By Tom Musbach, Yahoo! HotJobs
The number of companies cited as best for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) employees grew in 2007, according to a leading US advocacy group.
The Washington, DC-based Human Rights Campaign (HRC) named 195 companies to its Corporate Equality Index, up from 138 last year.
The list of companies includes Aetna, Apple Computer, Boeing, Charles Schwab, Chevron, Cisco Systems, Coors, Ford, Gap, IBM, Intel, Kaiser Permanente, Motorola, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Viacom, Visa, Wells Fargo and Yahoo!. For the complete report and updated list of companies, visit the HRC's Corporate Equality Index.
The Measures for Approval
All of the companies received perfect 100 ratings as part of the HRC's annual Corporate Equality Index, which evaluates companies' efforts to advance equality in the workplace. Criteria for the ratings include domestic partner benefits beyond health insurance (e.g., COBRA, vision or dental), retirement benefits, leave policies and supportive workplace guidelines.
"More businesses than ever before have recognized the value of a diverse and dedicated workforce," said Joe Solmonese, HRC's president. "These employers understand that discrimination against GLBT workers will ultimately hurt their ability to compete in a global marketplace."
Business leaders and community leaders agree that promoting equal treatment of GLBT workers makes good business sense.
"GLBT inclusiveness is a critical component of our objective to the employer of choice, service provider of choice, business partner of choice and neighbor of choice globally," said Ana Duarte McCarthy, chief diversity officer of Citigroup.
The DiversityInc Top 10
In April, DiversityInc magazine released its own list of the 10 best companies for GLBT employees -- all of which are included in the HRC's list.
The DiversityInc list is in order: Xerox, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Ernst & Young, Eastman Kodak, SC Johnson & Son, Merrill Lynch, Whirlpool and Chubb.
The magazine's criteria for honoring the 10 companies also included general diversity measures extending beyond GLBT equality issues.