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International Women’s Day was celebrated 8 March 2010. This is observed world-wide as a day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women.

In Washington D.C, the US President and First Lady observed International Women’s Day on Monday with a reception at the White House. There were many women of note in attendance along with many young girls – and as commented on by the President – some notable men attended too.

During President Obama’s speech he talked about the contributions of women to our society and specifically called out the struggle for Lesbian women to receive fair treatment. After discussing successes on the front of equality for women in the workplace, the President noted that:

“But even as we reflect on the hope of our history, we must also face squarely the reality of the present -– a reality marked by unfairness, marked by hardship for too many women in America.  The statistics of inequality are all too familiar to us — how women just earn 77 cents for every dollar men make; how one in four women is the victim of domestic violence at some point in her life; how women are more than half the population, but make up only 17 percent of the seats in Congress, and less than 3 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs.
These, and any number of other facts and figures, reflect the fundamental truth that in 2010, full gender equality has not yet been achieved; that the task of perfecting America goes on; and that all of us, men and women, have a part to play in bending the arc in America’s story upward in the 21st century.”

Was International Women’s Day celebrated where you work – and – what type of visibility do women at your location have?

In many countries, Feb 14 is Valentine’s Day celebration.

That’s a time when lovers are encouraged to kiss and make gifts and that can happen every where including in public spaces. For LGBT people, it’s not always as simple to kiss in public places since there is often a fear of people insulting or even attacking, simply on homophobic grounds.

This week-end in France, taking this “Valentine’s Day” opportunity, in many places there will be gatherings in public places where same-sex and opposite-sex couples are kissing, at a given time, with some police officers to make sure the event happens safely, in order to create a sort of awareness on this inherent difficulty of visibility.

Within the work space, visibility can also be a problem for LGBT employees. On one side, some may think private life should remain “private” (although many people would easily talk about spouse and kids…), others rather think employees should be encouraged to mix private and professional lives just to be themselves and comfortable at work.

As an employee, what is your opinion on LGBT visibility? Should it be encouraged? Should it be restricted? …

As some of you may have noticed

  • on the Americas’ Intranet
  • in the “in brief” section of the intranet a few days ago
  • or more recently on Alcatel-Lucent blog,

Alcatel-Lucent in the United States received the highest score of 100% in the Corporate Equality Index by the Human Rights Campaign on their treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees, consumers and investors.

As an individual and as an employee, what is your perspective on such reports?

As a candidate for recruitement, is this type of information valuable for you to rank your job opportunities?

On a side note, it’s worth noting that EQUAL! is working within the company providing education and awareness, working with HR and creating community within the Alcatel-Lucent walls.

EQUAL! is a recognized Alcatel-Lucent Employee Business Partner (EBP) supporting Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Employees and their Families and Friends at Alcatel-Lucent and currently active in North America, Europe and Asia… New members are welcome!

Interested in EQUAL! and the work we do? Please go to www.equal.org for information.