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Hi, Kevin Coupe here, and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy.
There have been a lot of stories in the news lately about how an awful lot of people and institutions have not been behaving well … though the good news is that people who in the past have been targets and victims now are standing up and finding the courage to speak up. There’s no real way to know whether we’ve actually reached a tipping point at which respect for human dignity will be a priority, not an afterthought.
One good sign … The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is out with its 16th annual Corporate Equality Index, reporting that more than 600 employers across a wide variety of industries, employing millions of people, have earned “perfect scores” in terms of the creation of an inclusive workplace for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community.
“On a practical level,” the report says, “this means that millions of LGBTQ workers across America — as well as LGBTQ workers employed by multinational companies around the globe — are covered under non-discrimination policies and able to bring their full selves to work every day.
“We also continue to see major businesses ensuring that transgender employees can expect equal protections under their non-discrimination policies, gender transition guidelines, and access to inclusive health care. The number of employers offering transgender-inclusive health care coverage leapt from 647 last year to 750 this year, including 58 percent of the Fortune 500-ranked businesses.”
This is just the beginning. The report notes that “the lack of consistent, explicit federal protections in employment, housing, credit, public services and other essential aspects of American life remain major barriers to full equality for the LGBTQ community.”
But (and I think this is important) the report also highlights the role that private sector companies - with names like Walmart, Kroger, CVS, Costco, Walgreen and Amazon - are playing in creating equality for this community. If government are not going to to advance the causes of equality, diversity and tolerance, then companies are going to do it anyway. Let government catch up.
I think the reason actually is simple. It is good business. The companies that are being progressive in this area understand that people are their best asset, and it makes no sense to do anything that would disenfranchise potentially great employees. Plus, we live in a country where young people are more open to diversity than their elders, and enough of them put a premium on doing business with companies that are like-minded.
You can read the full, extensive report here.
We have a long way to go. Even the companies that get high marks probably aren’t perfect. Prejudice is everywhere, and not just against members of the LGBTQ community. But it is good to see that standards - and consciousness - are rising, and that society, and the business community, sometimes choose to act as if guided by what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.”
That’s what’s on my mind this morning, and as always. I want to hear what is on your mind.
- KC's View: