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SHRM Foundation Launches Inaugural Tharseō Awards to Recognize Leaders Who Are Boldly Changing the Workplace

ALEXANDRIA, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The SHRM Foundation announced today that it will recognize pioneering business leaders who are boldly changing the workplace—and the world—with its inaugural Tharseō Awards. Tharseō (thar-seh’-ō)—derived from the Greek word meaning “courageous, confident and bold”—highlights leaders who are on the forefront of creating and strengthening the vital connection between employees and company purpose. Recipients will be honored at Gotham Hall in New York on Oct. 4, 2021, as the SHRM Foundation hosts its first celebration in honor of leaders who serve as visionaries, innovators and change agents.

“To reshape the future of work, leaders must be at the forefront of the evolving issues facing our workforce today,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, president and chief executive officer of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). “The Tharseō Awards recognize leaders who have the vision and courage to transform the workplace while simultaneously strengthening the important connections between employees and overall company purpose.”

The recipients are:

Ram Charan HR Innovator of the Year: Gloria Chen, chief people officer and executive vice president, employee experience, Adobe

Chen leads all aspects of people strategy and operations for Adobe, and is charged with creating an exceptional employee experience for more than 23,000 employees across 75 locations around the globe. In her more than 20 years with Adobe, including most recently as Chief Strategy Officer, Gloria has helped usher the company through some of its boldest, most transformational changes, from shaping its business strategy, managing significant acquisitions and integrations, and successfully navigating the company through its COVID-19 response.

CEO of the Year: Ajay Banga, executive chairman and former chief executive officer, Mastercard

Banga is chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, a founding trustee of the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum, a former member of the National Committee on United States-China Relations and chairman emeritus of the American India Foundation. He is also a co-founder of The Cyber Readiness Institute, a member of the World Economic Forum’s EDISON Alliance, and a member of the Weill Cornell Medicine board of fellows.

Policy Transformer of the Year: Rep. Robert Scott, D-Va., U.S. Congressman

Rep. Scott has represented Virginia’s third congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1993. Prior to his service in Congress, he served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1978 to 1983 and in the Senate of Virginia from 1983 to 1993. He has successfully sponsored laws critical to Virginians in education, employment, health care, social services, economic development, crime prevention and consumer protection.

“Tharseō recognizes leaders who refuse to wait for the workplace to evolve—they are the change makers,” said Wendi Safstrom, SHRM Foundation executive director. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to honor these exemplary leaders as our first-ever Tharseō Award winners as we look to their vision and innovation for inspiration.”

Candidates for the Tharseō Awards were evaluated through multistage qualitative and quantitative measurements. Criteria for the awards included innovation, implementation, and overall impact on both the company and global workforce.

To learn more about the Tharseō Awards, please visit tharseo.shrm.org. Tickets to attend the Tharseō Awards are available through Ellen Christman at ellen.christman@shrm.org. All proceeds benefit the SHRM Foundation, which is committed to empowering HR as a social force for change.

Tharseō Awards Jurors:

  • David C. Novak, founder and CEO, David Novak Leadership; co-founder, retired chairman and CEO, Yum! Brands
  • Ilene Gordon, presiding director, International Paper; director, International Flavors & Fragrances; director, Lockheed Martin; retired chairman, president and CEO, Ingredion Inc.
  • Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick (Retired), Ph.D., NAE, Ginkgo Bioworks Senior Advisor, board member, CSX, Fidelity, Perma-Fix, HireVue, and American Corporate Partners
  • Maggie Wilderotter, board chair, DocuSign; board member, Costco Wholesale Corp., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Lyft and Sana Biotechnology; private board member, Tanium; TripActions, Legends Hospitality and Sonoma Biotherapeutics; senior advisor, Blackstone Group, TSSP, Atairos Otka, Accenture, Bank of America
  • Peter Cappelli, director of human resources, The Wharton School; professor of management, The Wharton School; research associate, National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge; fellow, National Academy of Human Resources
  • Vineet Nayar, founder and chairman, Sampark Foundation; former vice chairman and CEO, HCL Technologies; senior advisor PWC India, ChrysCapital, McKinsey Leadership Institute and Government of Uttarakhand, India
  • Ambassador Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, founder and CEO, Pace; chairman of the board, American Red Cross

About the SHRM Foundation

Founded in 1966 as the philanthropic affiliate of SHRM, the SHRM Foundation elevates and empowers HR to lead positive social change impacting work, workers and the workplace, contributing to a world of work that works for all. The SHRM Foundation’s robust and relevant evidence-based programming inspires HR professionals hire and retain diverse talent, build inclusive workplaces, and help employees find purpose at work and beyond.


