Deena Fidas

Post submitted by Jenna Raspanti, HRC Workplace Equality Program Assistant. 

Last week, Deena Fidas, Director of HRC’s Workplace Equality program spoke at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). The presentation, "An Unlikely Marriage: How Corporate America Embraced LGBT Equality Before Anyone Else," focused how LGBT equality in the workplace has far outpaced even legal equality for LGBT Americans. 

Realizing the economic benefits of LGBT diversity and inclusion through the business lens of recruiting and retaining top talent, corporate America has implemented fair and equal policies across the board leaps and bounds ahead of lawmakers.

Fidas also spoke on the expansion of the 2016 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) which will evaluate employers on global non-discrimination for the first time. Looking at US history at the time of the CEI’s inception in 2002, a time when the Defense of Marriage Act was the law of the land and the historic Lawrence v. Texas decision had not yet come down, helps paint a clear picture as to the ability of the CEI to serve as a force for equality even in seemingly hostile legal landscapes for LGBT people.  Extrapolating from the US experience additionally sheds light on the ability for corporate America to extend LGBT workplace protections overseas, even in seemingly LGBT-hostile countries like Russia, Nigeria, and others. The audience at SAIS was struck by the portability of these US-based workplace protections to LGBT employees abroad.

Centered in the heart of Washington, D.C., HRC was thrilled to be invited to SAIS and to play a role in the fruitful discussion of global LGBT inclusion.

For more information on the 2016 Corporate Equality Index, please visit  

Filed under: Workplace

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