Human Rights Campaign Gives Consumers Information to Buy for Workplace Equality

by HRC Staff

Updated guide highlights businesses with equal workplace practices for LGBT employees

WASHINGTON - In time to kick-off of the holiday shopping season, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today released an updated version of the popular guide to hundreds of American brands rated on businesses' treatment of LGBT employees. "Buying for Workplace Equality 2011" divides businesses and their consumer products into red, yellow and green categories based on their score on HRC's Corporate Equality Index, a nationally recognized benchmark of LGBT inclusion. The guide is available for download and viewing online at

"As we embark on another holiday buying season without federal protections for LGBT workers, it is important that consumers know which businesses treat LGBT workers right," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "For consumers who make purchasing decisions based on how a company treats their LGBT employees, the Buying for Workplace Equality Guide is an essential tool."

The LGBT community's buying power is fast approaching $800 billion this year, according to research by Witeck-Combs Communications and A recent study by Witeck-Combs/Harris Interactive also found a substantial majority (70%) of gay men and lesbians report that they have switched products or service providers because they found out the company had engaged in actions that are perceived as harmful to the LGBT community. Around one in three (34%) gay and lesbian consumers had done so within the last two years.

"This is our community's chance to vote with our dollars and send America's businesses a clear message that equal treatment of LGBT employees is good for the bottom line. Especially in today's economy, equality is good business." said Solmonese.

Consumers who care about equal workplace practices are encouraged to contact businesses to thank them for their support, ask them to revise their policies, or encourage them to participate in the Corporate Equality Index. This year, the 2011 guide makes reaching out to businesses even easier. Both the web and iPhone versions of the guide now contain contact information for many businesses that are featured in the guide. 

Also new in this year's guide are estimated scores for businesses that, after repeated attempts, have not responded to the CEI survey. A business's estimated score is based on information the Human Rights Campaign has been able to collect without help or input from a business.

This is the sixth year the Human Rights Campaign has published the guide which has been viewed and downloaded more than 300,000 times at The Buying for Workplace Equality iPhone application has also been updated and can be downloaded at

Additional background information on "Buying for Workplace Equality 2011":

Buying for Workplace Equality is an annual publication of the Human Rights Campaign that empowers consumers to make informed purchasing decisions. The guide draws comparisons between products, services and retail outlets that consumers use on a daily basis. The ratings are based upon the HRC Corporate Equality Index, which this year rated a record 844 companies, including the entire Fortune 500. The CEI is the foremost method for businesses to evaluate their diversity and inclusion efforts toward recruiting and retaining LGBT employees, customers and investors - learn more at

Categories: "Buying for Workplace Equality" divides businesses and their products into everyday purchasing categories, including:

Ratings: Businesses and their products are divided based on their CEI rating into red, yellow and green sections so that consumers can easily determine which brands support LGBT workplace equality:

  • Green (80-100): Businesses/brands that receive our highest workplace equality scores.
  • Yellow (46-79): Businesses/brands that have taken steps toward a fair-minded workplace and receive a moderate workplace equality score.
  • Red (0-45): Businesses/brands that receive our lowest workplace equality scores
    Italics: Businesses/brands that have not responded to the survey despite repeated attempts and have been provided with an unofficial, estimated score based on publicly available information that has been collected.

HRC welcomes new relationships with businesses that have not responded to attempts to gather information on LGBT workplace policies and programs.

Featured Comparisons:

Staples 100 vs. Office Depot 45
REI 100 vs. Dicks Sporting Goods 0 (Estimate)
Nike 100 vs. Adidas/Reebok 15 (Estimate)
Whole Foods 85 vs. Trader Joes 15 (Estimate)
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams 100 vs. Pottery Barn/West Elm 30 (Estimate)

Available via:
iPhone Application:
SMS Text: Text "Shop" and the name of a brand or business to 30644 and a score will be returned

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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