Aerospace firms make LGBT inclusion a priority
Aerospace and defense companies continue to work toward LGBT inclusion, according to a report by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization.
A full breakdown of the Corporate Equality Index (CEI) scores for the aerospace and defense sector, including ten Fortune 500 companies, can be found here.
A record 407 businesses nationwide earned 100-point scores in the 2016 CEI, and six are aerospace and defense giants–Boeing Co. of Chicago; Harris Corp. of Melbourne, Fla.; Lockheed Martin Corp. of Bethesda, Md.; Northrop Grumman Corp. of Falls Church, Va.; Raytheon Co. of Waltham, Mass.; and Rockwell Collins Inc. of Cedar Rapids, Ia.
Rolls-Royce North America (USA) Holdings Co. of Reston, Va., was the lone sector newcomer on the CEI this year, coming in with a first-time score of 60.
“For leading aerospace and defense firms, there is no margin for error when it comes to attracting and retaining a top-notch workforce. That’s why we have seen over a decade of leadership on LGBT workplace equality across this industry. No defense firm wants or can afford to lose a top scientist or engineer simply because of that individual’s gender identity or sexual orientation,” said Deena Fidas, director of the HRC Foundation’s Workplace Equality Program.
Strong performers in this sector also include BAE Systems Inc. of Arlington, Va.; General Dynamics Corp. of Falls Church, Va.; and Exelis of McLean, Va.
HRC’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI) is America’s premiere benchmarking tool for LGBT workplace equality, and in 2015, for the first time in its 14-year history, required that top-scoring companies have a global non-discrimination policy or code of conduct that specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The results of this year’s CEI showcases how hundreds of U.S.-based multinational companies are not only promoting LGBT-friendly workplace policies in the U.S. but helping to advance the cause of LGBT equality around the globe.
“Our nation’s top companies continue to rise to the challenge of creating workplaces that are fully LGBT-inclusive,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “This year’s CEI demonstrates yet again that America’s most successful companies continue to set the standard for inclusion, and understand that the fight for LGBT equality is a global endeavor, to be pursued with resolve and urgency.”
The purpose of the CEI, which this year had 851 companies actively participating, is also to encourage small- and medium-sized companies, as well as state and municipal governments, to increase workplace acceptance by extending similar inclusive benefits and protections to LGBT employees.
The CEI rates companies and top law firms on detailed criteria falling under five broad categories:
- Non-discrimination policies
- Employment benefits
- Demonstrated organizational competency and accountability around LGBT diversity and inclusion
- Public commitment to LGBT equality
- Responsible citizenship