I had the privilege of joining the NCLR family in Los Angeles this past week to celebrate our shared vision for a more equal and inclusive world. I applaud Janet Murguia and the NCLR team for their leadership and for delineating the civil rights issues of our day, including immigration reform and how we may use technology to continue mobilizing toward positive change for the communities we serve.

As the President of AT&T California, I was pleased to hear Monday's announcement that President Obama signed an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

We honored award-winning actor, producer and activist Dan Guerrero, who shared his coming of age experience as a gay Mexican-American boy in a place and time when the word “gay” was forbidden. Today, decades later, we are reminded through shared experiences like Dan's that when our country has chosen to be more inclusive, we have become better for it.

As a gay man of color, I am very proud to represent AT&T, where we understand that diversity is a central facet of our corporate culture and business success. Our history of inclusion and diversity has opened the door for talented people from all walks of life and backgrounds to produce cutting-edge technology, innovations and platforms for others to connect and communicate anytime, anywhere. In 1975, AT&T became one of the first major American corporations to adopt a policy prohibiting discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation. Continuing the spirit of trailblazing, in 1987, AT&T employees founded the oldest LGBT employee group LEAGUE (LGBT and allied employees at AT&T) in the country. Our commitment to promoting the diverse culture of AT&T is one of the core reasons that we are viewed as a great workplace, business partner and trusted member of the communities we serve.

As the President of AT&T California, I was pleased to hear Monday's announcement that President Obama signed an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. In California, where we enjoy a successful and longstanding track record of working with diverse suppliers, we know firsthand that inclusive policies lead to better business.

Congratulations to NCLR for a successful conference. We look forward to our continued collaboration on behalf of the communities we serve.

You can learn more about AT&T's commitment to the LGBT community here. Additionally, you can check out our video highlighting this commitment here.

About the Author

Ken McNeely

President of AT&T California

McNeely

Ken McNeely, president-California, is responsible for all external affairs, public policy, and philanthropic activities for AT&T in California. As such, he leads AT&T's workforce in the state of more than 40,000 employees. He was appointed to his current position in November 2005, following the close of the historic merger between SBC Communications Inc. and AT&T Corp.

He earned his B.A. in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his juris doctor from Howard University School of Law.

Ken is a board member of the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Business Roundtable, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and Bay Area Council, where he Chairs the Education Committee.

In 2010, Ken was named one of the 50 Top African Americans in Technology.

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