Mallory Flynn

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Windstream’s Diversity Efforts Recognized by Black EOE Journal

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Windstream, a privately held communications and software company, has been named a Top Employer, Top LGBTQ+ Employer and Top Supplier Diversity Program for 2021 by Black EOE Journal.

We are honored to be recognized for our diversity and inclusion initiatives by Black EOE Journal,” said Mary Michaels, chief human resources officer at Windstream. “Our company celebrates the authenticity and uniqueness of our people and their ideas. The diverse voices of our employees fuel our innovation and the inclusive culture we are building empowers each one of us to better serve our customers.”

Black EOE Journal is published by DiversityComm, Inc.

Each year, DiversityComm, Inc. (DCI) and its six diversity magazines conduct select evaluations of the nation’s Employers, Supplier Diversity Programs, Industry Leaders, Law Enforcement & Government Agencies and Schools. The evaluations also integrate findings by each magazine independently to identify “Best of the Best” in relation to outreach and accessibility to the minority, veteran, female, people with disabilities and LGBTQ+ population. These non-biased studies are a valuable resource for the publication’s readers, jobseekers, business owners, students, senior management, and consumers.

We strive to encourage other companies to follow the lead and ultimately create a more diverse workforce,” said Mona Lisa Faris, president and publisher of DCI.

More information about DCI’s “Best of the Best” can be found here.

About DiversityComm, Inc.

DiversityComm, Inc. (DCI) is the proud publisher of six nationally recognized diversity focused magazines: Black EOE Journal, HISPANIC Network Magazine, Professional WOMAN’s Magazine, U.S. Veterans Magazine, Diversity in STEAM Magazine and DIVERSEability Magazine. We are dedicated to inform, educate, employ and provide equal opportunity within corporate America in order to create a more diverse workplace.

About Windstream

Windstream Holdings is a privately held communications and software company. Windstream offers managed communications services, including SD-WAN and UCaaS, and high-capacity bandwidth and transport services to businesses across the U.S. The company also provides premium broadband, entertainment and security services through an enhanced fiber network and 5G fixed wireless service to consumers and small and midsize businesses primarily in rural areas in 18 states. Additional information is available at windstream.com or windstreamenterprise.com. Follow us on Twitter at @Windstream.


Windstream Contact:
Scott Morris, 501-748-5342


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United Nations GLOBE President Gurchaten “Nanoo” Sandhu – LGBTQ+ Leader

In this episode of OutBüro Voices featuring LGBTQ professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders from around the world, host Dennis Velco chats with the United Nation’s LGBTQ+ personnel leader Gurchaten “Nanoo” Sandhu. His reach incorporates 70 UN organizations in a unique personnel bargaining way.  

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We’d love your text comments at the bottom of each show episode page asking questions of me, our guests, and interacting with other commenters.

We also have the feature where you may “call-in” and leave a recorded message. Your recorded message may be used in future episodes and requires a simple registration on the podcast platform

This is just the text description is just a brief overview, so be sure to listen or watch and post any questions you might have for Nanoo in the comments.  

Nanoo who is a British citizen by birth, his parent immigrated comes from Northern Indian with Punjabi heritage and a with a Seik spiritual upbringing. See the separate short video of our discussion on being LGBTQ and Sikh by upbringing and faith which was an educational lesson for me.   

Nanoo, which is what people close to him call him, started out as an intern at the United Nations.  When he arrived in Switzerland 15 years ago it was just for that 6-month internship. Yet he hasn’t left – other than for holiday. He converted to a full-time employee of the United Nations International Labor Organization (ILO) in where he’s had the opportunity to work on the policy of international labor rights and equality.  

