Shareholders of oil and gas giant ExxonMobil voted earlier this year overwhelmingly against protecting employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. They've been doing that for years.
Despite being the top Fortune 500 company, the corporation is notorious for failing to provide for its LGBT employees. So how do you show ExxonMobil you disagree with its exclusionary practices? One way is by pressing for a boycott, though activists warn it rarely produces the desired consequences. Another way is by simply taking your business elsewhere — no picket signs needed.
"One of the best parts of a capitalist economy is that consumers have choices," said Fred Sainz, spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, which evaluates the inclusiveness of all oil and gas companies annually. "Consumers should rightly show their disgust for ExxonMobil’s callous disregard for our families by not patronizing the company’s products."
HRC's Corporate Equality Index rates major U.S. businesses on criteria that determine how well employers maintain safe and equal work environments for their LGBT employees. Here's how ExxonMobil ranked in the 2012 index, followed by (much better) ratings for other major gas companies.
Scoring an abysmal -25 on HRC's Corporate Equality Index — the lowest possible score — ExxonMobil claims that LGBT protections are "unnecessary" and already covered under other company policy.
No - Prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation (15 points)
No - Prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or expression (15 points)
No - Offers partner health/medical insurance (15 points)
No - Has parity across other "soft" benefits for partners (10 points)
(Half credit for parity across some, but not all benefits)
No - Offers transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage (10 points)
No - Firm-wide organizational competency programs (10 points)
No - Has employer-supported employee resource group OR firm-wide diversity council (10 points)
(Half credit if would support ERG if employees express interest)
No - Positively engages the external LGBT community (15 points)
(Partial credit of 5 points given for less than 3 efforts)
Yes - Employers will have 25 points deducted from their score for a large-scale official or public anti-LGBT blemish on their recent records (-25 points)