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HRC releases newest Corporate Equality Index
2012-11-14

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The Human Rights Campaign has also released its most recent Corporate Equality Index (CEI), according to a press release.

In the 2013 CEI, a record 252 businesses achieved the top rating of 100 percent, earning the distinction of "Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality." In the first CEI, issued 11 years ago, only 13 businesses rated that high.

Other findings include:

—A record 74 major businesses and law firms publicly supported pro-equality legislation at the state and federal levels; and

—This year's CEI marks the first time a majority of Fortune 500 companies have nondiscrimination policies that cover gender identity (from 50 percent to 57 percent), while 84 percent of overall CEI participants cover gender identity.

Illinois companies and firms that scored 100 percent include A.T. Kearney, Aon Corp., Baker & McKenzie LLP, BMO Bankcorp Inc., Chapman and Cutler LLP, Exelon Corp., Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Hyatt Hotels Corp., Jenner & Block LLP, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Kraft Foods Inc., Mayer Brown LLP, McDermott Will & Emery LLP, MillerCoors LLC, Navigant Consulting Inc., Northern Trust Corp., Orbitz Worldwide Inc., Schiff Hardin LLP, Sears Holdings Corp., Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Sidley Austin LLP, SNR Denton US LLP, Starcom MediaVest Group, United Airlines, Walgreen Co. and Winston & Strawn LLP.

The full report is at www.hrc.org/cei.

Full news release below

HRC release new corporate equality index

WASHINGTON — On the heels of historic electoral victories for marriage equality last week, corporate America has shown once again it is on the right side of history when it comes to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality.

Workplace discrimination protections are the new normal in the business world, while the federal government and many state governments lag behind in addressing discrimination against LGBT workers. Businesses are also coming out in record numbers in support of marriage equality. This new reality is reflected in the fierce competition between companies to recruit and retain the best employees and to influence consumer choices, and has resulted in the improved lives of millions of LGBT Americans. That's according to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT employees.

In the 2013 CEI, released today, a record 252 businesses achieved the top rating of 100 percent, earning the coveted distinction of "Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality." As a point of comparison, 13 businesses earned a 100 percent in the inaugural CEI 11 years ago, demonstrating that a new normal has arrived. The policies, benefits and practices businesses must implement to earn a perfect score are best-in-class demonstrations of corporate commitments to LGBT workers.

The top rated businesses span across industries, geographies, and size. View the full report at www.hrc.org/cei.

"Corporate America continues to raise the bar in workplace fairness," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "LGBT-inclusive workplace policies are not only the right thing to do and good business practices, they are the new normal. Americans have spoken, and as we celebrate our victories at the ballot box, we hope Congress will follow corporate America's lead and create a level playing field — including passing fully-inclusive workplace non-discrimination legislation."

This year's report at a glance:

A record 74 major businesses and law firms publicly supported pro-equality legislation at the state and federal levels — including those that took an active role in the marriage campaigns this fall.

The 2013 CEI saw the largest growth in the survey's history with 54 new businesses participating. The number of employers officially rated in the CEI has skyrocketed from 319 in 2002, to 688 this year, a jump of 116 percent.

This year's CEI marks the first time a majority of Fortune 500 companies have nondiscrimination policies that cover gender identity (from 50 percent to 57 percent), while an astonishing 84 percent of overall CEI participants cover gender identity.

Transgender-inclusive healthcare coverage continues to rise. Now in its second year as a mandatory criterion for a company to earn 100 percent, 287 (42 percent) participating companies offer comprehensive healthcare coverage to their transgender workers, up from 19 percent last year.

[SEE CHART]

While basic protections for LGBT employees have become the norm, record numbers of American businesses have also updated their larger benefits packages, adding "soft benefits" for LGBT workers, including things like retirement benefits to domestic partners and relocation assistance. With benefits accounting for roughly 20 percent of an employee's compensation, companies recognize this as a matter of equal pay for equal work.

Over the past 11 years, the CEI has become the gold standard for corporate policies and practices related to LGBT employees and their families. The CEI rates companies on 40 such policies and practices. A total of 889 businesses have been rated in the 2013 CEI, including the entire Fortune 500. This year a record 293 of the Fortune 500-ranked businesses have an official CEI rating, with the other 201 rated based upon publicly-available data.

View the full report at www.hrc.org/cei.

As the CEI has proven over the last decade, such a project can propel equality forward by sparking competition and raising awareness about what inequalities persist. On December 3, HRC will release the inaugural Municipal Equality Index, which rates 137 cities on how inclusive their laws, policies, and city services are.

Comcast and NBCUniversal among top companies on HRC index

PHILADELPHIA, PA — November 14, 2012 — Comcast Corporation announced that Comcast and NBCUniversal have been designated among the nation's "best places to work" for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, and has earned a 100 percent score on the Human Rights Campaign's 2013 Corporate Equality Index. This recognition represents a first for the combined companies, and is considered a trusted benchmark measuring America's top workplaces and their inclusion of LGBT employees.

"This milestone mirrors our corporate values and practices in a very meaningful way," said Maria G. Arias, Executive Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Comcast Corporation. "Comcast and NBCUniversal are deeply proud of our dedication to creating a respectful, inclusive and equal workplace for all, and we are honored to receive this recognition for our commitment to the LGBT community."

"HRC's Corporate Equality Index has long stood as a leading indicator of the overall culture of a company," said Craig Robinson, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for NBCUniversal. "While the HRC's work is focused on achieving equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, our perfect score sends a strong message about our company's respect for all communities."

Comcast has had a longstanding commitment to diversity since its founding nearly 50 years ago. Comcast and NBCUniversal support the LGBT community through many initiatives, including:

-Comcast and NBCUniversal have LGBT affinity groups to help attract, develop and retain LGBT employees by providing volunteer and networking opportunities and allowing people to make the most of their benefits, while advocating for policies that promote an inclusive work environment.

-Comcast's and NBCUniversal's external Joint Diversity Council includes members that reflect the LGBT community.

-We have created a partnership with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and provide support for their programs and services aimed at LGBT small business owners.

-We support the Horizons Foundation, a philanthropic social justice organization that serves the LGBT community by making grants, strengthening LGBT organizations and leadership and increasing philanthropic giving.

-We are proud supporters of Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and their annual Media Awards around the country. We also provide airtime for their "Be an Ally and a Friend" public service announcement campaign, which encourages tolerance.

-We sponsor the Trevor Project — a 24-hour suicide prevention hotline for LGBT teens — and teamed with them and MINDTV to televise their original filmography.

-NBCUniversal has a rich history of showcasing groundbreaking LGBT content from Broke Back Mountain, The Kids Are All Right, Milk and most recently The New Normal, SMASH, Chicago Fire and Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.

-NBCUniversal has increased its commitment to creating the next generation of storytellers by working with and supporting LGBT youth. In April 2012, the creation of the NBCUniversal Point Foundation Scholarship for an LGBT student pursuing a degree in film/TV production or broadcast/digital journalism was announced.

-In October, Comcast and NBCUniversal supported GLAAD's Spirit Day by going purple on-air, online and behind-the-scenes to show support for LGBT youth and speak out against bullying in our schools.

-NBCUniversal attracts new employees by being a visible employer of choice in the LBGT community by participating in events such as the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association and the Out & Equal Workplace Summit.

-Xfinity TV customers have access to a year-round On Demand pride offering that includes award-winning and nominated movies, biographical films, documentaries, popular TV series and specials.

For more background on diversity and inclusion at Comcast and NBCUniversal, please visit www.comcast.com/diversityand http://diversity.nbcuni.com/.


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