Glenda is EQUAL!’s Treasurer and former Co-President, as well as the Columbus, OH Chapter representative. Get to know her, as part of our ‘Meet the Board’ series!

What country is on the top of your list to visit?

I have traveled so much for work that I feel that I have been to all of my top countries. However, I would LOVE to return to Greece, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Austria, Australia, Switzerland, and Ireland. I don’t know if I will make any of those trips, but it is so fun to remember the great things I saw and was able to do there.

What sport do you practice?

For over 30 years I have ridden Dressage – this is an equine sport that you’ll find in the Olympics, however, you won’t find me there. I enjoy Dressage because no matter how much I train, I learn something new everyday. I own several horses and my greatest riding partner is named September. He was imported from Germany to the states and I love him dearly.

What job or task do you believe you have had your greatest impact at ALU?

During my years as Director in mobility, I had a large team at three locations and I feel that those were my years of greatest impact. Being able to work with a highly motivated and generally very happy team was rewarding for me personally. Being open, honest, approachable and clear in my expectations seemed to have a very positive impact with my department.

What is the decisive factor that triggered your involvement in EQUAL!?

I started many years ago with the founding organization LEAGUE. I got involved with the then struggling organization as people were trying to obtain corporate recognition. It angered me how co-workers and corporate were responding as GLBT folks were trying to organize. I was at a great point in my career, was promotable, very well thought of, and I decided that I could risk being public about my support and challenging upper management. This was one of the best decisions of my life – and – career.

Which movies made you cry/laugh the most?

Although I saw these many years ago, I can still remember laughing so loudly at Ghostbusters that people were turning their heads and looking at me my date. And as for crying, The Color Purple had me and a friend sobbing. And we couldn’t stop. His partner got up and moved away from us.


Thierry is EQUAL’s co-president and a member of the At Large chapter, based in Paris, France. Get to know him as part of our new ‘Meet the Board’ series!

What country is on the top of your list to visit? 

There are none which are really at the top of a list for the simple reason I don’t maintain a list and I like to travel where ever that is… That said, there are a number of trips I sometimes think about: driving through US Route 66, Roadtrip accross California and Australia “a-la-Priscilla”, Moroccan Desert Walk & Meditation, Trekking in Myanmar and Northern Thailand, Discovering North Korea and also travelling back in South East Asia with my spouse who has never gone to Asia yet, though I’m not sure it’s a good idea to go back to places I kept great memories of…

What is your link to GLBT?

Besides my job at ALU and my role in EQUAL!, I’m also actively involved in a French NGO by the name of CONTACT – the equivalent of the American PFLAG – whose role is to support parents of GLBT children to understand and accept their children the way they are, as well helping GLBT people who are not sure about themselves and do not know how to talk about their “difference” with their parents, and sometimes help them when this situation causes family troubles. Thanks of this involvement, I have a number of close friends who are GLBT or parents of GLBT. Oh and also my spouse is gay.

What job or task do you believe you have had your greatest impact at ALU?

I would think this was in the frame of contract negotiations with a customer in South East Asia back in the early 2000s. At the time, I was tendering manager and we were a rather small team, from tendering and sales organizations, very focused on this opportunity. We spent several weeks together in-country interacting with the customer on a daily basis until the final contract signature. This was a great experience and i was very fortunate to be part of it.

What is the decisive factor that triggered your involvement in EQUAL!?

Before the merger, I had gone through a tedious coming out process at work, with a few selected colleagues. Because this started when I was working in Kuala Lumpur, it was making the process a bit harder as this topic was sensitive in Malaysia, a muslim country which is condemning homosexuality. When I came back in France, the company was going through the merger and soon after it, I discovered EQUAL! and from the start I thought it was great to have a (virtual) place to discuss and interact with people which had this particularity in common. And because this was volunteer-based, I wanted to contribute in making sure this network would remain active and known for those who feel isolated or who might need it.

Which movies made you cry/laugh the most?

I don’t remember very well the story, but i remember very well how shocked I was during the movie “Dancer in the Dark”. Honestly I can easily cry when watching a movie or even TV series, but then I was crying and suffering so much that I wanted to leave the theater. Finally I stayed till the end, but it was really painful.

