13 Companies Earn Perfect Score On First HRC Corporate Equality Index

A total of 13 major U.S. corporations earned 100 percent on the
Human Rights Campaign Foundation's first Corporate Equality Index, released
on August 13th. The index rates large corporations on policies that affect their gay,
lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees, consumers and investors.

"The HRC Corporate Equality Index is a tool that can help fair-minded
Americans decide what products to buy, where to work and how to invest,"
said Elizabeth Birch, HRC's executive director. "At the same time, we hope
the index inspires those companies that fell short to take the next step and
change their policies, not merely to improve their scores but because
fairness is good for business."

The 13 companies that scored 100 percent are: Aetna Inc.; AMR Corp./American
Airlines; Apple Computer Inc.; Avaya Inc.; Eastman Kodak Co.; Intel Corp.;
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.; Lucent Technologies Inc.; NCR Corp.; Nike Inc.;
Replacements Ltd.; Worldspan L.P.; and Xerox Corp.

"While many of these companies have had a long commitment to gay and lesbian
employees, most achieved a perfect score after adding gender identity to
their non-discrimination policies," said HRC Education Director Kim I.
Mills, who oversees HRC WorkNet, the organization's workplace advocacy
project. "Eighty of the companies rated, or 25 percent, met every criterion
of the index except for having a gender identity non-discrimination policy.
Those companies received scores of 86 percent."

At the other end of the scale, three companies scored zero: CBRL Group
Inc./Cracker Barrel; Emerson Electric Co.; and Lockheed Martin Corp. None of
the three have any policies aimed at treating their GLBT employees fairly
and all three have resisted shareholder resolutions urging them to include
sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policies.

The 2002 HRC Corporate Equality Index rated 319 companies on a scale of 0
percent to 100 percent on seven factors, including whether they have a
written non-discrimination policy covering sexual orientation; have a
written non-discrimination policy covering gender identity and/or
expression; offer health insurance coverage to their employees' same-sex
domestic partners; and decline to engage in any activities that would
undermine the goal of equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender people.

Almost all of the companies rated – 293, or 92 percent, – include sexual
orientation in their non-discrimination polices. "This criterion was met
more than any other measured by the index and is an indication that such
policies are the foundation of a fair workplace and set the stage for other
initiatives," said Daryl Herrschaft, associate director of HRC WorkNet.

Only 17 employers, or 5 percent include gender identity and/or expression in
their non-discrimination statements.

The second most-common criterion met was health insurance benefits for
employees' same-sex domestic partners. A total of 221 employers, or 69
percent of those rated, offer them. And 171 companies, or 54 percent,
include sexual orientation in their diversity training.

The median score for all companies was 57 percent. Companies in several
industry sectors consistently scored on the higher end of the scale. Banking
and financial services received a median score of 71 percent; high-tech
equipment manufacturers had a median score of 79 percent and consulting
firms had a median score of 86 percent. In contrast, market sectors that
scored consistently low were: engineering and construction (median score: 29
percent); food, beverage and grocery enterprises (median score: 43 percent)
and retail and consumer products (median score: 43 percent).

Six companies received a rating of 14 percent because HRC was unable to find
any evidence that they had overtly resisted equal treatment for their LGBT
employees, but neither had they taken any affirmative steps for LGBT
employees, consumers or investors.

These employers are: Domino's Inc.; FedEx Corp.; MeadWestvaco Corp.; Meijer
Inc.; Shaw Industries Inc.; and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Two other companies, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Perot Systems Corp., received a
score of 14 percent. ExxonMobil has for the last four years opposed a
shareholder resolution that called on the company to include sexual
orientation in its equal employment opportunity statement. The company has
implemented a diversity training program that covers sexual orientation –
hence the 14 percentage points. However, the company has used the training
program's existence in an attempt to mitigate negative publicity surrounding
Exxon's decision in 1999 to remove sexual orientation from Mobil's
non-discrimination policy following the two companies' merger. At the same
time, Exxon also closed Mobil's domestic partner benefits program to any
additional employees. Each of the other oil and gas firms that HRC rated –
ChevronTexaco Corp., BP and Shell Oil Co. – scored 86 percent.

Perot Systems Corp., which also scored 14 percent because it has a
non-discrimination policy covering sexual orientation, is the only other
company known to have closed a domestic partner benefits program.

The 319 rated companies were drawn from the 2002 Fortune 500; the 200
largest privately held companies from the 2001 Forbes Private 500; and,
information collected by HRC WorkNet (the organization's workplace advocacy
project) on other companies with at least 500 employees. The index was not
applied to colleges and universities, government employers, non-profits or
companies with fewer than 500 employees.

A full copy of the report and ratings can be found at
http://www.hrc.org/worknet/cei/cei_report.pdf.

Enviroshop is maintained by dedicated NetSys Interactive Inc. owners & employees who generously contribute their time to maintenance & editing, web design, custom programming, & website hosting for Enviroshop.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

15 + 3 =