I've been at MasterCard 20 years and it's amazing to me how far we've come on LGBT rights in such a short time. Our company has shown a commitment to diversity and inclusion over the years -- way before it was the "fashionable" thing to do. And, it's not just on this issue.
Our employees live in all corners of the world and bring with them unique perspectives and backgrounds that strengthen our business. Our culture of inclusion empowers employees who use their diverse thought, experience and background to advance innovation and MasterCard's contributions to society.
Globally, we have eight Business Resource Groups with more than 4,000 members who are all drawn together by common interests. BRGs provide employees the chance to spread cultural awareness, develop leadership skills and network with colleagues.
I think the design of the BRGs is genius -- they're open to anybody. You don't have to be woman to be in the Women's Leadership Network or of Latin descent to be in the Latin Network. That kind of openness and the ability to attract people with like interests has been a real win for MasterCard.
But on LGBT equality, our CEO, Ajay Banga, is a true champion of diversity. His efforts have really taken our programs to the next level. We now offer transgender benefits and we created a program that allows domestic partners to get benefits without being penalized with an additional tax. That's what earned us the 100 percent score on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index in 2014.
LGBT rights is a personal issue for me, and the reason why I became the executive sponsor of the PRIDE BRG when it formed in 2008. My oldest son came out to my wife and me in 1999. Since then, we've taken a heightened interest in LGBT issues.
Eighteen months ago, we got to see our son Matt and his partner, Jordan, get married in New York -- an incredible experience -- one I never expected to see. People talk to me when their children are coming out and I always tell them, join PRIDE, get involved, and most of all love your kids.