WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign Foundation today released the sixth annual Corporate Equality Index showing an unprecedented 195 major U.S. businesses earned the top rating of 100 percent, up from 138 last year - a 41 percent increase. The Index rates employers on a scale from 0 to 100 percent on their treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees, consumers and investors. The 195 businesses that met all of the criteria employ more than 8.3 million workers. When the Index was first released in 2002 only 13 companies, employing 690,000 workers, received the top rating.
"More businesses than ever before have recognized the value of a diverse and dedicated workforce," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "More importantly, these employers understand that discrimination against GLBT workers will ultimately hurt their ability to compete in the global marketplace."
"Yahoo! is proud to be part of HRC's Corporate Equality Index and to be in the company of a pioneering group that has stepped up to create a more inclusive work environment for today's diverse employee groups," said Cammie Dunaway, chief marketing officer and executive sponsor of the LGBT employee group at Yahoo!. "We're committed to making Yahoo! a great place to work and remain focused on offering progressive employment policies and benefits while recruiting the best talent from all backgrounds. We value our tens of millions of LGBT consumers around the world and are always looking for ways to further connect them to the information, passions, and communities that matter most to them, on our Yahoo! LGBT Pride site and across our network."
The movement in corporate America toward equality in the workplace has prompted a coalition of corporations and civil rights groups to form the Business Coalition for Workplace Fairness aimed at leveling the playing field by enacting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. ENDA - which is scheduled to be considered by the full U.S. House of Representatives later this month - would ban workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
"In the next few weeks, Congress will vote on federal legislation that U.S. employers have already overwhelmingly embraced," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "It's the right thing to do for our economy and for our country."
Today, at least 282 cities and towns, and 19 states, across the country have added workplace protections that protected against discrimination based on sexual orientation in both public and private sector jobs. More than 93 local jurisdictions, and 11 states, have laws that include protections based on gender identity.
The Corporate Equality Index, which this year rates 519 businesses, measures the extent to which employers protect their GLBT employees. Ratings are based on factors like non-discrimination policies, diversity training and benefits for domestic partners and transgender employees. Among the findings of this year's report:
The report can be downloaded from HRC's website at www.hrc.org/cei.
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