His early career at the United Nations was fraught with homophobia and being specifically told by another gay colleague to stay in the closet, this is not a place you will thrive and be out as gay.  Like all organizations, change happens over time. One of the additional challenges of working at the United Nations as personnel is that all policies and benefits for each of the 70 organizations are reviewed and fate determined by its operational board which consists of the member state/country representatives.  So, if those happen to be countries that criminalize same-gender relationships, it can be difficult to achieve complete LGBTQ inclusive policies and benefits in those organizations.  

As Nanno described, the United Nations GLOBE is quite interesting. It is not a traditional Employee Resource Group like what is found in many for-profit companies around the developed world. It operates on a completely voluntary basis with ZERO funding from the United Nations or any of its 70 organizations.  It is a personnel lead, managed, and self-funded organization. It operates somewhere between an employee resource group and a staff bargaining union.   

Anytime there is any discussion of human resource policy or benefits within any of the UN 70 organizations, the UN GLOBE demands a seat at the table to ensure for the benefit of all personnel that the needs of LGBTQ personnel are addressed, often to the benefit of their heteronormative colleagues as well.  Being a truly global organization has presented many challenges. For example, when a staffer is offered a post in a country that is not LGBTQ+ friendly or it is criminalized in the potential destination country, what are the options the UN can achieve. In some cases, if the staffer chooses not to take the assignment it can be a career-limiting choice. We all have tough choices to make, but living as one’s authentic self as safely as possible is of course the best choice. There will be other job advancement opportunities in the future.  

I am fascinated by this model and feel it can be an inspiration to others. Regardless of the employer’s buy-in, organize, educate, connect, and create change on your terms. Your and the UN Globe are an inspiration. 

Join me and Nanoo on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online community network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, allies, and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality-focused benefits, policies, and business practices.  https://www.OutBuro.com  

Would you like to be featured like this? Contact the host Dennis Velco.  https://outburo.com/profile/dennisvelco/

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Globality Recognized for Best CEO for Diversity, Best Leadership Team and Best Career Growth in Comparably 2021 Rankings

World’s first B2B services Platform and marketplace is again ranked by employees for being one of the top companies of its size

MENLO PARK, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Globality, the leading AI-powered digital solution for sourcing services, has been ranked one of the top 25 Small and Medium-sized businesses across North America for Best CEO for Diversity, Best Leadership Team and Best Career Growth by Comparably, the leading workplace culture and compensation monitoring site.

The three awards are derived from millions of anonymous employee ratings on executive leadership teams and direct managers on Comparably.com over a 12-month period (June 23, 2020 through June 23, 2021). The results are benchmarked against 60,000 other companies, with the Best CEO for Diversity ranking based solely on anonymous employee ratings. Other leading technology organizations recognized in these Comparably 2021 awards include Adobe, Zoom, Hubspot and LinkedIn.

“We are thrilled to receive these awards from Comparably as it shows that Globality lives our mission daily, with employees that represent every corner of the world working together to achieve more inclusive economies,” said Globality Chief Human Resources Officer Sonia Mathai. “Having a CEO who is recognized for his commitment to diversity along with an approachable and inspiring leadership team enables our people to grow and achieve their full career potential in a dynamic and inclusive environment, which allows Globality to transform the way companies do business around the world.”

“As the world was plagued by the pandemic and racial inequities of the past year, employees needed executives who could lead with strength and compassion,” said Comparably CEO Jason Nazar. “Globality’s multiple award wins are a testament to the strong CEO they have in Joel Hyatt and how committed the leadership team is to transparency, diversity and growth opportunities for its employees.”

“At Globality, everyone contributes to our culture, which is based on the values of innovation, collaboration and trust as we use cutting-edge technology to help build a fairer global economy in which all companies, regardless of size or location, have the opportunity to compete on a level playing field,” added Mathai.

About Globality

Globality is a Silicon Valley-headquartered technology company co-founded by Joel Hyatt and Lior Delgo to revolutionize how companies buy and sell services. Through its AI-powered Platform and marketplace, Globality is bringing digital transformation to the sourcing industry. Globality’s AI digital solution replaces the archaic analog Request for Proposal, efficiently and effectively scoping needs, managing demand, matching companies with outstanding suppliers that meet their specific service needs and cutting the sourcing process from months to hours while delivering savings of 20% or more. In January 2021, Globality raised $138 million from Sienna Capital and the SoftBank Vision Fund, bringing the total investment it has raised since its founding five years ago to $310 million. For more information, visit Globality’s website at www.globality.com.


