28 Va. employers, 12 local, earn high marks on LGBT corporate equality index

RICHMOND, Va. – An annual report just released by a civil rights organization found that American companies, including many based in Virginia, continue to improve workplace protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation said that a record 407 businesses – spanning nearly every industry and geography — earned a top score of 100 percent and the coveted distinction of “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality” in the 2016 Corporate Equality Index.

That record number of perfect scores was achieved despite demanding new criteria requiring that companies with global operations extend non-discrimination protections for their LGBT workers worldwide.

In total, 851 companies were officially rated, which is 70 more than were evaluated in 2015.

The report also unofficially rated 176 Fortune 500 companies, which have yet to respond to the CEI survey about their LGBT policies and practices.

Attorney General says Virginia business are becoming more welcoming

Virginia, where 28 of the companies and law firms are based, has an average score of 83 percent. Of the 28 companies ranked, nine earned 100 percent, three earned 90 percent or above, and nine earned 80 percent or above.

Twelve of the employers are in the Richmond metro area.

“This report shows that Virginia, and especially Virginia businesses, are becoming more welcoming and open to all and that is a great thing,” said Attorney General Mark Herring, in a statement emailed to CBS 6.

“The private sector has been critical in advancing equality because the business community understands that everyone deserves to be judged on their abilities and their character, not what they look like, where they come from, or the person they love. It’s great to see so many Virginia businesses scored so highly, but we know we’ve got more work to do throughout the Commonwealth to fight discrimination and guarantee equality, justice, and opportunity for all Virginians.”

Leaders call for added protection, nationally and internationally

Herring’s statement echoed HRC’s call to help LGBT employees overcome significant obstacles in the workplace.

“While support for LGBT workers is growing in the U.S. and around the world, too many companies still fail to guarantee basic, vital workplace protections that allow employees to bring their full selves to work,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.

Key national findings contained in the 2016 CEI:

  • 407 companies earned a 100 percent in the 2015 CEI, up from 366 in the 2015 report.
  • 511 companies participating in this year’s CEI now offer transgender workers at least one health care plan that has transgender-inclusive coverage. That’s a 150 percent increase since 2012, when the CEI first included trans-inclusive health care as a requisite for companies to receive a perfect score;
  • Gender identity is now part of non-discrimination policies at 75 percent of Fortune 500 companies, up from just 3 percent in 2002;
  • More than 330 major employers have adopted supportive inclusion guidelines for transgender workers who are transitioning.
  • And 176 Fortune 500 companies were given unofficial scores based on publicly available information

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

Employer Name 2015 CEI Rating
Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. 100
Capital One Financial Corp. 100
CEB Inc. 100
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) 100
Genworth Financial Inc. 100
Hilton Worldwide Inc. 100
Northrop Grumman Corp. 100
Towers Watson & Co. 100
Volkswagen Group of America Inc. 100
CarMax Inc. 95
TEGNA Inc. 95
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond 90
Altria Group Inc. 85
BAE Systems Inc. 85
General Dynamics Corp. 85
McGuireWoods LLP 85
Owens & Minor Inc. 85
Williams Mullen PC 85
Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) 80
Exelis 80
SRA International Inc. 80
Dominion Resources Inc. 70
MeadWestvaco Corp. 65
Rolls-Royce North America (USA) Holdings Co. 60
Software AG USA Inc. 60
LeClairRyan 50
Norfolk Southern Corp. 45
Alliant Techsystems Inc. 35