Five tech and life science corporations either based in or operating major campuses across North Carolina earn perfect scores for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer equality and inclusion in the new Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index.

Our state – rubbed raw and divided by the controversial-and-repealed “bathroom bill” AKA HB2 – also has several other firms on the list, ranging from law to finance.

But since WRAL TechWire’s focus is technology and life science, here are the firms that achieved 100 scores based on a wide range of anti-discriminatory standards:

  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • LabCorp
  • Lenovo
  • IBM

Bayer, which has a crop science outpost in the Park, also made the list.

The HRC notes that Fortune 500 companies are helping lead the way toward LGBTQ equality and inclusion with 91 percent adopting a “Sexual Orientation in Non-Discrimination Policy” in 2018, up from 61 percent in 2002.

And 83 percent will have a “Gender Identity in Non-Discrimination Policy” in 2018, up from 3 percent in 2002 – the first year of the survey.

LabCorp ‘pleased’

“We are pleased to receive this recognition,” said David King, chairman and CEO of LabCorp, in a statement. “At LabCorp, we seek to set an unequivocal tone and standard of treating every person with dignity and respect. The CEI recognition demonstrates that our 57,000 colleagues around the globe hold each other accountable to these values and to a positive work environment and culture.”

LabCorp noted that this was the first time the Burlington-based firm had participated in the survey.

The 16th such index reports that more companies than every are embracing LGBTQ equality with more than 600 companies getting “100s” and a growing number of Fortune 500 firms.

“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,” says Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “It’s no surprise that many top-scoring businesses are also top-performing businesses. They know that creating inclusive workplaces and communities where their employees can thrive is an investment in their own competitive edge.”

The scorecard

Here is how the human rights group scored companies:

Rating Workplaces on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Equality

Ratings and Criteria Breakdowns: Corporate Equality Index Rating Criteria

  • 1a Prohibits Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation for All Operations (15 points)
  • 1b Prohibits Discrimination Based on Gender Identity or Expression for All Operations (15 points)
  • 1c Has Contractor/Vendor Non-Discrimination Standards that Include Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (5 points)
  • 2a Offers Equivalent Spousal and Partner Medical Benefits (10 points)
  • 2b Parity Across Spousal and Partner “Soft” Benefits (10 points) (half credit for parity across some, but not all benefits)
  • 2c Offers Transgender-Inclusive Health Insurance Coverage (10 points)
  • 3a Firm-wide Organizational Competency Programs (10 points)
  • 3b Has Employer-Supported Employee Resource Group OR Firm-Wide Diversity Council (10 points) Would Support ERG if Employees Express Interest (half credit)
  • 4 Positively Engages the External LGBTQ Community (15 points) (partial credit of 10 points given for less than 3 efforts) Have internal guidelines that prohibit philanthropic giving to non-religious organizations with an explicit policy of discrimination against LGBTQ people (5 points)

Read more about the report at: