Most people are familiar with the phrase: “Hire for attitude, train for skill.” At its core, it’s all about finding great people to work at your company.
Making news in recent days is President Obama’s recognition that same-sex couples deserve the right to marry. If America wants to continue to be a world leader, it has to become more tolerant of others. Relating this back to corporations, the most successful likely will be the most tolerant. Why? Because great corporations hire talented people almost every day of the week, and sometimes those new hires just happen to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
Every year, the Human Rights Campaign releases its Corporate Equality Index, which rates Fortune 1000 companies — as well as private and nonprofit businesses that choose to participate in its survey — as they relate to LGBT employees. Since its inception in 2002, the number of participants has risen from 319 to 636, representing every major sector in the U.S. There are a total of eight criteria in the CEI rating system for a total of 100 points, as well as a 25-point penalty for any company with a large-scale official or public anti-LGBT blemish on their recent records. Amazingly, there are no federal laws barring workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and said discrimination remains legal in at least 50% of the states. Fortunately for the LGBT community, private employers have been far more responsive to their needs than lawmakers.
Read on as we highlight the five highest-rated Fortune 500 companies considered “gay-friendly.” Just as investors should understand how a business makes money, we also should be aware of companies that care about all of their employees and not just some of them. To do so is not just good business — it’s common sense.