Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Hampton Roads Employers Score High on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index

A number of major private-sector employers in Hampton Roads scored high in the Human Right’s Campaign’s 2018 Corporate Equality Index.  This year, a record number of the nation’s major companies advanced policies and practices that protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) staff.

This year, a record-breaking 609 businesses earned the CEI’s top score of 100, up from 517 last year — a single-year increase of 18 percent. This record sets a new high water mark for corporate leadership over the 16-year history of the CEI.

“At a time when the rights of LGBTQ people are under attack by the Trump-Pence Administration and state legislatures across the country, hundreds of top American companies are driving progress toward equality in the workplace,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The top-scoring companies on this year’s CEI are not only establishing policies that affirm and include employees here in the United States, they are applying these policies to their operations around the globe and impacting millions of people beyond our shores. In addition, many of these companies have also become vocal advocates for equality in the public square, including the dozens that have signed on to amicus briefs in vital Supreme Court cases and the 106 corporate supporters of the Equality Act. We are proud to have developed so many strong partnerships with corporate allies who see LGBTQ equality as a crucial issue for our country and for their businesses.”

Key national findings revealed in the 2018 CEI:

  • 609 companies earned a perfect 100 points, up from 517 in the 2017 report;
  • Gender identity is now part of non-discrimination policies at 83 percent of Fortune 500 companies, up from just 3 percent in 2002;
  • 459 major employers have adopted supportive inclusion guidelines for transgender workers who are transitioning;
  • 137 Fortune 500 companies were given unofficial scores based on publicly available information.

The CEI rates companies on detailed criteria falling under five broad categories:

  • Non-discrimination policies
  • Employment benefits
  • Demonstrated organizational competency and accountability around LGBTQ diversity and inclusion
  • Public commitment to LGBTQ equality
  • Responsible citizenship

The LGBTQ community is not explicitly protected by federal and Virginia non-discrimination law — but many major corporations, a few headquartered or with a major presence in Hampton Roads are not waiting for an act of Congress to protect and attract talented professionals.

So, how did the major Hampton Roads Employers Fare? 

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

First, is a list of major private-sector employers (not all headquartered in Hampton Roads) that scored well in this year’s survey.  As per the criteria, 100 is the most points awarded, which follows the company name.  Please note that public employers and non-profits (i.e. most healthcare entities) were not rated in this survey.

The Good

  • Norfolk Southern, 100
  • Huntington Ingalls (Newport News Shipbuilding), 100
  • BAE Systems, 100
  • Wells Fargo, 100
  • Suntrust Bank, 100
  • Capital One, 100
  • BB&T Bank, 100
  • ADP, 100
  • Keurig/Green Mountain, 100
  • Walgreens, 100
  • CVS Pharmacies, 100
  • FedEx, 100
  • United Parcel Service, 100
  • Target, 100
  • WaWa, 100
  • Anheuser-Busch, 100
  • Verizon Communications, 100
  • Cox Communications, 90
  • Bank of America, 75

The Bad (& Ugly)

Fortunately, the list of companies operating in the area that could use some improvement is fairly short.  Participation in the CEI is voluntary on the company’s part.

  • GEICO, did not receive a score separately.  But, it’s parent company, Berkshire-Hathaway scored 20
  • Dollar Tree, 30.  This is a ten point improvement since the 2017 survey.  Interestingly enough, their competitor, Dollar General, earned a perfect score on the index, proving that a discount retailer can be equality-minded.

Healthcare is not measured in this survey as the hospital systems in Hampton Roads are categorized as non-profits.  The HRC has a separate Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) and Sentara Healthcare, Hampton Roads’ dominant healthcare provider and employer of over 22,000 does not participate in the survey and based on HRC’s findings earned a “N/A” score for 2017.  However, Bon Secours does participate and earned a score of 55/100 at their DePaul Campus in 2017.  When the 2018 HEI is released, we will release a separate report.

The full report, including a searchable employer database is available online at www.hrc.org/cei.

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