White House Summit on Working Families: Why LGBT Families Matter

June 23, 2014 by Hayley Miller, Digital Media Associate

Today the White House hosted the nation's first ever Summit on Working Families, an event focused on creating a nation-wide conversation about establishing and implementingpositive workplace policies. The summit brought together parents, advocates, employers, and lawmakers, to explore opportunities and policies that can give the modern American family, including LGBT families, the best chance to succeed at work and at home.

Without question, progress has been made, but there is still work to be done to help support working LGBT families. Major companies (447) are requiring their suppliers to adhere to their own LGBT-inclusive workplace policies, and a growing number (61 percent) of Fortune 500 Companies have adopted workplace non-discrimination policies that include gender identity. Even with these positive steps toward equality, approximately half (51 percent) of employees admit to not being out at their workplace.

In a statement released on Saturday, June 21st, President Obama said, “When hardworking Americans are forced to choose between work and family, America lags behind in a global economy.  To stay competitive and economically successful, America needs to bring our workplace policies into the 21st century.”

According to U.S. Census data, there are nearly 650,000 same-sex couples raising 250,000 children.Finding the right work-life balance for LGBT families includes having an employer and work environment where all employees are treated with equality and with fundamental fairness. Today's conference made clear that more needs to be done to address that part of the work-life equation.  

To learn more about the summit, follow the hashtag #FamiliesSucceed or go to www.workingfamiliessummit.org.