Amazon, Kroger, Walgreens and Walmart earn perfect scores for LGBTQ policies

Discussion
Photo: Amazon
Jan 22, 2020
George Anderson

Retailers rose to the top of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s eighteenth annual “Corporate Equality Index” (CEI) report, which rates workplaces on their policies and treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees.

Amazon.com, Kroger, Walgreens and Walmart each earned a 100 rating and HRC’s designation as a “Best Place to Work” for LGBTQ employees. HRC promotes high CEI scores as a recruiting tool for employers. The commitment to equality such as same-sex partner benefits, transgender-inclusive healthcare and a public commitment to the LGBTQ community that comes with a top score on the CEI leads to high retention levels, the organization claims.

Kroger earned a perfect CEI score for the second year in a row.

“This recognition reinforces the people-first, inclusive culture that we’ve built at Kroger,” said Tim Massa,  Kroger’s senior vice president and chief people officer, in a statement. “It’s also a testament to the LGBTQ associates and allies who have shown us what we do well and where we can improve.” 

Employer-provided benefits, most notably healthcare coverage, are critical to recruitment and retention. Benefits packages, which typically account for around 30 percent of the total compensation for workers, are critical to job satisfaction. The HRC Foundation’s report called the cost of a company denying equal benefits coverage to LGBTQ employees and their families “profound.”

Amazon, Kroger, Walgreens and Walmart earn perfect scores for LGBTQ policies
Photo: Macy’s

The HRC Foundation recommends same-sex partner benefits and transgender-inclusive healthcare as relatively low-cost ways for employers to create inclusive and equitable work environments. Most employers, according to the report, see a 3.5 percent increase in their total outlay when implementing partner and transgender benefits.

HRC president Alphonso David, speaking at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, said employers have come to understand the business case for LGBTQ-friendly policies.

“These companies know that protecting their LGBTQ employees and customers from discrimination is not just the right thing to do — it is also the best business decision,” Mr. David said. “In addition, many of these leaders are also advocating for the LGBTQ community and equality under the law in the public square … businesses understand their LGBTQ employees and customers deserve to be seen, valued and respected not only at work, but in every aspect of daily life.” 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see as the current state of LGBTQ affairs within the retailing industry? Do you find the business case for extending employer-provided benefits to LGBTQ employees, their partners and families compelling?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Kudos to those retailers who have stepped up to the plate on this. "
"As retailers increasingly find themselves competing with progressive, perk-heavy technology platforms for talent – inclusiveness isn’t a nice-to-have, it’s a must-do."
"The companies cited in this CEI Report deserve a tip of the hat."

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4 Comments on "Amazon, Kroger, Walgreens and Walmart earn perfect scores for LGBTQ policies"


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Bob Phibbs
BrainTrust

Smart retailers are embracing progressive social issues and winning. In a tight labor market, you want people to be themselves and not feel slighted for not getting the same benefits. We have been marginalized too long and make some of the most competent employees. Millennials and IGens are sexual orientation, ethnicity, and gender blind. Live up to that expectation as an employer and diversity become a fulfilled mission, not a bullet point for investors.

Zel Bianco
BrainTrust

Kudos to those retailers who have stepped up to the plate on this. I believe this will make the retail industry one that those who happen to be in the LGBTQ community feel welcomed in and accommodated by. It will also go a long way in positioning Walmart and Kroger as being progressive in a very positive way. I say that as Kroger and Walmart, especially, have stores located in some rural and very conservative areas of the country and will hopefully do quite a bit to have their fellow citizens wake up to the fact that the LGBTQ community is not going away and that they should be treated fairly in every way possible. Although some corporations have adopted this policy in other sectors of business, I am proud of what these retailers have done and they should be called out for their efforts.

Carol Spieckerman
BrainTrust

As retailers increasingly find themselves competing with progressive, perk-heavy technology platforms for talent – inclusiveness isn’t a nice-to-have, it’s a must-do. Retailers must cast wider nets and ensure that all employees, however they identify, feel welcomed and safe. Corporations are taking the lead here because it’s just good business.

James Tenser
BrainTrust

National retail companies like Kroger, Walmart, Amazon, Walgreens, and Macy’s had better embrace the full spectrum of potential employees and customers or risk alienating large segments of the population. This begins as enlightened self-interest, of course, but the effect can be self-propagating, and it sets the bar for competitors. The companies cited in this CEI Report deserve a tip of the hat.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Kudos to those retailers who have stepped up to the plate on this. "
"As retailers increasingly find themselves competing with progressive, perk-heavy technology platforms for talent – inclusiveness isn’t a nice-to-have, it’s a must-do."
"The companies cited in this CEI Report deserve a tip of the hat."

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