Longtime logo from Campbell’s soups. The company has been a perfect score from an organization advocacy homosexual “rights”

The newly released Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, which ranks hundreds of businesses on their “treatment” of employees who have chosen homosexual, lesbian, bisexual and transgender lifestyles, awards a record 259 corporations perfect scores, including newcomers Campbell’s Soup and Target.

The total in the 2009 report is up one-third from the 195 corporations so honored in 2008, according to the Human Rights Campaign, which explained that now an estimated 9 million workers “are protected from employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression because of their employers’ policies on diversity & inclusion, training, health care, and domestic partnership benefits.”

The report notes that when the evaluation was begun in 2002, there were 13 corporations with such perfect scores – a total of 100 out of 100 possible – and that rose to 26 in 2003, 56 in 2004, 101 in 2005, 138 in 2006 and 195 in 2008.

The 2009 index “shows that corporate America understands that a diverse workforce is critical to remaining successful and competitive,” Joe Solmonese, the foundation chief, said in a prepared statement posted on the organization’s website. “In the absence of federal law that prohibits workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, it is up to employers to take the lead and implement policies that ensure all their employees are protected.”


Target’s target logo. The company is among 259 given a perfect score for its advocacy for homosexual “rights”

Officials from companies honored in the ranking of nearly 600 companies overall were enthusiastic.

“We are thrilled to share this with our LGBT employees and the loyal customers and diverse communities we serve,” said Denise Lynn, an American Airlines vice president.

“Our 100 percent score on the HRC Corporate Equality Index gives us all a shot in the arm and explains why I love the job I do,” added Betty Young, an LGBT marketing team member for the airline.

“Barnes & Noble was one of the first retailers to offer domestic partner benefits to our booksellers more than 13 years ago,” boasted Michelle Smith, a vice president for her company.

“We are extremely proud to accept this distinction in recognition of Chevron’s diversity and inclusion efforts, and the outstanding contributions our GLBT employees and the Chevron Pride Employee Network have made to the company,” said spokesman Joe Laymon.

“Recognition always pushes Dell to move to the next level and so we’ll continue our efforts advocating for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered equality,” said Dell vice president Gil Casellas. “It’s part of our global diversity efforts.”

The rating “affirms our position that ING has created a welcoming environment,” said ING North American Insurance Corp. chief Tom McInerney.

Wilson Dunnington, director of inclusion for J.C. Penney, said the company’s perfect score recognizes the company’s “inclusive and diverse environment.”

“We believe it is a true honor to receive a perfect ranking on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index for the second year in a row,” said David Windley, head of the company’s human resources.

“Shell is pleased to have achieved a perfect score on the CEI-rating. This was a priority for us because it further demonstrates our commitment to inclusiveness in the workplace,” said Marvin Odum, president of Shell Oil Company. “A 100-percent rating helps us to better attract, recruit and retain diverse talent to contribute to our overall business success.”

“Often we are singled out for discrimination and, very often, job termination, solely because of our gender change or gender expression regardless of work history. The significant increase in companies achieving 100 percent on the CEI shows that the business-employee climate is improving, but we know there is still significant progress to be made,” said Meghan Stabler, a member of the HRC’s business council.

The report also reveals that more than four dozen companies “have taken significant and substantial steps to remove discrimination from at least one of their health insurance plans.”

The organization said its other major findings are the of 255 Fortune 500 corporations included, 120 got perfect scores, and the biggest leap for this year was among law firms, which were included in the assessment for the first time in 2006. Those rose from 13 in 2006 to 64 for this report.

The Human Rights Campaign seeks “fundamental fairness and equality” by advocating for the “rights” of people in alternative sexual lifestyles.

See this year’s list of 259 companies, including newcomers Alaska Airlines, Cox Enterprises and General Motors, with perfect scores for their homosexual advocacy.

 


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