Published in Economic Development

6 West Michigan companies earn top grades for LGBTQ equality workplaces

BY Thursday, January 28, 2021 04:40pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Six West Michigan corporations earned top scores in this year’s Corporate Equality Index rankings recently published by the Human Rights Campaign, showcasing the companies as among the best places to work for LGBTQ equality.The companies that earned perfect scores of 100 are Herman Miller Inc., Meijer Inc., Steelcase Inc., Stryker Corp., Whirlpool Corp. and Kellogg Co.

“We’re committed to listening, learning and working to create a safe, equitable workplace for everyone, and it’s an honor to be recognized for our efforts with a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index,” Steelcase President and CEO Jim Keane said in a statement. “Congratulations to our employees, who live out our values and push us to be better every day.”

The HRC Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index was launched in 2002 and was designed for businesses with at least 500 employees. It ranks businesses on LGBTQ workplace policies, practices and beliefs. Participants in the CEI rankings are asked a series of questions about their company’s LGBTQ-inclusive policies, practices and beliefs surrounding workforce protections, inclusive benefits, supporting an inclusive culture and corporate social responsibility.

Companies lose points if workforce protections are not inclusive of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions. Businesses that were found to have a connection with an anti-LBGTQ organization or activity were also contacted by the HRC Foundation and provided an opportunity to respond and ensure, to the best of its ability, that no such action would occur in the future and to mitigate harm done. Businesses unwilling to take this course of action were deducted 25 points from their overall rating.

Other perfect scores across Michigan went to Detroit-based Dickinson Wright PLLC, Midland-base Dow Chemical Co., Detroit-based Dykema Gossett PLLC and Troy-based Kelly Services Inc.

Michigan’s two major utilities — Jackson-based Consumers Energy and Detroit-based DTE Energy — were also included in the list. Consumers’ score improved to 90 from 75 last year while DTE remained at 75 in this year’s ranking.

Grand Rapids-based SpartanNash Co. scored 65 points out of 100 in this year’s report, showing no improvement from last year. 

A spokesperson from SpartanNash was not immediately available for comment. The company is the fifth largest food distributor in the U.S. with 155 corporate-owned retail stores in nine states and distribution operations to 2,100 independent locations throughout the country, according to the grocer’s website. The company has nearly 19,000 employees. 

According to SpartanNash’s social and environmental progress report, the company’s main focus for its diversity and inclusion efforts in 2018 and 2019 were in two areas: recruiting, developing and retaining women and veterans.

Sources used to compile the report include the HRC Foundation’s CEI survey, Internal Revenue Service 990 tax filings, court records and media coverage on findings of discrimination and corporate responsibility, and the LGBTQ community at-large.

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