Media Contacts

Nardi Media for Globality (US)

Justin Goldstein




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InStride Joins OneTen to Advance Black Talent at Major Corporations

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–InStride, the premier global provider of strategic enterprise education™ programs, has joined OneTen to provide education opportunities and career advancement for Black talent. As an endorsed talent developer, InStride will work in partnership with OneTen to broadly develop, retain and advance diverse and underrepresented talent with an explicit commitment to hire or promote Black individuals without four-year degrees.

Recognizing that the current system is not inclusive enough, OneTen has set out to change the way companies provide more equitable environments to drive better business outcomes and benefit all employees. OneTen works with employers such as American Express, Target and AT&T, and education partners such as InStride to design educational and employment solutions.

“Workforce education programs play an important part in providing education opportunities to individuals who have faced barriers to higher education. It’s our mission at InStride to drive businesses forward by expanding access to high-quality education for their employees,” said Vivek Sharma, InStride CEO. “We are honored to join OneTen in this very important work and look forward to partnering with member corporations to provide credentials, degrees and skills training to employees across America.”

OneTen is a coalition of business leaders committed to upskilling, hiring and promoting one million Black individuals into family-sustaining jobs with opportunities for advancement over the next 10 years. The network of OneTen talent developers represents leading local, regional and national education and skill-building organizations that support diverse talent without four-year degrees to identify, develop and build high-value skills.

“We look forward to having InStride join us as an endorsed talent developer to support us in our mission to hire and advance one million Black individuals in the next ten years,” said Maurice Jones, Chief Executive Officer of OneTen. “This effort will require a high functioning, multi-disciplinary coalition from corporate America, talent developers, Black talent, talent supports and others, and it is crucial we have high quality partners like InStride on that team. We are grateful for the work they have already done and are excited to partner with them going forward.”

InStride helps employers like Aramark, adidas, Banfield Pet Hospital, Carvana, Labcorp and Magna to create a more adaptable, innovative workforce by providing their employees with access to career-boosting degrees and credentials from leading academic institutions. InStride has agreements with a curated network of universities including Arizona State University (ASU), City University of New York (CUNY), the University of Virginia, the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of Memphis.

About InStride

InStride drives business and social impact through strategic workforce education. As the global leader in these programs, InStride works with corporate partners like Aramark, adidas, Carvana, Labcorp and more, providing their employees with access to top-tier academic institutions, strategic learning paths and an innovative technology platform. Guided by its mission to change lives for working adults and cultivate the workforce of the future, InStride has been recognized with Fortune’s Impact 20 and Inc.’s Best in Business awards. Visit instride.com or follow InStride on Twitter and LinkedIn for more information and up-to-date news.

About OneTen

OneTen is a coalition of leading chief executives and their companies who are coming together to upskill, hire and promote one million Black individuals over the next 10 years who do not have a four-year degree into family-sustaining jobs with opportunities for advancement. We connect employers with talent partners, leading nonprofits and other skill-credentialing organizations who support development of diverse talent. By creating more equitable and inclusive workforces, we believe we can reach our full potential as a nation of united citizens. Join us at OneTen.org.



John James Nicoletti





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UKG Receives Three Prestigious Awards for Inclusive Culture Valuing All People, Generations, Teams

LOWELL, Mass. & WESTON, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#BestWorkplaces–UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group), a leading global provider of human capital management (HCM), payroll, HR service delivery, and workforce management solutions, today announced it earned three separate awards for its diverse, inclusive culture built to serve and care for all individuals. Recent accolades include ranking #6 on the IDG Insider Pro and Computerworld Best Places to Work in IT list, receiving a perfect score of 100% on Disability:IN’s Disability Equality Index, and earning a spot on the Best Workplaces for Millennials list created by Great Place to Work and Fortune magazine.

“Since the very first day we merged, we committed to building an intentional culture that would work for all people and align with our strategy for who we want to be as UKG,” said Dave Almeda, chief people officer at UKG. “We strive to care for our people and their families at every turn — no matter who they are, where they live and work, or what they do — because it’s the right thing to do, and because it makes us a better partner to our customers.”

