Philly companies rank high on HRC Corporate Equality Index

15 Philly-based companies received a perfect score on the 2022 Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index (CEI), showing that they establish inclusive, equitable policies and environments for their LGBTQ+ employees. The Philadelphia companies that got scores of 100 are: Aberdeen Standard Investments; Aramark Corp.; Ballard Spahr LLP; Blank Rome, LLP; Chubb Ltd.; Comcast NBCUniversal; Cozen O’Connor; Dechert LLP; Duane Morris, LLP; Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia; FMC Corp.; Fox Rothschild LLP; Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP; and Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP.  

This year, 842 businesses out of 1,271 participants received perfect scores in the index, which evaluates companies in four main areas, including nondiscrimination policies spanning business entities, equal benefits for workers and families, fostering cultures of inclusion, and corporate social responsibility. 

In 2022, the HRC Foundation created new criteria for the CEI, which includes bolstering gender-affirming healthcare workplace policies, safeguarding equality in LGBTQ family formation benefit coverage, making LGBTQ intersectionality a focal point via training and data collection and other criteria.  

Celena Morrison, executive director of Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs, said that her team is apt to help facilitate even more LGBTQ-inclusive work environments in the city.  

“It is exciting to see several Philadelphia-based companies on the HRC’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index, especially with the new criteria,” Morrison said in an email. “My hope is that more companies in our city will foster workplaces that are welcoming to LGBTQ+ employees. While the smallest changes can help to foster a welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ people, it’s not enough for an employer to just say that they are inclusive. Employers must create tangible policies and workplace norms that create affirming and supportive environments — for all their employees.” 

Companies with offices in Philadelphia that received perfect scores include GlaxoSmithKline LLC and Greenberg Traurig LLP. 

“The firm has been supportive of a diversity and inclusion methodology nationally and internationally,” said Curt Toll, managing shareholder of Greenberg Traurig’s Philadelphia office.  “But locally as we grew in the Philadelphia office, we’ve sought to make diversity and inclusion a very high priority in everything we do in the Philadelphia community. It goes to the types of lawyers that we recruit and the people and causes that we support locally of every talent, stripe, color, creed and orientation. That includes LGBTQ+ attorneys locally.”

At GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Philadelphia office, its Spectrum Employee Resource Group (ERG) has been providing a safe, supportive network for the company’s LGBTQ employees since 1996, according to Samantha Warren, DEI director for GSK. Spectrum holds monthly meetings to foster employee connection and involvement, and collaborates with national organizations like PFLAG and other GSK ERGs to educate non-LGBTQ employees on LGBTQ history, how to be a good ally, ways of stemming challenges related to intersectionality and other pertinent topics. 

GSK leadership consults Spectrum members for the purpose of instituting LGBTQ-inclusive policies such as health benefits. Plus, GSK seeks input from Spectrum to help foster a more inclusive environment within the pharmaceutical business on the whole. “GSK tapped Spectrum to gain a better understanding of appropriate questions around gender and identity for clinical research,” Warren said in an email.

Other Philadelphia-based companies that ranked in the index are Crown Holdings (20 rating), Day & Zimmerman LLP (90 rating, down from 95 in 2021), Radian Group Inc. (85 rating, up from 60 in 2021), Spark Therapeutics (60 rating), The Philadelphia Inquirer (95 rating) and Urban Outfitters (80 rating). 

South Jersey companies that ranked include Subaru of America Inc. (100 rating), TD Bank N.A. (100 rating), American Water (85 rating) and Campbell Soup Company (90 rating).    

Netflix was excluded from the 2022 CEI because of how it dealt with the release of Dave Chappelle’s 2021 comedy special “The Closer,” which is laden with transphobic and homophobic content. A Netflix spokesperson told Deadline that they “respectfully disagree with the HRC’s decision,” citing the streaming company’s trans and nonbinary-inclusive healthcare plans, parental leave for same-gender couples and its work toward upping LGBTQ representation in its content. 

The HRC Foundation will incorporate new criteria into its 2023 index, evaluating companies based on increased minimum requirements for trans-inclusive healthcare policies; a new category focused on establishing equitable access to family benefits for spouses or domestic partners of same or different genders; requiring ease of access to information about trans healthcare benefits, family formation and HIV/AIDS health benefits; a requirement of at least one training that incorporates concepts about intersectionality and other paraments. Evolving the CEI’s criteria to mirror society is imperative to create more equitable workplaces and a better tomorrow for LGBTQ+ workers everywhere,” Jay Brown, HRC senior vice president of programs, research and training, said in a press release.

Philadelphia Gay News is one of more than 20 news organizations producing Broke in Philly, a solutions-oriented collaborative reporting project on poverty and Philadelphia’s push for economic justice.