On a brighter note, I’d say I laughed the most with “Little Miss Sunshine”. I’m an easy spectator but rarely laugh, I usually smile and laugh only inside my head… For this movie, I was laughing for real and the whole theater room was doing the same. I watched the movie on DVD afterwards and I still had lots of fun watching the movie. If you have not watched it yet, you should give it a try !!

And since I started giving advice, you might also want to watch “Modern Family”, a very funny american TV-series. A really good TV show!

 What is World AIDS Day?

December 1st is World AIDS Day – a call for a spirit of social tolerance and a greater exchange of information on HIV/AIDS. Established by the World Health Organization in 1988, World AIDS Day serves to focus global attention on the devastating impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, bringing messages of compassion, hope, solidarity & understanding about AIDS to every country in the world.

Observed annually on December 1, a range of activities are organized during the weeks and days before and after the official commemoration. It is a day designed to encourage public support for and development of programs to prevent the spread of HIV infection and to provide education and awareness of issues surrounding HIV/AIDS.

World AIDS Day Events at Alcatel-Lucent

This year the following Alcatel-Lucent’s Employee Business Partners are partnering together to host World AIDS Day events at Alcatel-Lucent.

  • EQUAL! (Supporting Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Employees and Their Friends and Family)
  • ABLE (Leaders of African Descent)
  • IDEAL (Individuals Dedicated to Enabling Accessibility in Life)
  • LUNA (United Native Americans at Alcatel-Lucent)
  • HISPA (Hispanic Association of Alcatel-Lucent Employees)
  • WLN Chicagoland Chapter (Women’s Leadership Network – Chicagoland Chapter)

The following events will be held in Alcatel-Lucent on this occasion:

  • Status of the global HIV/AIDS day epidemic on Dec. 1st by Kristin M. Hartsaw, Case Management Supervisor, DuPage County Health Department in Illinois
  • World Holiday Bake Sale Fundraiser in Naperville on Nov. 30th in Alcatel-Lucent’s premises to raise funds for the  Annual EQUAL! Holiday Stocking Drive for the HIV/AIDS clients of the Open Door Clinic in Aurora and Elgin Illinois. Stop by to purchase cookies, cupcakes, cakes, fruit baskest, and nut baskets. More details on the stocking drive will be available soon!

We also invite everyone to light a candle at home on that day, wear a red ribbon throughout the day and/or participate in other local World AIDS Day events scheduled in your community.

The Red Ribbon Project


The red ribbon is a symbol of hope. Wear it to show your commitment to the fight against AIDS; it unifies the many voices seeking a meaningful response to the AIDS epidemic, serves as a constant reminder of the many people suffering as a result of this disease, and of the many people working toward a cure – a day without AIDS.

More Information

(images courtesy of

Tuesday, October 11th is National Coming Out Day (NCOD) 2011. NCOD is a day when lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their allies are encouraged to take the next step in coming out of the closet or increasing awareness.

In observance of NCOD, EQUAL! invites you to participate in the following on-line educational events at any time:

  • Ally View of Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy
  • Coming Out Stories at Alcatel-Lucent
  • GLBT webcast classes (GLBT 101, GLBT 201, Creating a Safe Work Environment for GLBT Staff)

ALU Employees: go to Engage for additional information.

(photo courtesy of the Human Rights Campaign)

by Glenda Childress

In the July-August 2011 issue of the Harvard Business Review, the article ‘For LGBT Workers, Being “Out” Brings Advantages‘ presents some facts on the status of LGBT in the workplace. With an estimated 7 Million LGBT working in the U.S. private sector, 29 states say it is legal to fire someone for being gay.  On the bright side, 85% of Fortune 500 companies have protective policies that address sexual orientation—up from 51% in 2000. Additional analysis from this article is presented by one of the authors on the HBR blog, The Cost of Closeted Employees.

Workers are receiving mixed messages from corporations on the safety of being out at work and nearly half of LGBT remain closeted at work out of a fear that their career will suffer. Closeted employees spend energy and time at work hiding their identities and often are isolated from their colleagues. LGBT employees have the same talent, career goals, and aspirations as other employees.

What do you think about these articles and the implication for corporations and employees?