Three Triad based companies received perfect scores in the The Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s annual study that measures major corporations’ policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality, and two other companies with large operations in area also made the list.
Quaintance-Weaver Hotels & Restaurants of Greensboro, Reynolds American of Winston-Salem and LabCorp of Burlington were among the 16 companies headquartered in North Carolina that earned the top rating.
“Diversity and inclusion have been part of our culture since our beginnings. Our 100% ranking and the designation as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality confirms our ongoing efforts to embrace all that have not, and are not, always treated fairly,” Quaitnace-Weaver said in a statement. “We do not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, creed, marital status, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, genetic information, national origin/ancestry, citizenship and military or veteran status.”
Guy Meldrum, Reynolds American Inc. President & CEO., said, “Across every aspect of our business, we boldly embrace diversity as a key pillar of our Ethos,. Our organization is rich with talent, and everyone is encouraged to be their authentic selves as we work to build A Better Tomorrow.”
“Now more than ever, people are looking to Labcorp for information, innovation, and insights,” said Brenda Velasquez Wagner, chief diversity and inclusion officer of Labcorp. “A diverse workforce is essential for us to deliver on that commitment and on our mission of improving health and improving lives around the world. We’re honored to again receive this recognition from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, and we are committed to continuing to provide a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment for our employees.”
In all, 767 major companies across the U.S. received a perfect score. That group includes:
- Charlotte-based Truist Financial, the region’s 10th largest employer with 4,000 workers in the Triad;
- Wells Fargo, which employs 2,650 people in the Triad;
- VF Corp of Denver, which moved its headquarters from Greensboro to Denver in 2019 but still employs about 1,000 people in the Triad; and
- Womble Bond Dickinson, the international law firm with offices in Winston-Salem and Greensboro.
The other N.C. companies to earn a perfect score are:
- Bank of America Corp. of Charlotte;
- Duke Energy Corp. of Charlotte;
- Lowe’s Cos. Inc. of Charlotte;
- Moore & Van Allen of Charlotte;
- Cargo Transporters of Claremont;
- Food Lion (owned by Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize) of Salisbury;
- Retail Business Services (also owned by Ahold Delhaize) of Salisbury;
- Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams of Taylorsville;
- Replacements Ltd. of McLeansville;
- Relias of Morrisville;
- GlaxoSmithKline, a UK company with U.S. headquarters in Research Triangle Park;
- LENOVO, a Chinese company with operational headquarters in Morrisville.
The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy group, has released its Corporate Equality Index since 2002. Companies are rated in four categories of criteria: nondiscrimination policies across business entities; equitable benefits for LGBTQ workers and their families; supporting an inclusive culture; and corporate social responsibility.
The primary source of information for the index comes from surveys sent to businesses. Nearly 1,150 businesses participated in the 2021 survey, and a record 767 companies received the top score of 100 for LGBTQ-inclusive workplace policies this year. That’s up from 686 in 2020. In 2002, only 13 companies earned a top score.
“From the previously unimaginable impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, to a long overdue reckoning with racial injustice, 2020 was an unprecedented year. Yet, many businesses across the nation stepped up and continued to prioritize and champion LGBTQ equality. The progress made since the CEI’s inception is truly astounding and proves these initiatives have a deep impact on the day-to-day lives of LGBTQ workers,” said Alphonso David, president of the HRC, in a news release.