To support its people — also known as U Krewers — at every stage of their UKG careers and lives, the company offers:

  • 100%-company-paid healthcare premiums (medical, dental, and vision), including for infertility treatments and gender reassignment surgery, with coverage for spouses, domestic partners, and dependents
  • A 45% dollar-for-dollar match on all 401(k) contributions, with no lifetime cap, up to federal limits
  • Unlimited paid time off for any reason, including vacation, sick time, volunteering, bereavement, and voting — for all full- and part-time employees, including hourly workers
  • Fully paid maternity, paternity, and adoptive leave, including financial assistance to help employees cover costs associated with the adoption process
  • Financial assistance with student-loan repayments — available upon hire, with no lifetime limit

Computerworld Best Places to Work in IT

The Best Places to Work in IT list ranks the top 100 work environments for technology professionals, based on a comprehensive questionnaire and employee survey regarding company offerings in categories such as benefits, career development, training, and retention. IDG also conducts extensive surveys of IT workers and their responses factor heavily in determining the list. On top of its #6 overall ranking, UKG also ranked #4 for Benefits and #6 for Diversity.

Disability:IN Disability Equality Index

Considered the most comprehensive disability-inclusion assessment tool in the United States, the Disability Equality Index grades companies on the merits of their policies, programs, and practices for hiring, including, and serving people with disabilities across the business. UKG has implemented several new accessibility measures, from workplace improvements to product enhancements across its solutions, to better serve all employees, customers, partners, and visitors every day.

In May, UKG announced the hiring of Brian Reaves, who joined the organization as its chief belonging, diversity, and equity officer. Reaves leads the company’s global belonging, diversity, and equity efforts, expanding existing initiatives at UKG while working to strengthen a culture built on trust, fairness, and equality, so all people can thrive in their careers.

“We are proud to be recognized as a company leading the way in accessibility practices, but we know our work is never complete in this vital area,” said Reaves. “UKG will continue to reevaluate and enhance our programs and practices as necessary, to ensure we are serving all individuals, of every ability.”

Best Workplaces for Millennials

The Fortune Best Workplaces for Millennials list recognizes companies with high-trust cultures offering fulfilling and meaningful work, abundant opportunities for career development, extraordinary benefits, and positive experiences. List results are based primarily on survey feedback from employees across industries.

The ranking follows UKG earning the #6 spot on Fortune magazine’s and Great Place to Work’s 100 Best Companies to Work For 2021 list in April. The historic ranking marks the first time a company has appeared on the prestigious 100 Best list in its first year as a merged entity.

“I want to congratulate all U Krewers on these remarkable achievements. Thank you, thank you, thank you for always helping one another and putting others’ needs first in all you do,” said Aron Ain, chairman and CEO at UKG. “We’ve only just started out on our journey to becoming the company UKG is destined to be, and taking care of our people and empowering them to be their best is the magic behind building better products and delivering better services for UKG customers all over the world.”

About UKG

At UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group), our purpose is people. Built from a merger that created one of the largest cloud companies in the world, UKG believes organizations succeed when they focus on their people. As a leading global provider of HCM, payroll, HR service delivery, and workforce management solutions, UKG delivers award-winning Pro, Dimensions, and Ready solutions to help tens of thousands of organizations across geographies and in every industry drive better business outcomes, improve HR effectiveness, streamline the payroll process, and help make work a better, more connected experience for everyone. UKG has 13,000 employees around the globe and is known for an inclusive workplace culture. The company has earned numerous awards for culture, products, and services, including consecutive years on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list. To learn more, visit ukg.com.

Copyright 2021 UKG Inc. All rights reserved. For a full list of UKG trademarks, please visit ukg.com/trademarks. All other trademarks, if any, are property of their respective owners. All specifications are subject to change.

Follow UKG on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.


UKG Contact:
Darlene Marcroft

+1 954 331 7444


For Sales Information:

+1 800 432 1729


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Alorica Named a Winner of Comparably’s Best CEOs for Diversity Award

Global Customer Service Provider Recognized for Driving Positive Culture Change Based on Employee Feedback

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Alorica Inc., a trusted global leader in customer experience (CX) solutions, announced today that it won Comparably’s Best CEOs for Diversity Award. Based on the sentiment of employees of color who anonymously rated Alorica during a 12-month period (July 2020 – June 2021), this award recognizes the Company for driving positive culture change and encouraging diversity and inclusion across the organization.

