Exxon Executive Is ‘Crushed’ at Hurt Caused by Pride Flag Decision

(Bloomberg) — One of Exxon Mobil Corp.’s top executives said she’s “crushed” that the company’s decision to no longer display the rainbow flag on its official flagpole has upset some employees.

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The oil giant’s decision was “in no way intended to diminish its commitment to an inclusive and diverse culture, or our full support for all LGBTQ+ employees,” Linda DuCharme, president of Exxon’s technology and engineering unit, wrote to staff and shared on LinkedIn. “The trust you have placed in your colleagues and this company to accept you as you are, and to allow you to be yourself has not been misplaced.”

READ: April 22 Exxon’s Rainbow Flag Decision Triggers Employee Backlash

DuCharme is the executive sponsor of the company’s employee PRIDE group.

Members of Exxon’s PRIDE Houston chapter are refusing to represent the company at the city’s June 25 Pride celebration after the oil giant banned “external position flags” from being flown on its corporate flagpole. Instead, the new rules permit a flag representing an LGBTQ employees’ group that does not prominently feature Exxon’s corporate logo.

“I am crushed that the recent news has hurt so many of you,” DuCharme wrote. “I have spent 5 years as your proud sponsor, and watched with PRIDE as we grew our global reach, doubled our membership, increased ally engagement, supported career development, policy development, enhanced recruiting, and generally continued to grow our understanding of what it takes to be truly inclusive.”

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