Best places to work for LGBT employees announced by advocacy group

Fri. January 29, 2021 9:51 AM by Gerald Farinas

photo credit // glenn carstens peters on
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) named its Best Places to Work for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer employees for 2021. The nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group surveyed 1,142 companies for its Corporate Equality Index (CEI). 767 businesses achieved 100, the highest score.

233 Fortune 500 companies participated in the survey. 84 companies were new to the survey since 2002—when the report was published for the first time.

Among the best-known companies scoring 100, with a large Chicago presence, are American Airlines, McDonald’s, McGraw-Hill, Molson Coors, Mondelez International, Northern Trust, State Farm Group, United Airlines, and Walgreens.

Director Alphonso David said, “Our participating companies know that building an LGBTQ-inclusive workplace is not just the right thing to do — it is also the best business decision — allowing companies to attract, retain and engage top talent.”

The scores are determined on various factors. Among them are inclusion of nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, sensitivity training, equal treatment for insurance and other benefits, whether or not the company offers benefits for transgender health, and if its branding is LGBTQ friendly in commercial advertising.

According to HRC, acknowledgement of its LGBT employees is not enough.

“Equitable policies and benefits are critical to LGBTQ inclusion in the workforce but alone are not sufficient to support a truly inclusive culture within a workplace. Employers recognize that beyond the letter of a policy, additional programming and educational efforts are necessary,” the organization explained.

92 percent of employers surveyed proved themselves to have programming that meets this demand. 94 percent had LGBTQ diversity groups or committees for their employees and offered programs to create and maintain inclusive culture. 85 percent have policies against donating to non-profits or other groups expressing homophobic and transphobic public stances.

Since 2002, LGBTQ persons and their allies have been using the annual CEI as a way of choosing which businesses to support with spending. They affect which retailers people frequent, like Amazon, Macy’s, and Nordstrom; where people bank, like Bank of America and Capital One; where they get their mobile phone coverage, like T-Mobile and Verizon. So check the list to see that it is okay to eat at Wendy’s or drink Starbucks.