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As Inclusive as Our Brands: Coke Again Earns Perfect Rating in HRC's Corporate Equality Index

Nov 16, 2012

The Coca-Cola Company again received a 100 percent rating from the Human Rights Campaign based on an in-depth analysis of our workplace policies and practices for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) associates.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is the nation's largest LGBT civil rights organization. Every year, the group publishes its Corporate Equality Index (CEI), widely considered to be the premiere national benchmark for LGBT workplace inclusion. Coca-Cola has received a perfect CEI rating every year since 2006.

“Earning this recognition for the seventh straight year validates our commitment to being ‘as inclusive as our brands’ and reflects progress made on our 2020 Vision journey to achieve true diversity,” said Steve Bucherati, Group Director, Global Diversity.

A total of 889 businesses were rated for the 2013 index, including the entire Fortune 500. A record 252 of these companies achieved a 100 percent rating, earning the coveted distinction of “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.” As a point of comparison, 13 businesses earned a 100 percent rating in the inaugural CEI in 2002.

To achieve a perfect score, companies must have fully inclusive equal employment opportunity policies, provide equal employment benefits, demonstrate their commitment to equality publicly and exercise responsible citizenship.

Coca-Cola was one of the first companies to publicly support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, Congressional legislation proposed to protect employees from discrimination due to sexual orientation. Discrimination based on an employee’s sexual orientation and gender identity and/or expression are included in our Equal Opportunity Policy, and we offer benefits to spouses and same-sex partners of benefits-eligible U.S. employees such as adoption, health/medical and bereavement leave.

In 2011, we implemented Workplace Gender Transition Guidelines for U.S.-based employees, who are also able to voluntarily self-identify as LGBT. This self-identification option was developed with our LGBT Business Resource Group – which was founded more than a decade ago – to help our People function better understand the demographics of U.S.-based associates and make more informed decisions on policies and practices. It builds on our 2010 decision to include sexual orientation as a demographic choice in our Employee Insights Survey.
 
The ALLY Project, a new awareness campaign created to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight ally relationships and discussions at Coca-Cola, launched in January at our Company's Atlanta Office Complex (AOC) and CCR's Wildwood and Sanctuary office locations. More than 40 senior leaders enthusiastically signed on as spokespersons for the project, and a subsequent launch recently took place in the Tampa Call Center.

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion extends far beyond the walls of our Company. Earlier this year, we became a Gold-level National Corporate Sponsor of the HRC, and a premier sponsor of NYC Pride, one of the world’s largest Pride celebrations. Our sponsorship of NYC Pride was brought to life through vitaminwater and Diet Coke activations. We also support several other Pride parades and celebrations across the U.S., as well as high-profile LGBT events such as OutFest: The 30th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, and Atlanta’s Jeffrey Fashion Cares, AV 200 Bike Ride and AIDS Walk/Run.

Additionally, we were awarded the 2011 Corporate Ally Award from the Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (AGLCC) for our commitment to identifying and growing our relationships with LGBT-certified suppliers.

Download the HRC's CEI report.

Download the HRC's 2013 Buyer's Guide