Soundout • August 21, 2009

Posted on 20 Aug 2009 at 4:35pm
By David Taffet
Jeff Snook

5 questions with Jeff Snook

Jeff Snook is the chair of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates in DFW, and he is chair of Sodexo PRIDE in Irving. Out & Equal holds its third annual wine tasting fundraiser Thursday, Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. at Times Ten Cellars. For more information, visit OutAndEqual.org.

How are you involved with Out & Equal?
My involvement began several years ago with my company’s national support of Out & Equal. As I learned about and became more involved with the organization, I was impressed with its mission and resolved to make a difference in the workplace for LGBT employees. In 2008, I served on the affiliate leadership council as secretary and in 2009 as the chair.

How has the DFW chapter contributed to the organization’s mission?
Out & Equal is a national, nonprofit organization headquartered in San Francisco that champions safe and equitable workplaces for LGBT people. The DFW affiliate strives to produce local educational and networking events for sharing tools and best practices about important LGBT workplace issues.

Is there a way we can measure equality in the workplace and how we are doing?
For the last seven years, the Human Rights Campaign has published a report card on LGBT equality in corporate America by rating companies on how their policies, practices and benefits include LGBT employees. In 2009, 260 businesses received the top score of 100 percent compared to 195 in 2008 and 138 in 2007. We’re making progress, but personally speaking, we have a long way to go.

What are some chapter activities that you are proud of?
The Professional Development Series allows our members to exchange ideas and best practices while learning more about LGBT issues in the workplace. In 2008, we partnered with Resource Center Dallas to support the Transgender Remembering Our Dead Project, which honors the memories of the nearly 400 "documented" people who have been murdered over the last 10 years based on bias against transgender people. Through our annual wine tasting fundraiser, we are able to support the attendance of two registrants, who are doing great work in the local community, to the annual Out & Equal Workplace Summit — being held this year in Orlando in October.

What events are coming up and how can people get plugged in to volunteer?
I invite anyone interested in getting involved to attend one of our affiliate council meetings, held monthly at the Resource Center. People may attend an Out & Equal DFW event locally — with something held nearly every month. It’s a great way to connect.

Soundout is a weekly column featuring people whose jobs and interests have an impact on the daily lives of members of the LGBT community. It features those who often go unnoticed by the press and community. If you’d like to recommend someone to cover in this column, editor@dallasvoice.com­.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 21, 2009.

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