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    LGBT Pride at Kodak

    Creating An Inclusive Culture for All Employees - A Journey
    For Transgender Employees


    At Eastman Kodak Company, diversity includes every employee. Our "Winning & Inclusive Culture" strategy guides our work to accomplish this. Kodak has achieved a significant milestone by creating a safe environment for our Transgender employees. Transgender employees have been visible in our work community for at least the last 60 years from areas around the world. Their safety is as important as all other employees´ safety. The journey to create a safe and equitable work environment has some key elements that can be applied to many situations:

    WIC
    • Establish policy
      Policy helps to create safety. Kodak added inclusive language to its EOE policy in 1984. This policy is reviewed annually by all Kodak employees.

    • Understand Employee Needs
      We´ve been fortunate to have visible Transgender employees share their experience in the workplace. These stories have been valuable to focus improvements in meaningful ways to create a safe and inclusive workplace. The Lambda Network has helped to create conversations between Transgender individuals and company leaders. These conversations continue today.

    • Educate on Employee Needs and Business Relevance
      Education is the key to create change in the workplace. The Lambda Network At Kodak coordinated several learning opportunities:
     
    • Early on Out & Equal piloted its first Building Bridges training on the needs of Transgender employees to our Lambda Board, Global Diversity, and HR Associates.
    • Later Ricki Wilchens from GenderPAC spoke at Lambda´s annual Education event to an audience of around 400 employees from the shop floor to senior leaders. Kodak employees participated in the GenderPAC conference.
    • Most recently in 2005 Donna Rose, HRC Board member, conducted training for HR Leaders and Advocates from the shop floor.  
     
      Lambda
    Education helps to show what an inclusive environment could look like and understand the relevance to both employees and the corporation.  

    • Benchmark Best Practices
      Leaders wanted to create some working guidelines to support employees, supervisors, and Human Resources. A team was formed including Global Diveristy, Human Resources and Lambda´s HR-Partnership team. The team´s goal was to be best in class. HRC provided suggestions and identified leading companies. The team benchmarked with other companies to learn about best practices and policies.

    • Develop & Deploy Guidelines
      Global Diversity drafted a set of guidelines on how to support Kodak employees who are changing their gender. The draft was carefully reviewed by Human Resources, Legal, Global Diverstiy, and the Lambda HR-Partnership team. In January 2004 Kodak´s Worldwide Guidelines for Employees Who Are Changing Their Gender was implemented.

    • Communicate guidelines & policy internally
      Kodak´s guidelines are available to employees on the intranet site. Human Resource Associates are made aware of them through regular communications. The Lambda-HR Partnership team developed the "HR Roadshow." This program teaches HR Associates the policies, guidelines and issues impacting LGBT employees at Kodak including Transgender employees. Additional resources are also available on Lambda´s intranet website.

    • Improve continuously
      We learn from both external examples and the experience of our employees that contribute to improvements.

      One team in Colorado is piloting the guidelines with an employee who is transitioning. They have provided feedback that has been valuable to update the guidelines.

      Global Diveristy, HR, and the Lambda HR-Partnership team continue to explore the needs for Transgender employees. They work to address equitable health and well-being benefits for Transgender employees. HRC has been instrumental in defining the scope of such benefits.
     

    • Share best practices
      There are few companies that address the needs of Transgender employees in policy and there are fewer still that commit to practices in written guidelines. Kodak has responded to several requests from other companies on how to implement such guidelines. Employees have presented this journey at Out & Equal Workplace Summit and locally at the Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley Equality Forum.
     
     

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    "Our motivation in creating the Guidelines was not to satisfy any one constituency´s concerns or legal mandate. Rather, the Guidelines are another plank in a continous "bridge-building" process of diversity and inclusion across Kodak. Together with our EOE Policy, Guidelines, Benefits and education we are working to create an environment where all employees are valued, respected, and can perform their job duties in an atmosphere of trust and safety."
    --Robert Berman, Senior VP, Human Resources, Eastman Kodak Company