Yesterday, ExxonMobil shareholders for the 14th year in a row rejected a resolution to add sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to the company’s Equal Employment Opportunity policy—a policy that had been in place in the Mobil corporation before its merger with Exxon. And in a test conducted by LGBT group Freedom to Work, the company called back a less-qualified applicant over a more-qualified one, with the main difference in their resumes being that the latter volunteered with an LGBT-rights organization. So where will you fill up to take the kids to soccer practice?
In a society where “mom” is often synonymous with “chauffeur” (I’m observing, not condoning), I believe that we moms (and parents in general) can have an impact with our fuel buying habits. I know; sometimes the necessities of location and parenting mean that we have to stop at the nearest gas station in order to make it home in time for the sitter or to get to the dance recital. Sometimes that station will be an ExxonMobil. When we have a choice, though, I hope we can make it a conscious one to go elsewhere. (Those of sufficient means might even consider donating a certain amount to LGBT organizations every time you’re forced by necessity to use an ExxonMobil.)
GetEqual informs us:
Even among its Big Oil peers, ExxonMobil has an abysmal record on LGBT issues. According to the Human Rights Campaign’s 2013 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), here’s how other Big Oil companies scored: On a scale of 0 to 100, Shell Oil had a score of 95, British Petroleum (BP) had a score of 90, and Conoco Phillips had a score of 55 (they protect sexual orientation but not gender identity), but on the same 0-to-100 scale, ExxonMobil had a score of -25 — negative 25 points. Only one other company in the top 20 Fortune-rated companies scored below a 55 on the CEI scale.
They also remind us that President Obama could have an impact here by issuing an executive order to ban federal contractors like ExxonMobil from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. That wouldn’t be a full solution, but would have a positive effect until such time as a full, federal Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) passes.
Of course, I’m all for walking and biking when possible anyway, and for the development of cleaner energy solutions. When I need to drive, though, you can bet I’ll be planning a route that lets me gas up somewhere other than ExxonMobil.