13 Atlanta companies so LGBT-friendly, they’re perfect

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Some 13 companies, law firms and financial institutions based in metro Atlanta earned a perfect score on a new ranking of how they approach LGBT issues, employees and customers.

The enterprises are among 29 in Georgia that were ranked on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index 2016, which was released on Wednesday during a press conference in downtown Atlanta. HRC President Chad Griffin was joined by representatives from several Atlanta-based companies that scored well in the CEI, including Delta and Newell Rubbermaid. 

A record 407 businesses across the country earned HRC’s top score of 100 and the distinction of being named among the Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality. The 13 companies, law firms and financial institutions in Georgia (and 2015 score):

  • Alston & Bird (100)
  • Coca-Cola (100)
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (100)
  • First Data Corp. (100)
  • Home Depot (90)
  • InterContinental Hotels Group Americas (100)
  • Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton (90)
  • King & Spalding (100)
  • NCR Corp., Duluth (100)
  • Newell Rubbermaid (100)
  • SunTrust Banks (100)
  • Sutherland Asbill & Brennan (100)
  • Troutman Sanders (100)

“Our nation’s top companies this year have risen in record-breaking numbers to the challenge of extending non-discrimination protections to their LGBT employees around the globe,” HRC President Chad Griffin said. “These companies and law firms have consistently shown leadership in building support for greater equality for LGBT employees, and not just within the walls of their own workplace. This year’s CEI demonstrates that business understands what many have long known: The fight for LGBT equality does not end at our borders, but is a global endeavor that must be pursued with greater urgency than ever before.”

Of those 13 companies – all in metro Atlanta – just five took part in the Atlanta Pride parade in October: Coke, Home Depot, IHG, Newell Rubbermaid and SunTrust. Last  year, 11 Atlanta companies scored a perfect 100 on the HRC report.

Across Georgia, HRC scored 29 companies. Just a few flopped. The list of companies ranked in the report that didn’t receive a 100 (with their 2015 score):

  • AFLAC, Columbus, 75 (85)
  • AGL Resources, 70 (not rated)
  • Chamberlin Edmonds & Associates, 30 (40)
  • Cox Enterprises, 90 (90)
  • Delta Air Lines, 90 (90)
  • EarthLink, 40 (55)
  • Invesco, 65 (70)
  • Mirant Corp., 20 (30)
  • Mohawk Industries, Calhoun, 15 (20)
  • Southern Co., 85 (70)
  • United Parcel Service, 90 (90)

A handful of companies in Georgia refused to take part in HRC’s survey, including Agco in Duluth (10), Asbury Automotive Group in Duluth (10), Genuine Parts (20), HD Supply (20) and Rock-Tenn Company (0).

HRC rated some 851 companies across the U.S. on their policies concerning LGBT equality and inclusion for employees and customers. The 2016 report reflects tightened criteria that means companies scoring a 100 offer sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination protections, require U.S. contractors to abide by existing non-discrimination policies and prohibit philanthropic giving to non-religious organizations without LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination policies. Overall, the CEI ranks companies in five broad categories, including non-discrimination policies, employment benefits, organizational competency and accountability around LGBT diversisty and inclusion, public commitment to LGBT equality and responsible citizenship.

The unveiling in Atlanta also highlighted the city’s strong performance on HRC’s Municipal Equality Index. In 2013, the city became the first in the Deep South to notch a perfect score on the report, which it repeated last year.


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