A Banner Year for Workplace Equality
December 18, 2012 by Liz Cooper, Manager of Corporate Programs, Workplace Project
It has been a tremendous year for workplace equality, and we have some great news to share and thanks to give this holiday season. Read below to learn more about some of the exciting happenings from 2012 for HRC’s Workplace Project.
2013 Corporate Equality Index and Buyer’s Guide
- The 2013 CEI survey had 54 brand-new companies participate – a new record.
- The number of 100 percent rated companies grew from 189 to 252.
- 287 companies now offer transgender-inclusive health care coverage to employees.
- The Fortune 500 hit an historic mark this year, with a majority (57 percent) including “gender identity” in their non-discrimination policy.
- Our 2013 Buyer’s Guide iPhone App added some exciting updates, making it easier than ever to see if your favorite brands support workplace equality.
Standing on the right side of history
- Corporate America came out for marriage equality across four states, leading Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington to victory on election night.
- General Mills spoke out as a corporate witness at the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee’s hearing on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
- 70 companies signed onto an Amicus Brief against the Defense of Marriage Act, definitively outlining how DOMA is bad for business.
The places we have been
- Our work brought staff all across the US, traveling to New York, Chicago, Boston, North Carolina, Atlanta, Hartford, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Tampa Bay, and more.
- This year also lent itself to meaningful dialogue outside our borders, bringing the Workplace Project to London, Mexico, Northern Ireland, and Barbados.
In the news
- This year saw meaningful coverage of the Workplace Project, as our work was featured in numerous news outlets from the Wall Street Journal, to Fortune, The Economist, Forbes, American Lawyer, The Huffington Post, NPR, Workforce Management, Reuters, CNN Money, The Society for Human Resource Management, and more.
- In September, Deputy Director of the Workplace Project Deena Fidas was invited to speak at a TEDx event in Tampa Bay, with the theme “The Future of Stories.” Fidas spoke about how the LGBT community has found strength in numbers in corporate America, and how the business case for equality has changed the landscape of inclusion. You can view the full TEDx talk here.
- This year, we developed a comprehensive white paper, Transgender-Inclusive Health Care Coverage and the Corporate Equality Index, to help employers reach the standards outlined in the CEI.
- We continue to develop a new resource on international relocation of LGBT talent, and look forward to sharing the results of the second iteration of our workplace climate work in Degrees of Equality in the New Year.
This past year presented exciting new opportunities, as staff traveled beyond our borders to engage new communities in workplace equality. In June, Deena Fidas was invited once again by the U.S. State Department to travel to Mexico for meetings with LGBT activists and professionals in Mexico City and Tijuana. Last year, Fidas traveled to Mexico City and Monterrey. Fidas' visit received several media hits, as she met with stakeholders about HRC's domestic success with the Corporate Equality Index, and the challenges with global consistency across companies' policies and benefits. Fidas met with a journalist from ZETA, an award winning news journal for NW Mexico, profiling her work with HRC. Fidas was also a featured speaker at several events hosted by the State Department, including a talk at the City Center of Government. You can view a selection of her interviews here.
In July Out & Equal held their first Global LGBT Workplace Summit in London. Some of the workshops presented by the workplace project team included a travel and relocation guidance for LGBT employees, LGBT inclusion and development in the South, NGO roundtable, and finally, a panel of international LGBT organizations discussing metrics and indices (CEI). During the same trip, Deena Fidas, was invited to present and attend workshops on LGBT inclusion in the workplace and meet with the police service in Northern Ireland. The meetings were a follow-up to a small event hosted by HRC in May for women in business and public service leaders.
The Workplace Project looks forward to engaging the global business community again in 2013.
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