The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation has released its annual Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workplace equality. The 2016 CEI rated 1,027 businesses in the report, which evaluates LGBT-related policies and practices, including non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive health care benefits, competency programs, and public engagement with the LGBT community. Numerous companies have earned a perfect score of 100 percent including Diageo, Caesars Entertainment, American Apparel, Ogilvy & Mather, Hallmark Cards alongside many others.
Diageo, a global leader in beverage alcohol has been consistently recognized as one of the “Best Places to Work” and listed as one of the top companies that support equality for LGBT employees. This is the eighth consecutive year Diageo has earned a perfect score on this index.

We strive to ensure Diageo is an employer that respects, values, and embraces the talents and contributions of all our employees, including those in the LGBT community,” said Deirdre Mahlan, President, Diageo North America.  “We’re grateful the Human Rights Campaign has recognized our efforts and achievements related to workplace equality for the past eight years, and we’re committed to continuing these inclusive policies and practices for the future.”

Through extensive efforts, Diageo fully satisfied the CEI’s criteria, resulting in a 100 percent ranking and the designation as a Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality from the Human Rights Campaign.

In this 2016 Corporate Equality Index, hundreds of major businesses responded to our new standards for workplace equality with exceptional leadership. Diageo not only meets these standards, it goes above and beyond the call of duty, making commitment to equality a fundamental aspect of its corporate values,” said HRC Foundation Workplace Equality Program Director Deena Fidas.

Diageo has been an early and active supporter of equal rights of all people, and actions include signing onto the U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief challenging the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which was successfully repealed. The company also has seven employee resource groups (ERGs) that are all inclusive and are a resource to the company for recruitment, retention, employee engagement, innovation and community partnerships. They represent ethnicity, gender, LGBT, Sustainability and Career Development. Diageo’s Rainbow Network, the ERG for LGBT employees and allies, was one of the first ERGs at the company and remains one of its most active.

It feels great to work for a company that consistently encourages diversity and inclusion,” said Jeanine Dooley, a co-leader of Diageo’s Rainbow Network and Director in Supply. “The impact that the Rainbow Network has been able to achieve, not just at Diageo, but within the broader community, is a testament to Diageo’s commitment to inclusion.

Diageo has received multiple accolades celebrating the company’s culture of inclusion.  Most recently the company was honored in Diversity MBA’s “50 Out Front Companies for Diversity Leadership” and also secured a spot for the seventh consecutive year on Working Mother magazine’s “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” list.

Caesars Entertainment
Caesars Entertainment, the world’s most diversified casino-entertainment provider has received a score of 100 percent on the 2016 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) for the ninth year in a row. Caesars was the first gaming company to both achieve and maintain a perfect score on the CEI.

While 2015 will be remembered as the year ‘love won,’ we still need legislation that supports the rights of the LGBT community, including the Equality Act, which will protect all Americans from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Jan Jones Blackhurst, Executive Vice President of Communications, Government Relations & Corporate Responsibility at Caesars. “Caesars is actively leading the change we want to see, which contributes to our deep appreciation of the recognition from the Human Rights Campaign. We will continue to champion diversity and equal rights throughout our organization and beyond our walls.
rainbow_business_people_dreamstime-1200x700_cAmerican Apparel
American Apparel, Inc., (“the Company”), a vertically-integrated manufacturer, distributor, and retailer of branded fashion-basic apparel’s CEO Paula Schneider said: “I’m thrilled that we were able to enhance our employee offerings with transgender benefits, which are now in our insurance policies. We will continuously strive to provide the most comprehensive benefit packages for our outstanding employees who are passionate individuals from all backgrounds.

We will continue to champion the causes most important to American Apparel, including gender equality.

I’m very grateful to have been a member of the teams that have led American Apparel’s LGBT inclusion efforts for the past 10 years“, said Jon Henry Szymanski, Director of Co-Branding and Philanthropy at American Apparel. “Our dedication to championing diversity, LGBT inclusion and immigration reform has never wavered. I am proud that we can now say with the most certainty that our polices are 100% aligned with the message on our iconic ‘Legalize LGBT’ tee shirts.

Since we first partnered with American Apparel in 2009, there has been significant progress in the fight for LGBT equality across the country,” said HRC Creative Director Don Kiser. “But despite our nation’s marriage equality victory at the Supreme Court in June, LGBT individuals still face inequality in their daily lives and remain at risk of unacceptable discrimination.  We are honored that American Apparel, a company with a 100% score on our Corporate Equality Index, stands with us as we continue to fight for full LGBT equality.”

Ogilvy & Mather
Marketing company, Ogilvy & Mather North America’s Chief Executive Officer & Chairman, John Seifert says “it’s an honor to, once again, be in the company of leading organizations committed to the inclusion of LGBT employees. Our CEI rating highlights our core values, beliefs and practices.

“We are committed to creating an inclusive environment and a strong business case for equality for all,” added Donna Pedro, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer. “To be recognized for our dedication to pro bono work, Ogilvy Pride (our LGBT employee and business resource group), our partnerships with our clients’ LGBT groups, our philanthropic efforts with the Immigration Equality organization and our transgender benefits show we are making a real impact.”

American Airlines
 American Airlines has been honored once again by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) with the highest possible rating in the prestigious 2016 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). American was the only airline to achieve a perfect score when the CEI launched in 2002, and is one of only a small number of corporations to do so every year since.

“We are dedicated to living up to the ideals of the Corporate Equality Index,” said Elise Eberwein, American’s executive vice president – People and Communications. “Our commitment begins first and always with the employees who serve as champions for diversity, equality and respect within the company – and who warmly welcome our loyal LGBT customers every day.”

American has a long history of supporting the LGBT community in the course of doing business. For decades, American’s Pride Employee Business Resource Group, which was the airline’s first employee resource group, has championed LGBT travelers and advocated for diversity, equality and respect within the airline industry. American is also a proud member and supporter of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, PFLAG and Lambda Legal.

Hallmark Cards
Hallmark Cards, Inc. is among 407 major U.S. businesses to achieve a perfect 100 percent score on the 2016 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). Bob Bloss, Hallmark senior vice president – human resources says “Hallmark is honored to have earned a top rating on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index,”

“This recognition by the HRC reflects our continued commitment to create an environment in which diversity is embraced and diverse traits are leveraged as strengths, where every employee can perform to his or her potential, and in which his or her contributions are respected and appreciated.”

“In this 2016 Corporate Equality Index, hundreds of major businesses responded to our new standards for workplace equality with exceptional leadership,” said Deena Fidas, HRC Foundation Workplace Equality Program Director. “Hallmark not only meets these standards, it goes above and beyond the call of duty, making commitment to equality a fundamental aspect of its corporate values.”
For more information on the 2016 Corporate Equality Index, or to download a free copy of the report, visit: