WASHINGTON, DC – The nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, the Human Rights Campaign, released its 2021 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) this week, and several grocery retailers scored 100% in this year’s report: Food Lion, The GIANT Co., Giant Eagle, Hannaford Supermarkets, Kroger, Meijer, Target and Walmart.
The CEI is benchmarking survey and report that measures company policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality. This year, a record-breaking 767 businesses earned the CEI’s top score of 100, up from 686 last year—a single-year increase of almost 12%.
“From the previously unimaginable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, to a long overdue reckoning with racial injustice, 2020 was an unprecedented year,” said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “Yet, many businesses across the nation stepped up and continued to prioritize and champion LGBTQ equality. The progress made since the CEI’s inception is truly astounding and proves these initiatives have a deep impact on the day-to-day lives of LGBTQ workers.”
In celebration of scoring a 100, Pittsburg-based Giant Eagle is marking the achievement by donating $20,000 to LGBTQ support organizations. A $5,000 contribution will be made to the Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation in Pennsylvania, the Kaleidoscope Youth Center in Columbus, the Indiana Youth Group, and School of One at the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland.
“We are fiercely committed to creating an inclusive, equitable and diverse work environment where every one of our 34,000 Team Members feels welcome as a valued member of our family and we are extremely appreciative of this recognition by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation,” said Jeremy Shapira, Giant Eagle chief inclusion, equity and diversity officer. “While our Corporate Equality Index score is evidence that we are progressing in the right direction, we invite and encourage our team members to share their unique perspectives and experiences to help us understand how we can continue to grow and better serve our LGBTQ community.”
The CEI rates companies on detailed criteria falling under four central pillars:
Non-discrimination policies across business entities;
Equitable benefits for LGBTQ workers and their families;
Supporting an inclusive culture; and,
Corporate social responsibility.
This year marked Kroger’s third time in scoring perfectly on the equality index. The Cincinnati-based retailer offers an associate resource group to uplift LGBTQ employees and allies, provides same-sex partner benefits and transgender-inclusive healthcare, and partners with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce to create and enhance relationships with LGBTQ suppliers.
In addition to these highlights, Kroger also recently announced its Framework for Action: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion plan, featuring both immediate and longer-term steps developed in collaboration with associates and leaders to accelerate and promote greater change in the workplace and in the communities the organization serves.
"We are grateful to the Human Rights Campaign for recognizing our continued actions to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for the LGBTQ community across the Kroger family of companies," said Tim Massa, Kroger's senior vice president and chief people officer. "We remain committed to doing the work it takes to create long-lasting culture change and equality in our workplace."