By Julie Bolcer
Originally published on Advocate.com November 14 2012 1:11 PM ET
A record number of businesses earned the top score in the 2013 Corporate Equality Index released Wednesday by the Human Rights Campaign, demonstrating what the organization calls a “new normal” in terms of corporate America’s support for LGBT workers.
Some 252 businesses achieved a 100% rating this year, compared to only 13 businesses in the inaugural CEI 11 years ago. Growing corporate support has outpaced efforts in federal and many state governments to address discrimination against LGBT workers, according to HRC.
The annual rankings measure corporate commitment across more than 40 policies and practices such as nondiscrimination measures, partner benefits, employee resource groups, and public support for equality. A total of 889 businesses across industries were ranked in the latest index, including all Fortune 500 companies.
This year, according to HRC, a record 74 major businesses took public pro-equality stands, including support for the successful marriage-related campaigns in four states. Also this year, a majority of Fortune 500 companies have nondiscrimination policies that cover gender identity, while transgender-inclusive health care coverage continues to increase, now being offered by 42% of participating companies compared to 19% last year.
View the entire 2013 Corporate Equality Index here. Or click through the following pages for the 13 big names from Fortune's top 20 that received perfect scores.
When you've got the likes of ExxonMobil as a notoriously poor place for LGBT people to work, it's nice to have the option of Chevron, which was the only company in the oil and gas division of HRC's index that earned a perfect 100% rating in 2012, and it followed that up yet again in the latest ratings. It's still the only perfect score in its category.
General Motors Co.
One of the best things to love about General Motors this year was its inclusive advertising campaign for the new Chevy Volt. The car "came out" to its parents as "electric" in the ads. And obviously the company's attitude in advertising translates to its attitude in the workplace.
Bank of America Corp.
While the North Carolina–headquartered company didn't take an official position on a proposed marriage ban, some of its high-profile employees did, including technology chief Cathy Bessant, who said in a video message that the amendment would signal a “backward-looking economy.” When it comes to company policy, the HRC gives BOA a perfect score.
Ford Motor Co.
Ever since it became the target years ago of boycotts by the right wing, which it stood up to, Ford can be reliably counted on even outside of human resources issues.
HP has as a point of pride that 30 years ago it became the first to start an employee resource group for LGBT employees. It's been a leader for equal benefits to this day.
CEO Randall Stephenson serves as the vice president of the executive board of the Boy Scouts of America and has gone on the record not only opposing the Scouts' anti-LGBT policy, but also committing to work with fellow board member Jim Turley, Ernst & Young’s CEO, to end it.
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
National finance company JPMorgan Chase is part of the Business Coalition for Workplace Fairness (organized by HRC), which urged Congress to approve the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in 2007.
It's yet another perfect score for Citigroup this year from HRC.
Verizon Communications Inc.
The Verizon "can you hear me now" guy is perhaps the company's most famous gay employee. But everyone gets a fair shake.
The company scored an 85% in 2012, but it joins the list of perfect scores in the latest HRC report.
In addition to offering coverage for gender-reassignment surgery, IBM has created a webcast on the topic of gender identity and expression that features transgender workers talking about their experiences and answering questions from other employees. The webcast is available to all IBM employees worldwide, IBM executive Silvy Vluggen told The Advocate in September.
Cardinal Health Inc.
The company is on HRC's list of those offering at least one transgender-inclusive health plan and is continuing its perfect score from 2012's report.
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac)
Here's a name that many homeowners will know. They can be happy their mortgage company is continuing its perfect score from 2012's report.