“With nearly 70% of our U.S. workforce comprised of minorities, I am incredibly proud of the impact we are making within our Alorica family and also in the communities in which we operate,” said Andy Lee, Chairman and CEO of Alorica. “Inclusiveness has always been a part of Alorica’s DNA. This award is a testament to the remarkable work our employees are leading through our TIDE program, which celebrates, supports and empowers diverse voices around the globe, and in turn, builds a stronger sense of unity. I share this recognition with every employee at Alorica who helps us build a work culture that is accepting, kind and encouraging.”

In 2020, Alorica launched TIDE, a grassroots diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiative as part of its global Corporate Social Responsibility program. Now an integral component of the employee experience, TIDE’s ongoing Real Talk series provides employees at all levels with an interactive forum to increase awareness, share experiences and develop solutions to social issues within their communities. Since its inception, Alorica’s TIDE teams have facilitated over 70 Real Talk sessions around the world.

“This past year shined a vital spotlight on racial inequities,” said Comparably CEO Jason Nazar. “Our annual Best CEOs for Diversity recognizes the leaders that employees of color have deemed as top-notch. This year’s list is no exception with an incredible group of chief executives, like Alorica’s Andy Lee, that have shown strong leadership through the pandemic and a commitment to DE+I in their organizations.”

Alorica is the world’s largest minority-owned business process outsourcing (BPO) provider and certified as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) by both the National Minority Supplier Development Council and Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council.

Comparably’s Best CEOs for Diversity Award is among several accolades Alorica has received since last year, including the 2021 Stevie Award which recognized Alorica for Minority-Owned Business of the Year. The company was also distinguished as an Impact Sourcing Champion by IAOP in July 2020 for strategically hiring thousands of employees around the world from underserved communities. Additionally, Alorica was recognized by two of the leading industry analyst firms earlier this year—Gartner named Alorica a Leader in its 2021 Magic Quadrant for Customer Service BPO for completeness of vision and ability to execute and NelsonHall named Alorica a Leader in its 2021 Social Media CX Services NEAT Assessment for Content Moderation, Trust and Safety.

About Alorica

Alorica is a trusted global leader in customer experience solutions. We are made up of 100,000 passionate problem solvers who make lives better through positive customer interactions—at every touchpoint—across voice, chat and social. Leveraging innovative technologies—including intelligent automation and a comprehensive analytics suite—we support the world’s most respected brands with the best talent and resources necessary to create insanely great experiences. Alorica provides a host of world-class services—from customer care to financial solutions and digital services—to clients across industries of all kinds, many of whom are on the Fortune 500. Alorica contact centers and operation hubs span the globe with locations in 15 countries. To learn more, visit www.alorica.com.

About Comparably

Comparably (www.comparably.com) is a leading workplace culture and compensation monitoring site that provides the most comprehensive and accurate representation of what it’s like to work at companies. Employees can anonymously rate their employers in 20 workplace culture categories, providing the public a transparent and in-depth look at the experiences different segments of workers have based on gender, ethnicity, age, department, tenure, location, education, and company size. Since launching in 2016, Comparably has accumulated 10 million ratings on 60,000 U.S. companies. The platform has become one of the fastest-growing SaaS solutions for employer branding and a trusted third-party site for workplace and salary data, most notably for its annual Best Places to Work series.


Media Contact:
Sunny Yu

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Shutterstock Launches Global Grant In Partnership With The It Gets Better Project To Empower And Authentically Portray LGBTQ+ Communities

An extension of The Create Fund launched in December 2020, the It Gets Better partnership celebrates the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community with a $10,000 grant to provide financial and professional support to LGBTQ+ creators


NEW YORK, July 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Shutterstock, Inc. (NYSE: SSTK) a leading global creative platform offering full-service solutions, high-quality content, and tools for brands, businesses and media companies, today announced a partnership with the It Gets Better Project, a nonprofit organization with a mission to uplift, empower, and connect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth around the globe.

The partnership between the It Gets Better Project and Shutterstock aims to challenge LGBTQ+ visual stereotypes to better represent the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community, while helping to educate the media and advertising industries about the power of diverse photography — both in front of and behind the camera.

To affect meaningful change in this area, Shutterstock identified the top searched for images for LGBTQ+ and established a poll, which was completed by members of the It Gets Better community, to determine whether these visuals and search terms accurately represent their personal experiences, as well as those of the LGBTQ+ community.

