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Celebrating Diversity at Luxottica

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Luxottica’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Allies Employee Resource Group (LGBTA ERG) has grown from a small gathering of associates to nearly 100 members in less than two years. The group’s efforts to encourage an authentic culture and promote diversity at Luxottica help to mold the hiring strategy and atmosphere of the entire company. Read the story of the group’s growth and its plans for Cincinnati Pride 2014 in our interview with Sunglass Hut associate Tom Wible, Luxottica’s LGBTA ERG communication liaison, organizer of this year’s Pride Parade and the 2015 Cincinnati Pride chair.

Tell us about the founding of the LGBTA ERG.
Our group started with LGBTA associates coming together with the intent of starting an LGBTA ERG. Though it was a slow start and took many meetings with executives to show the importance of the group, we officially were established during Pride month in June 2012. Currently, we have close to 100 members and are continually growing.

IMG_2305[10]What is your favorite event that the group has hosted?
The LGBTA ERG hosted a baking competition and sale, where we invited associates to show off their baking skills. Each entry was judged on creativity, uniqueness and, of course, taste! The entries were so beautiful—it was a shame to eat some of them. The ERG also hosts events that break down tax and health care changes as they relate to the federal repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). While tricky, these conversations help our members to easily understand how they can take advantage of new tax laws.

How has being a member of the group impacted your experience at Luxottica?
The LGBTA ERG gives me a greater opportunity to network and connect with my colleagues. As the associate engagement & customer intimacy manager for Sunglass Hut, I get to work cross-functionally within my brand, but do not have much exposure to the other retail brand teams or EyeMed associates. My connections through the ERG allow me to bounce project ideas off coworkers and receive outside opinions. This collaboration helps me to improve and integrate different ideas into my work.

1010024_679010638778931_849395134_nHow does it feel to see the group’s growing involvement in the Cincinnati Pride Festival?
It’s amazing to see the LGBTA ERG’s growth from a group of associates with an idea to a recognized Luxottica ERG. Now, as a sponsor of Cincinnati Pride, we have the opportunity to show potential associates that Luxottica embraces diversity and values people from all backgrounds and experiences. I still get chills when I see the Luxottica logo on the Cincinnati Pride website as a sponsor. My company supports me and is proud to show its backing of the LGBTA community. It’s a truly special time for our group.

What plans do you have for Pride Week?
Many of our members are volunteering for Cincinnati Pride and encouraging colleagues to take part in the week’s events. One event we’re especially looking forward to is the Pride Parade. We have a lot of fun events planned this week, but the parade will be a great time for the entire family!

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