Looking at HRC’s Ratings – Minnesota’s Gay-Friendly Employers

The Human Rights Campaign has published their 2011 Corporate Equality Index where they “American Workplaces on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality” on a 0-100 scale. You can download a PDF here or check out where MN companies stand at BizJournals.

As you may recall, a few of our hometown companies, including Target and Best Buy (as well as 3M) were found to be donating money from their general funds to organizations working in favor of non-GLBT friendly gubenatorial candidate, Tom Emmer while simultaneously boasting about their perfect 100 ratings from the HRC.

Well, times have change and these companies are no longer perfect. We already knew that, but the HRC has now caught up with 2010’s political landscape. Target, Best Buy, and 3M have all been knocked down to 85 out of 100, which is a solid B, but definitely not perfect. Sounds about right.

Looking through the report, it’s interesting to see how companies that seem to be competing within the same industry can vary so significantly by HRC’s standards:

Company: Corporate Equity Index (Higher is better)
BP: 100
Chevron: 100
Shell: 100
Spectra Energy: 100
ConocoPhillips: 70
Marathon Oil: 20
Exxon/Mobil: 0

Seriously, Exxon/Mobil received a Zero from the HRC. What does it take to be a zero? If I add the word DON’T in front of each of the criteria it takes to get a 100 score, I think I’ll have a pretty good idea:

DON’T Prohibit Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation (15 points)
DON’T Provide Diversity Training Covering Sexual Orientation (5 points)
DON’T Prohibit Discrimination Based on gender Identity or Expression (15 points)
DON’T Provide Diversity Training Covering gender Identity OR Have Supportive gender Transition guidelines (5 points)
DON’T Offer Transgender-Inclusive Insurance Coverage for at Least One Type of Benefit (5 points)
DON’T Offer Transgender-Inclusive Insurance Coverage, Including Surgical Procedures (4) DON’T Offer Partner Health Insurance (15 points)
DON’T Offer Partner Dental, Vision, COBRa and Dependent Coverage Benefits (5 points)
DON’T Offer at Least Three Other “Soft” Benefits for Partners (5 points)
DON’T Have Employer-Supported Employee Resource group OR Firm-Wide Diversity Council (15 points) Wouldn’t Support ERg if Employees Express Interest (half credit w)
DON’T Positively Engage the External LgBT Community (15 points)
DON’T be Responsible Citizens. Employers will have 15 points deducted from their score
for a large-scale official or public anti-LGBT blemish on their recent records (-15 points)

Sadly, not everything is above average in Minnesota. Here are some companies that seem to really stink at treating people equally, along with the scores they received this year from the HRC (out of 100). I may have taken some liberties with company names:

Mosaic “Not Comfortable with The Gays” Corp.: 30
Hormel “Don’t Ask. Don’t Tell” Foods Corp: 15
Nash Homophobic Finch: 15
Trivent Financial for Bigoted Lutherans: 15
C.H. Robinson’s Truck Driving Homophobes: 15

And, Minnesota’s only zero rated company in the CEI:
CHS “With the right partner, anything is possible (unless you’re gay)”, Inc: 0

I don’t understand why CHS, Hormel, and Mosaic all perform so poorly while Cargill and Land O’ Lakes are able to hit 100 on HRC’s CEI scale. Given a choice of large food/ag related companies to work for, a top notch GLBT graduate should have an easy time figuring out who to consider and who to exclude from employment consideration.

Overall, I’m encouraged by what I see in HRC’s ratings. Winning companies seem to understand that they succeed by recruiting the best and brightest employees they can, regardless of sexual orientation. The bar for high ratings seems to have been raised in response to the changing political climate brought on by the ability to contribute from corporations’ general funds to political ad buying organizations. This will likely become tougher to track over time as corporations figure out how to throw funds around without having their names attached to the money, but it’s good to see the HRC attempting to sort through it.

3 thoughts on “Looking at HRC’s Ratings – Minnesota’s Gay-Friendly Employers”

  1. Interesting that Target is not on this list. Despite the publicity on the Emmer thing, they would score pretty close to 100 for benefits, a GLBT Businss council and sponsorship for Pride events.

    Also ironic that Best Buy got a pass for supporting the same organzation that Target got skewerd for…

  2. 100 for Medtronic, nice!

    I’m always proud to be a part of their winning team, but this adds a nice shine to my day.

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