Key findings include:

  • 40.1% of respondents felt that they weren’t represented as a member of the LGBTQ+ community
  • When looking for representations of LGBTQ+ Persons of Color, the top three stories and images respondents would like to see shared include:
    • Day to day life – 66.1% of respondents
    • Raising a family – 52.4% of respondents
    • Positive / uplifting moments – 51.9% of respondents
  • The top three locations where respondents would like to see more LGBTQ+ representation include:
    • Family events – 70.4% of respondents
    • Casual group settings – 64.6% of respondents
    • Workplaces – 64.2% of respondents
  • When asked how we can more authentically represent LGBTQ+ members, and who from this community needs more representation, the top three responses were:
    • Trans bodies and the Trans experience – 81.8%
    • LGBTQ+ Persons of Color – 76.3%
    • Non-binary bodies and the non-binary experience – 71.6%

Additionally, a $10,000 grant has been established to advance representation within LGBTQ+ content, and support LGBTQ+ creators by highlighting their diverse experiences, perspectives and perceptions in a way that’s authentically illustrated in their art.

“At Shutterstock, providing content that is inclusive and representative of the different backgrounds, perspectives and opinions of communities around the world is core to who we are,” said Meeckel Beecher, Global Head of DEI at Shutterstock. “We are thrilled to partner with the It Gets Better Project to support LGBTQ+ artists, and help the media and advertising industries visualize stories that accurately represent and validate the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ people.”

“We are delighted to partner with Shutterstock by providing key findings that will influence content decisions made by marketers and advertisers, so that members of the LGBTQ+ community are represented authentically,” said Jimmy Ancheta-Tilley Jr., Development Manager at the It Gets Better Project. “After listening to members of the LGBTQ+ community, we have identified areas where certain stereotypes prevail, and we look forward to working with Shutterstock to support the community in a more inclusive way.”

The $10,000 grant will be awarded in three prizes: a first prize of $5,000, with second and third prize each receiving $2,500.

LGBTQ+ artists including photographers, videographers, illustrators, 3D artists or writers are open and encouraged to apply. Applicants must submit a project proposal, examples of their work, and a short biography by 5 p.m. EST on September 3, 2021 to be considered for the three grants. Applicants are encouraged to outline how their submitted projects will add to the narrative of the LGBTQ+ perspective. Grant recipients will be selected by a diverse panel of expert judges who are knowledgeable in the various genres of grants Shutterstock will be offering. All artists selected for a grant will be provided an outlet to license their work, either via Shutterstock, Shutterstock Editorial, Premium Beat or OFFSET.

The Create Fund, a $300,000 artist grant, was established by Shutterstock in December 2020, to fill content gaps and further diversity and inclusion within its content library and contributor network.

At launch, the first three grants offered through The Create Fund included:

  • Create for Climate: Drawing awareness to global climate change by supporting artists who use their talents to depict climate change, environmental protests, and our changing landscape.
  • Support Invisible Illness: Promoting artists who create visual stories and representations that break the stigma around mental health, portraying a more inclusive view of mental illness around the world.
  • The Senior Creatives: Supporting our community of senior creatives—those over 50 who have had years to hone their craft and want to share their experiences and perspectives through creative means.

On International Women’s Day 2021, The Create Fund launched “Through Their Eyes,” a $10,000 grant to champion underrepresented female and non-binary creators, and their creative projects across photography, visual journalism, videography, illustration, 3D modeling, and writing.

To learn more about the partnership with the It Gets Better Project, visit https://www.shutterstock.com/explore/create-fund

About Shutterstock

Shutterstock, Inc. (NYSE: SSTK), is a leading global creative platform offering full-service solutions, high-quality content, and tools for brands, businesses and media companies. Directly and through its group subsidiaries, Shutterstock’s comprehensive collection includes high-quality licensed photographsvectorsillustrationsvideos3D models and music. Working with its growing community of over 1.7 million contributors, Shutterstock adds hundreds of thousands of images each week, and currently has more than 370 million images and more than 21 million video clips available.

