The Corporate View: ENDA is the floor — not the ceiling
- Part 1 – ENDA is the Floor
- Part 2 – A Useful Tool
- Part 3 – What the new CEI criteria means
- Part 3a – Transgender Health Benefits
Although highly unlikely that anything substantively pro LGBT equality will be considered in the next two years — and ENDA probably won't see the light of day — it's important to remember that ENDA only tackles the base issue of LGBT-workplace inclusion.
Over the last decade, the business community has made tremendous strides in implementing LGBT-inclusive policies and practices — over and beyond just "non-discrimination". You need only look at the latest HRC Corporate Equality Index report to see that Corporate America is far ahead of our political leaders.
Marriage-equality aside, the public (in poll after poll) comes down on the side of non-discrimination. When Ronald Reagan spoke out against job discrimination in the Briggs Initiative in 1978, it was a moment of political courage. And while today's GOP is more likely to tolerate the homophobic rantings of Jim Demint, they represent a continuously shrinking base.
On the other hand, many Democrats — who are almost perfunctory in checking the box for LGBT workplace equality — rarely show any political courage at all unless "all signs point to success". The exceptions have to fight through inertia and political homophobia on issue after issue — even though supporting LGBT equality is seen as politically neutral or positive by the electorate.
Indeed, were it not for rank trans & homophobia from the right and political trans & homophobia from the center and left, ENDA — on its face — should be an easy win.
Why has the general public moved so rapidly over the last 20-25 years?
I come back to the Corporate America — where the business case for LGBT-inclusive workplace policies and practices has been made… and the wherewithall to make it happen is nearly universally viewed as a positive factor in the bottom line.
Over the next several diary posts, I will be sharing more insights into "the corporate view".
- How the HRC Corporate Equality Index can be (and is) used to produce change
- What the new CEI 3.0 criteria means for transgender-inclusion, marital equality and other LGBT issues
- Myths, barriers and approaches to transgender wellness benefits
- What does "employment non-discrimination" really mean when talking about LGBT issues?
- Strategies for moving forward
For the record, I am not a plant or employee of HRC. I am a cisgender, middle-aged, white male. I'm currently the co-Chair of Out & Equal Houston, and formerly the President of Chevron's global PRIDE Employee Network — where (during my tenure) I helped get the company to implement trans-inclusive non-discrimination policies, authored the company's transgender guidebook, and garner Chevron's endorsement of a fully inclusive ENDA.
The materials and data I will be sharing come from my own files over the last 15 years and public records — as well as data from HRC, various Out & Equal Workplace Summit workshops and resources garnered from networking.
Something to chew on prior to my next diary post:
20 Steps to an "Out & Equal Workplace"
EQUAL POLICIES AND BENEFITS
- Include sexual orientation in global non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies.
- Include gender identity and expression in global non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies.
- Recognize same-sex couples and their families with full, equal access to all company benefits.
- Ensure that global health coverage includes complete health benefits for transgender employees.
TALENT MANAGEMENT AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
- Establish and support LGBT employee resource groups.
- Recruit, hire, and offer mentoring to LGBT employees
- Provide leadership development experiences specifically for LGBT employees.
- Track recruitment and career development metrics for LGBT employees who choose to self identify.
- Provide diversity training with specific reference to LGBT issues – for all employees.
- Use anonymous climate surveys to measure effectiveness of LGBT diversity policies and programs.
- Include LGBT diversity objectives in management performance goals.
- Communicate routinely to all employees about how the organization supports its LGBT workforce.
- Support nonprofit groups working for LGBT equality.
- Sponsor and encourage visible participation in LGBT cultural events.
- Include LGBT images in marketing and advertising strategies.
- Include LGBT owned businesses in supplier diversity program objectives.
ADVOCACY & CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY
- Be a visible role model for LGBT workplace equality in the community.
- Support public policy efforts that protect LGBT workplace equality.
- Oppose actively any attempts that would limit or restrict LGBT workplace equality.
- Share leading practices on LGBT workplace equality by supporting Out & Equal or the workplace equality organization of your choice!