Just in time for Black Friday, new guide gives consumers tool for buying products from gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender friendly companies
WASHINGTON - As the official beginning of the holiday shopping season is set to start, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) civil rights organization, released today a new guide listing hundreds of popular American brands ranked on their company's GLBT inclusiveness. The publication, "Buying for Equality", breaks products into easily distinguishable purchasing categories. Companies and their products are compared using the criteria of the HRC Foundation's nationally respected Corporate Equality Index, which evaluates GLBT workplace policies and practices.
"Knowing the tremendous buying power that exists within the GLBT and straight ally community, the 'Buying for Equality' guide has become an important resource for shoppers during the holiday season," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "By purchasing products from companies supporting GLBT equality, shoppers are sending a clear message that will directly impact a company's bottom line."
GLBT buying power is estimated to be $723 Billion in 2008, according to research by Witeck-Combs Communication/Marketresearch.com. In a separate study by Witeck-Combs Communications and Harris Interactive, research also showed 78% of gay and lesbian adults and 77% of heterosexuals are likely to consider a brand that is known to provide equal workplace benefits for all of their employees, including gays and lesbians. One in four gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender adults say they have switched products or service providers because they found a competing company that supports causes that benefit the GLBT community.
"From making travel arrangements, purchasing children's toys, to shopping for the family groceries, this guide empowers equality minded shoppers ," said Solmonese.
This is the third year the Human Rights Campaign has published "Buying for Equality." The 2007 guide was viewed and downloaded off of HRC's website more than 250,000 times. The popular guide draws comparisons between products, services and retail outlets that consumers use on a daily basis. The ratings are based upon the HRC Foundation's 2008 Corporate Equality Index which this year found 195 companies received a perfect 100% score - the highest number ever recorded, including 104 of the Fortune 500 companies.
The guide is available for download and viewing online: www.hrc.org/buyersguide.
Additional background information on the 2008 "Buying for Equality" Guide:
"Buying for Equality" breaks companies and their products into easily distinguishable purchasing categories. Some categories include:
Apparel & Accessories
Banking & Finance
Home & Garden
Companies/products are divided based on their CEI score into red, yellow, and green sections so that consumers can easily determine which brands support GLBT equality.
Green (80-100): Consumers should make every effort to support these businesses.
Yellow (46-79): Businesses/brands that have taken steps toward a fair-minded workplace, but there is still progress to be made.
Red (0-45): Businesses/brands that have more work to do in furthering equality. If possible, make the choice to support a fairer company.
This year, the Buying for Equality guide features businesses which have not responded to HRC's attempts to gather information on GLBT workplace policies and programs. HRC looks forward to building relationships with these businesses to evaluate and report their policies in the future.
"Buying for Equality" is an annual publication of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Workplace Project that directs consumers to support fair-minded companies through their purchasing decisions. Scores are determined through scoring criteria in the HRC Foundation's Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the only nationally recognized measure of GLBT workplace equality. The CEI is the primary method for companies to evaluate their diversity efforts toward GLBT employees, customers, and investors. To learn more about the CEI visit: www.hrc.org/cei
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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