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findings

criterion 4

Public Commitment Criterion 4

Businesses That Positively Engage the External LGBT Community

81

%

of CEI-rated businesses report some form of public engagement with the LGBT community, through marketing, advertising and recruitment efforts or philanthropic contributions to LGBT organizations. This 81 percent of participants represents at least three discreet engagement efforts per business. An additional eight percent of companies reported engaging the wider LGBT community through one or two efforts. The CEI recognizes employers that “come out” and demonstrate their commitment to LGBT inclusion by publicly engaging with the broader LGBT community. Efforts such as positive, direct marketing and advertising, philanthropic activities, event sponsorships, legislative support and supplier diversity send a clear message to current and prospective LGBT employees that they are not only accepted by the organization, but valued.

Marketing or Advertising

Philanthropic Support

Recruiting Efforts

Many businesses engage LGBT consumers directly through local or national marketing and advertising in LGBT media. LGBT-specific messages in general media and sponsorships of LGBT organizations or events reflect how consumer-facing businesses are vying to capture a portion of the ever-growing LGBT marketplace. For example, businesses supporting Pride celebrations are establishing connections with LGBT consumers in strategic geographic markets.

Corporate philanthropic activities ranging from financial support to in-kind donations of products or services can bolster a business’s profile in the LGBT community. Corporate giving to organizations promoting LGBT health, education or political efforts further demonstrates this commitment to broader LGBT equality. Typically, these efforts have a strategic connection to the core mission of a business, such as a law firm’s pro bono legal support of organizations tasked with direct legal representation of LGBT individuals.

A new generation is entering into the work force with more expectations of fairness than previous cohorts. Beyond touting employment non-discrimination policies and inclusive benefits, employers are more actively recruiting LGBT workers. Increasingly, businesses are engaged with professional recruiting events for LGBT students and professionals, such as the annual Lavender Law conference and Reaching Out MBA career expo, which each draw hundreds of graduate student attendees, corporate sponsors, and recruiters. Employers’ presence at these and other events sends a clear message to potential employees that LGBT diversity is part of company culture, and that LGBT candidates are valued as the best and the brightest across industries, geographies and trades.

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c o r p o r at e e q ua l i t y i n d e x 2 O 1 2

www.hrc.org/cei

Corporate Equality Index 2012  

The Human Rights Campaign’s 2012 Corporate Equality Index chronicles a decade of progress in workplace equality. 2012 marks the first year...