Headquartered in New York City, Shutterstock has offices around the world and customers in more than 150 countries. The Company also owns Offset, a high-end image collection; Shutterstock Studios, an end-to-end custom creative shop; PremiumBeat, a curated royalty-free music library; Shutterstock Editorial, a premier source of editorial images and videos for the world’s media; TurboSquid, a leading 3D content marketplace; Amper Music, an AI-driven music platform; and Bigstock, a value-oriented stock media offering.

For more information, please visit www.shutterstock.com and follow Shutterstock on Twitter and on Facebook.

About the It Gets Better Project

Launched over a decade ago by syndicated columnist Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller, the It Gets Better Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that leverages the power of media to reach millions of people every year and provide critical support and hope to LGBTQ+ youth around the world. Through collaborative partnerships elevating positive portrayals of the LGBTQ+ community, and community building initiatives, the It Gets Better Project strives to uplift, empower, and connect LGBTQ+ youth around the globe.  The It Gets Better Project received the 2012 Governor’s Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; has garnered support from President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama; along with numerous celebrities such as Kelly Clarkson, Gabrielle Union, Josie Totah, Hayley Kiyoko and Patrick Starrr, and more than 600,000 others who have taken the pledge to share messages of hope and to speak up against intolerance. Connect with the It Gets Better Project: on TikTok, Instagram and Twitter at @ItGetsBetter; Facebook.com/ItGetsBetterProject; and YouTube.com/ItGetsBetterProject.

Logo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1075411/shutterstock_Logo.jpg

SOURCE Shutterstock, Inc.

CONTACT: Aimée Leabon, press@shutterstock.com, 917-563-4991

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With the majority of US states not granting legal protections and rights for LGBT people along with this administration doing everything they can roll back the few protections in place, it’s left to companies to lead the charge by providing an LGBTQ-friendly work environment through corporate policies and benefits.

OutBürois a Glassdoor.com-like resource where you may share your experiences what it’s like working for your current and recent past employers – up to 5 years past

Why Rate Your Employer?

  • Studies have proven that the more diversity-focused a company is the more profitable they are 
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OutBüro is striving to be a global resource for the LGBTQ community by empowering LGBTQ people with a voice to influence business, company and corporate culture to improve the work-life for all both now and in the future. It is a feedback system for companies to gauge their real progress toward full LGBTQ workplace equality.

Every company listing in the CompanyReviews Employer Listing is required to indicate if the company has the following policies, benefits, and programs in place or not.

  • Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Policy
  • Gender Identity Non-Discrimination Policy
  • Domestic Partner Benefits
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  • Has an LGBT Employee Resource Group
  • Public Commitment to LGBT Equality 
  • LGBT Inclusion Competency Training
  • If it operates in more than one country has the same policies and benefits globally 
  • Requires all vendors and contractors to have similar policies and benefits  Indicate the number of diversity in management
  • Indicate the number of LGBT in management 

Are LGBT-Friendly Policies Enough?

Simple answer – No.  Having LGBTQ-friendly policies are wonderful and appreciated – but not the full picture. Remember, in the US Sexual Harassment policies have been in place since the late 70’s and still today it continues to happen. Just turn on the news. Now consider all the cases that do not make the news and those that go unreported. Discrimination and harassment of LGBTQ employees are no different. Just having policies is not enough. We must provide visibility and insight to make the change and ensure it is effective in its goals to protect.

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Coming out is hard. Coming out at work is another level for many. Having an employer that is LGBT+ supportive goes a long way to support the individual and the community by creating visibility and awareness. Join us and rate your employer anonymously from your LGBT perspective at www.OutBuro.com.

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LGBT Friendly policies are wonderful and appreciated.  They, however, do not 100% guarantee an LGBT+ work-life experience of unicorns and rainbows.  If sexual harassment policies that have been in place in the US since the late 1970’s and weekly news of high profile cases are evidence.  It’s clear that policies alone are not enough.  Additionally, self-reporting by management is not enough.   All things to be and maintain greatness needs a level of checks and balances.  Management needs to hear what they are doing great as well as what needs attention.  We allow this while maintaining your anonymity.  Just keep it professional with facts.  (See below: Is OutBüro a site for disgruntled LGBT current and past employees to just rant and vent?)

Click the JP Morgan Chase logo to be taken to their company rating listing.  Just log in or create a free account.  Be sure to review the Company Rating Guidelines as well as the articles below for a good overview.

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