Last week, the Human Rights Campaign released its 2008 Corporate Equality Index, which rates major U.S. companies on their LGBT friendliness, based on inclusive benefits, anti-discrimination policies, marketing, and philanthropy. A record 195 businesses earned the top rating of 100 percent. I didn’t blog about it last week, however, because I saw Working Mother magazine was this week releasing its own 100 Best Companies list, measuring companies on their “workforce profile, compensation, child care, flexibility, time off and leaves, family-friendly programs and company culture.” I thought a comparison would be more interesting than a rehash of the HRC press release.
The comparison of Working Mother’s Best to HRC’s 100-percenters can’t be apples-to-apples, however. Unlike HRC, which only includes relatively large companies, and not colleges or universities, Working Mother includes private and public firms of any size, including educational institutions, except for those “in the business of providing work/life or child-care services.” They also limit their list to 100 picks, whereas HRC will include any company that meets the 100-percent requirements.
Having said that, I think it’s worth noting the 50 companies that make both lists:
|Allstate Insurance||Dow Corning||Johnson & Johnson||Morgan Stanley|
|Arnold & Porter||DuPont||JPMorgan Chase||Northern Trust|
|Bank of America||Eli Lilly||KPMG||Pfizer|
|Boston Consulting Group||Ernst & Young||Kraft Foods||Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman|
|Bristol-Myers Squibb||Fannie Mae||Lehman Brothers||Pricewaterhouse- coopers|
|Capital One Financial||Ford Motor||Marriott International||Principal Financial Group|
|Carlson Companies||Genentech||Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance||Prudential Financial|
|Chrysler||General Mills||McKinsey & Co.||S. C. Johnson & Son|
|Cisco||Glaxosmithkline||Merck & Co.||Schering-Plough|
|Citigroup||Goldman Sachs||Merrill Lynch||UBS|
|Credit Suisse Securities||Hewlett-Packard||Metlife||Wachovia|
|Deloitte & Touche||IBM|
Seven of the companies on Working Mother’s Top Ten are also HRC 100-percenters: Ernst & Young, General Mills, IBM, KPMG, Pricewaterhousecoopers, UBS, and Wachovia. (Of the other three, Booz Allen Hamilton and McGraw Hill get respectable 80′s from HRC, and Baptist Health South Florida wasn’t rated.)
As I said in my post on these rankings last year, however, there are as many diversity lists and rankings as there are categories of diversity. DiversityInc, for example, has its own overall top diversity picks, as well as ones in various specialty categories, including GLBT. Black Enterprise also compiles its own lists, broken out into Marketing, Supplier, Senior Management, Workforce, and Corporate Board Diversity. With different criteria and sizes of lists, it’s hard to draw any firm conclusions about the fact that a company appears on one and not another. (Working Mother doesn’t rate childcare providers, for example, which means it doesn’t look at Bright Horizons, an HRC 100-percenter.) The companies that appear on more than one list are worth investigating further if you have an interest in those list topics, but they are not the only companies you should consider.
A few glaring differences do stand out, though. Wal-Mart makes DiversityInc’s 2007 Top 50 Companies for Diversity, but gets a paltry 40 from HRC. Colgate-Palmolive is there, too, but with a 58 from HRC.
It also strikes me that these various lists should look harder at the political donations a company makes, to see if they are funding candidates who would undermine their diversity goals. What if a top company for Working Mother is a big supporter of a politician who has voted against SCHIP, for example, even if they are funding him because of his stance on some other piece of legislation? Environmental practices and overall business ethics are also factors to keep in mind, no matter how diverse the firm.
Still, these lists can be valuable if only because they provide some rough guidelines for consumers and prospective employees, and serve as badges of honor to which companies want to aspire in order to attract said consumers and employees. Used judiciously, they’re a good thing, as long as we remain aware of their limitations.
(Want to be depressed? Look at Working Mother’s list of Parent Perks Around the World. Then go to MomsRising to see what they’re doing to work towards such policies—more than mere “perks,” in my opinion—here in the U.S.)
What do you consider when evaluating a company as a consumer or prospective employee? Has parenthood changed this?