Union Pacific (UP) and Amtrak on Jan. 27 reported receiving ratings of 100% and 90%, respectively, on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI) for 2022.
The annual index (download below) is a national benchmarking tool on corporate policies, practices and benefits pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees. Scored out of 100, the rating assesses LGBTQ+ workplace equality.
To earn high marks, companies must meet the CEI’s criteria in four categories: workforce protections of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression; inclusive benefits and health plans; supporting an inclusive culture and corporate social responsibility; and responsible citizenship.
The 1,271 companies rated this year include Fortune magazine’s 500 largest publicly traded businesses, American Lawyer magazine’s top 200 revenue-grossing law firms (AmLaw 200), and hundreds of publicly and privately held mid- to large-sized businesses (500 full-time employees and above) that encompass all major industry sectors, according to the Human Rights Campaign. The 842 companies scoring 100% earned the title: “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality” in 2022.
“Union Pacific is proud to lead the rail industry on its journey to creating greater workplace equality,” said UP Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer Beth Whited, one of Railway Age’s 2021 Women in Rail honorees. “This recognition is the culmination of our team working together for decades to relentlessly drive change.”
“Our 100% score reflects the hard work we’ve undertaken to better align our policies and programs with our railroad’s values,” UP Assistant Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Debra Schrampfer said. “We broadened our benefit offerings to be more inclusive to LGBTQ+ employees, created an environment of belonging with strategic and sustained programming, empowered our systems with gender-neutral optionality, and promoted learning opportunities for all.”
UP offers nine employee-led Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that help promote a diverse and inclusive culture for all employees. The Class I railroad said that BRIDGES, its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Employee Network, has played a “critical role advancing policies that affect the LGBTQ+ community.”
“At Amtrak, doing the right thing is core to our value system,” Amtrak President and CEO Stephen Gardner said. “Being recognized by the Human Rights Campaign validates Amtrak’s work to continue building a diverse and inclusive workplace.”
“We actively support our LGBTQ+ employees,” Amtrak Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Qiana Spain said. “This acknowledgment is the result of our efforts to make all employees feel valued and respected. We are honored to join the growing list of companies that strive to champion members of the LGBTQ+ community.”
Amtrak currently has seven ERGs, including Express Pride for members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies.
Among the other companies on the CEI list are AECOM (100%), Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. (100%), CSX (75%), and Norfolk Southern (75%).