HP creates LGBTQ recruitment spot with message: 'Just be you'

With its new Reinvent Mindsets spot, HP addresses the alienation and discomfort LGBTQ employees face in the workplace.

HP creates LGBTQ recruitment spot with message: 'Just be you'

PALO ALTO, CA: HP is encouraging LGBTQ talent to join its workforce in a new spot that is part of its Reinvent Mindsets campaign.

More than a third of LGBTQ employees feel they have to hide their personal lives at work, and the spot, called "Proud Portraits," speaks to that issue.

"We want to scream out the message, ‘We want you’ and ‘Just be you,’" said HP chief diversity officer Lesley Slaton Brown. "I can’t reiterate how important that is. When you’re thinking about a company you want to work for, you’ve got to align to that culture, and HP is that welcoming culture."

Lisa Gunning was the spot's director and Fred & Farid served as the creative lead.

"This was mostly handled internally via the employee-based Pride Business Impact Network and internal and corporate communications, marketing, and HR," a spokesperson explained.

This latest spot follows two previous videos about bias against African-Americans and women during the hiring process, serving as "the next reiteration of diversity efforts at HP. It’s a business imperative as much as it is a values issue," said HP CMO Antonio Lucio.

Last year, HP called on its agencies to reach diversity targets. This year, its agencies showed progress in exceeding gender diversity targets, but most fell short of minority representation, including Edelman.

For this campaign, Edelman served in an advisory capacity.

"They know they have a very specific target to deliver against 2018," Lucio said. "Richard Edelman [the eponymous CEO of the PR firm] personally has made a commitment to us that he will include underrepresented groups."

Asked what would happen if Edelman fails to meet that target again, Lucio said, "We’ll have that conversation when that happens. All options are open."

In addition, HP is now the exclusive matching sponsor for a fundraising campaign for Out in Tech’s fall fundraising campaign, Technically Equal. Out in Tech supports and provides the LGBTQ community with resources. Technically Equal has raised more than $19,000 of its $50,000 target.

Out in Tech has built more than 40 websites for LGBTQ groups worldwide over the past year and a half.

"These sites are especially critical to connect individuals in countries where simply being yourself can put you at risk of imprisonment, and even death," a statement said.

HP will also sponsor Out in Tech’s Digital Corps event in San Francisco on December 2, where "teams will build ten new websites, primarily for organizations that support LGBTQ youth."

Brown has served the company over the course of more than two decades, off and on. She joined HP as chief diversity officer in 2015.

Since splitting the old HP company into HP Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Enterprises, Brown helped create more diverse boards for the two newly formed companies and increased the number of women executives by 4%, she said.

Brown said partners and customers have asked for representation mirroring their community makeup.

"As we look at the representation of our employee base, it’s becoming reflective of our customer base as well," she added.

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