In today's workforce, employees still face persistent discrimination and unfair treatment due to their gender, age, race, and sexual orientation. But some companies have been better at embracing diversity than others.
Glassdoor.com , an online jobs and career community where people share workplace insights, recently ranked the 25 best companies for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees.
To compile its list, Glassdoor looked at the 250-plus companies on the Human Rights Campaign Best Places to Work 2013 list and compared the companies' overall ratings on Glassdoor.com, which are based on employee-generated reviews from Feb. 2013 through Feb. 2014.
"This list underscores the companies where diversity is appreciated, supported, and embraced," says Scott Dobroski, Glassdoor's Community Expert. "At several of these firms we're seeing some efforts that specifically support their LGBT employees, from employee groups to community outreach."
Here are the 25 most LGBT-friendly employers, with an employee testimonial for each:
1. Bain & Company
"If there was ever a company that invested in its people it's Bain. Local and global training, formal mentorship and sponsor programs, diversity initiatives, customized learning, learning through apprenticeship — that's all Bain." — Bain & Company Manager (Sydney, Australia)
2. Orbitz Worldwide
"Diverse, very LGBT friendly, flexible work environment, and great benefits." — Orbitz Worldwide Employee (Chicago, IL)
"Very pro-women, pro-LGBT, pro-minority environment. I'm a female software engineer and have not seen a shred of the sexism or attitude towards women that I've experienced at other workplaces." — Google Software Engineer III (Mountain View, CA)
4. McKinsey & Company
"Big brains, large network, fantastic diversity of people, studies, geographies, great support teams (research), superb professional development framework." — McKinsey & Company Associate (Brussels, Belgium)
5. Boston Consulting Group
"You get to work with very, very smart people. Unrivaled HR support related to diversity, benefits and life events." — Boston Consulting Group Employee (location n/a)
"Employee groups for African Americans, Asian Americans, Disabled, Native Americans, Latinos/Latinas, and Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Transgender people." — NIKE Senior Business Systems Analyst (Beaverton, OR)
"There is ton of diversity and some of the best people I've had a chance to work with." — Intuit Software Engineer (San Diego, CA)
"Excellent benefits. High-performance culture. Company cares about its employees and patients. Promotes diversity and inclusion more than any employer I have ever worked for." — Genentech Employee (Oceanside, CA)
"Good procedures and nice people around. Focus on safety, environment and diversity." — Chevron Senior Facilities Eng (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
"Apple covers same-sex couples on health insurance and includes the difference one has to pay for imputed income. Stock purchase plan is good, and so is the 401(k)." — Apple Business Specialist (Bellevue, WA)
11. Ford Motor
"Employees in the company value diversity." — Ford Motor Employee (location n/a)
"Hyatt offers endless career opportunities, always supports different organizations around the community, promotes and celebrates diversity!" — Hyatt Recruiting Manager (San Diego, CA)
"Employees are some of the most talented and intelligent I have met. Cultural diversity is amazing." — eBay Employee (San Jose, CA)
14. Bristol-Myers Squibb
"Very strong talent development culture and programs. Outstanding group of people to work with. Happy place to work." — Bristol-Myers Squibb Director (Lawrenceville, NJ)
"Overall fun perks, people who are passionate about the Disney Brands, engaging and inclusive environment, embrace diversity and promotes internal movement." — Disney Employee (location n/a)
16. Monsanto & Company
"Good atmosphere and the company's efforts toward diversity are best reasons to work for Monsanto." — Monsanto & Company IT Co-Op Employee (Creve Coeur, MO)
17. Johnson & Johnson
"Excellent compensation and benefits if you are a permanent hire. Great place for diversity! Most senior leaders are happy to spend time mentoring younger hires." — Johnson & Johnson Communications Specialist (New Brunswick, NJ)
18. Sony Pictures Entertainment
"Generally regarded as the best, most positive work culture amongst all the Hollywood studios. Extensive employee training opportunities, flexible working hours, supportive management, excellent benefits and pay, embraces all forms of diversity." — Sony Pictures Entertainment Executive Director (Culver City, CA)
"Lots of talented colleagues one can learn from, a shape up or ship out performance culture, good gender balance and diversity initiatives support a great mix in teams." — Unilever Supply Chain Manager (Hamburg, Germany)
"Encouraging diversity (employee action committees for everything from gay & lesbian group to discussion groups for homeowners); flexible work environment (wired everywhere); and good amenities." — Microsoft Employee (location n/a)
21. A.T. Kearney
"Beyond just the typical business growth, their targets also include employee engagement, workplace diversity, and workplace flexibility. All of these growth initiatives manifest themselves into opportunities for employees to get unparalleled experiences." — A.T. Kearney Associate (Chicago, IL)
"Diversity, not just ethnicity and gender, but age, shapes, sizes, styles, heights, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. Great work life balance. Now is a rare time to personally make a big impact at a very large company." — Yahoo Employee (Sunnyvale, CA)
"Feels great working with some of the best brains in the business, Strong emphasis on employee health, resilience and diversity." — GlaxoSmithKline Director (New York, NY)
24. Cisco Systems
"The employees are hard-working, and are top notch. There are very nice employee programs for diversity, women, and role-specific communities." — Cisco Systems Program Manager (location n/a)
25. General Mills
"Most importantly, the company's dedication to ethical behavior, community outreach, and diversity is impressive and are the top reasons I'm proud to work for this company!" —General Mills Senior Engineer (Minneapolis, MN)
At Bain, which tops the list as the No. 1 LGBT-friendly company, "we see a theme of employees speaking very highly of the company investing in its people and supporting its workforce, which includes encouraging and valuing diversity across teams and the work itself," Dobroski says.
The Bain LGBT Association for Diversity (BGLAD) was established over 10 years ago to support the recruitment and retention of talented LGBT colleagues. For over two decades, the company has also had a non-discrimination policy that provides LGBT employees with the opportunity to work as openly and "out" as they feel comfortable, the Bain website says. The company is also the first global consulting firm in the U.S. to offer reimbursement to same-sex couples for federal taxes levied on domestic partner health benefits.
At Orbitz, the No. 2 company, Dobroski says employees admire the company culture, which not only supports, but seeks out diversity in its workers. "Employees speak very favorably about an incredibly LGBT-friendly atmosphere that embraces employees' differences."
Orbitz, the only online travel agency with a perfect Corporate Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign, has an LGBT employee group, which is open to gay and straight employees and meets on a monthly basis. It also s igned the Amicus brief sent to the Supreme Court in 2013 calling for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and has won the GLAAD Advertising Award twice for LGBT-inclusive TV advertising.
Google rounded out the top three. Dobroski says employees "appreciate the diverse environment, which includes embracing their LGBT employees and providing community support for them and their families." For example, Google has increased its transgender benefits, it has taken a public stance on Proposition 8 in California, it has established its "Gayglers LGBT network," and encourages employees to take part in pride parades.
Dobroski says more and more companies are seeking out diversity in their workforce today as they're realizing that a diverse workforce often leads to new ideas and new initiatives, "which can only support business objectives."
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