WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, will honor 337 major U.S. employers as its 2011 ‘Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality” at the Seventh Annual LGBT Workplace Awards Seminar and Reception tonight. The event will be hosted for the third year in a row by Time Warner and held at the Time Warner Center in New York City and will feature Jane Velez-Mitchell, author and host of Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell on HLN.
“We’re honored to recognize a record number of employers this year who have taken the steps to treat their LGBT employees like the valuable assets they are,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “These companies have shown a commitment to their employees through fair hiring and employment practices and recognize that equal treatment of LGBT employees is not only the right thing to do, but also a good business practice.”
Companies receiving the “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality” distinction scored 100 percent on the HRC Foundation’s 2011 Corporate Equality Index, the national standard evaluating policies, practices and diversity efforts relating to LGBT workers. The Index considers non-discrimination policies, benefits, diversity training and other internal resources for LGBT workers, as well as external support for LGBT consumers and job seekers.
While many of the 337 employers being honored have developed truly innovative programs and initiatives that contribute to LGBT workplace inclusion, Boston Consulting Group and Goldman Sachs will be awarded the top honor of the 2011 Innovation Award for Workplace Equality. This award honors a specific program that a business has implemented to further LGBT inclusion in their workplaces. Criteria for the award include originality, degree of innovation and replicabilty in other businesses.
Boston Consulting Group is being recognized for its People Development Initiative, which provides in-depth career development support for LGBT employees to increase the likelihood of promotion, in conjunction with robust affiliation programs to ensure retention of top talent. Goldman Sachs is receiving the Innovation Award for its Ally Strategy, which strives to create an inclusive environment for LGBT professionals by engaging and educating senior-level straight allies to serve as visible LGBT-champions across all divisions.
“We are thrilled to receive the HRC's Workplace Equality Innovation Award," said Rich Lesser, BCG’s Chairman of North and South America. "We believe strongly that diversity in all its forms creates stronger, more dynamic teams and provides unique perspectives and opportunities for both clients and staff.”
“We are honored to receive the 2011 HRC Innovation Award for our Ally Strategy initiative,” said Edith Hunt, managing director and chief diversity officer for Goldman Sachs. “At Goldman Sachs, we are committed to creating and sustaining a diverse work environment. While this recognition shows we have made significant progress, we know there is still much work to be done. We are proud of the individual and collective efforts that our people have made, and will we continue to promote and support diversity efforts in the LGBT space.”