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Opening the report, Chad Griffin, President of the Foundation says, “In what was an historic year of progress for the equal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, Corporate America stood out as a true leader in the fight for basic fairness and dignity. Both inside the boardroom and in the public eye, American companies stood by their LGBT employees in record numbers.”
He added, “This year will go down in history as the year that corporate support for equality left the boardroom and reached each and every corner of this country. More than ever, fair-minded companies are guaranteeing fair treatment and compensation to millions of LGBT employees in all 50 states.”
Concluding, Griffin said, “Since the CEI’s inception 12 years ago, the HRC Foundation and our partners have been committed to raising the bar for corporate equality. But this year proved that businesses are committed to raising that bar along with us — and sometimes to even forging ahead. That’s news worth celebrating, and it’s improving the lives of millions of LGBT people every day.”
Several International Tourism Partnership (ITP) members were among those recognised with a 100% rating, including Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corp, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Wyndham Worldwide.
The report recognises that “A strong majority of businesses are ensuring that wherever they do business, here and abroad, LGBT people enjoy the same workplace protections.” For example, 91% of Fortune 500 businesses now have a sexual orientation in non-discrimination policy.
As an industry, hotels, resorts and casinos were ranked 7th in the report with eleven companies achieving 100% in the equality index. The HRC Foundation Corporate Equality Index criteria serve as a road map for major U.S. businesses’ adoption of inclusive policies, practices and benefits for LGBT employees. Businesses that achieve a rating of 100 per cent in the report are recognised as “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality”.
The key criteria for judging were:
Additional tourism industry companies achieving the 100% rating and being recognised as a Best Place to Work include Caesars Entertainment Corp. | Las Vegas, NV; Choice Hotels International Inc. | Silver Spring, MD; Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group Inc. | San Francisco, CA; MGM Resorts International | Las Vegas, NV; The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas | Las Vegas, NV; Wynn Resorts Ltd. | Las Vegas, NV.
Additionally ITP member InterContinental Hotels Group Americas achieved a 90% rating. Others in the industry achieving a ranking include Tropicana Las Vegas; The Las Vegas, NV; Carlson Companies Inc. Minnetonka, MN; Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. Bethesda, MD; Las Vegas Sands Corp.
As the report notes, some companies have really supported LGBT communities. Hilton Worldwide for example offers "Stay Hilton. Go Out." They say, “In March 2012, the Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand launched "Stay Hilton. Go Out." as its first LGBT traveller engagement campaign, and today offers unique packages to more than 460 properties. The package welcomes LGBT travellers to experience the rich history, culture and nightlife of top gay destinations around the world. Further, Hilton Hotels & Resorts sponsored top LGBT events around the U.S., including San Francisco Pride, Capital Pride in Washington, D.C., and Northalsted Market Days in Chicago.”