Over 700 Delta people from across the enterprise participated in the annual Atlanta Pride Festival and Parade coinciding with National Coming Out Day.
The two-day Atlanta Pride celebration featured a variety of marches, shows and activities with the parade taking place Sunday, Oct. 9. Delta people donned ‘Pride in Flight’ t-shirts and marched from the Atlanta Civic Center MARTA Station, down Peachtree Street and concluded in Piedmont Park.
In the park, attendees could visit a Delta tent where they had the opportunity to write what Pride means to them on a wall, as well as read prior respondents’ words of encouragement and support. The tent also featured a 360 booth which allowed participants to record a video with a selected travel destination appearing in the background.
“As Atlanta’s hometown airline, this city truly loves Delta and supports what we do,” said flight attendant Dewayne Queen. “Making sure that every race, skin color, sexual orientation – however you identify – is represented is what it takes to connect the world and I am so grateful that Delta has taken that relationship and responsibility seriously as a leader.”
Delta is committed to constantly improving opportunities for both employees and customers. We continue to advance LGBTQ+ inclusion in the following ways:
Delta has a long-standing history of supporting Pride events and this year supported events in:
- Los Angeles
- New York City
- Salt Lake City
- Washington, D.C.
Delta is also a Diamond Elite sponsor of the National Gay Pilots Association and continues to partner with other organizations like the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) where Ranjan Goswami, S.V.P. – Customer Experience Design, serves on the Board of Directors.
The airline partnered with its health plan administrator, United Healthcare, to increase resources for LGBTQ+ employees and families that address health disparities and committed to employee wellbeing enhancements for 2023, including IVF coverage for employees and their spouses enrolled in a Delta medical plan, as well as surrogacy assistance and adoption assistance for all mainline domestic employees.
EQUAL LGBTQ+ BUSINESS RESOURCE GROUP (BRG) FOR EMPLOYEES
EQUAL is a voluntary organization comprised of over 3,200 members representing Delta's LGBTQ+ employees and their allies. At the start of 2022, EQUAL Officers established four main strategic priorities and have accomplished the following to improve effectiveness, increase engagement and align with Delta’s DEI Strategy:
- Increase impact by enhancing EQUAL’s infrastructure: Introduced International Relations and Government Affairs committees, and through the committee leadership, has been able to engage and build strong connections with leaders across multiple divisions.
- Highlight the intersectionality of race and the LGBTQ+ community: During Black History Month, EQUAL collaborated with BOLD, Delta’s Black Community BRG, to host a film screening and panel discussion focused on the intersectionality of the Black and LGBTQ+ communities.
- Increase the safe visibility and equity of transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) employees: Appointed a Transgender Advocacy Committee Chair and advocated for customer facing gender inclusion through booking, which is now available.
- Work with DEI to deepen Delta's relationship with American Red Cross: Met with the American Red Cross to discuss the FDA’s mandated deferral of men who have sex with men (MSM) who want to donate blood. To address and help change the FDA’s policy, EQUAL followed the advice of the American Red Cross to promote and encourage participation in the ADVANCE Study.
“Visibility – joyfully and on purpose – is a critical part of representation and the parade is an intentional action all of us can take to advance the visibility and support the rights of LGBTQ+ people,” said Greg Tahvonen, executive sponsor of EQUAL and V.P. – Global HR Services. “At Delta, we celebrate our differences and advocate for our people. We know that there is still more work to be done, and we remain committed to creating spaces where all are welcomed and encouraged to be their authentic selves.”
More employee stories and background on our work in the LGBTQ+ community can be found on the LGBTQ+ Diversity page on Delta News Hub.