record of directing successful campaigns raising millions of dollars for nonprofits locally and around the world. Her previous experiences were in creating multi-platform giving opportunities that match the philanthropic interests of individuals and companies with the funding needs of non-profits. Rachel has a Masters in Public Affairs from Indiana University. Rachel is a California native and lives with her wife, Madeline, in San Francisco.