U.S. Bank is recognized for leadership in LGBT equality

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The Human Rights Campaign Foundation names U.S. Bank a “Best Place to Work” for the 10th year.

Each year, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC) conducts an LGBT rights-focused Corporate Equality Index (CEI), in which it evaluates businesses from a diverse set of industries in regards to their policies and benefits. High scorers are designated Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality. As of 2017, U.S. Bank has proudly earned a score of 100 percent for 10 years in a row.

The HRC CEI rates businesses on detailed criteria in five main categories, including: non-discrimination policies, employment benefits, demonstrated organizational competency and accountability around LGBT diversity and inclusion, public commitment to LGBT equality and responsible citizenship.

Below, HRC Deputy Director of Employee Engagement, Workplace Equality Program, Beck Bailey, and U.S. Bank Vice President, Global Inclusion & Diversity, Greg Cunningham, provide insight into the CEI and what it means to have a perfect score for a decade.

What does it mean for a company to be rated on the CEI, and to receive the distinction of Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality?

Beck Bailey: This distinction reflects their commitment to sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination protections, at home and around the world, as well as adopting LGBT-inclusive practices and benefits such as establishing employee resource groups and offering trans-inclusive health benefits. 

What has made U.S. Bank a leader for 10 years in a row for the CEI?

Greg Cunningham: U.S. Bank has a strong commitment to fairness toward everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religious affiliation or sexual orientation. Our policies and programs to support LGBT employees are strengthened with the guidance of our Spectrum Business Resource Group (BRG). We currently have five Spectrum chapters across the country, with plans to add three more in 2017. Our BRGs enhance U.S. Bank’s ability to attract and retain diverse candidates, provide networking opportunities and education, deepen relationships in the community and recommend ways to drive business results among our diverse customer base.

BB: Holding this achievement for a decade is just one indicator of U.S. Bank’s track record as a leader committed to inclusion across the entire spectrum of workforce diversity, including LGBT workers. 

From your perspective, does anything set U.S. Bank apart from other companies that also have a score of 100 percent?

BB: With more than 73,000 employees across 25 states, U.S. Bank does a great job of involving its employees across its footprint, in both metro and community areas. U.S. Bank has a robust network of LGBT-focused Business Resource Groups, which continues to grow each year, engaging members of the LGBT community and its allies. Executives and leaders across the company are also very involved with diversity and inclusion work. We have a U.S. Bank employee serving on the HRC board of governors. This person serves as an unpaid volunteer, and helps shape and guide the work we do with the LGBT community across the country. 

GC: I think our uniqueness is not in policy, but in our leadership and inclusive culture. We have an expectation that all of our leaders will create safe emotional spaces for team members to share thoughts, opinions and experiences that allow them to bring their authentic selves to the workplace. No matter what differences we have, our core values as U.S. Bankers make us one community. Drawing strength from diversity is one of our five core values.

What can other companies do to create better culture, policies and procedures for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees?

BB: Certainly, participating in HRC’s CEI is always a great way to start building a foundation for LGBT inclusion, including policies, practices and benefits. So, if your company isn’t already participating, encourage them to do so. From there, companies can focus on building a warm, welcoming environment and inclusive culture. Building an inclusive culture is a journey that requires continued dialogue, opportunities for learning and engagement, and ongoing commitment so that people can connect across all dimensions of difference. 

What can an employee do to become more active in changing the culture, procedures and policies in their own company?

BB: Get involved! Join your company’s LGBT employee network or resource group – whether as an LGBT person or as an ally. If you’re an ally, get into conversations – learn what you don’t know and ask how you can be supportive!