When it comes to equality in the workplace, New Jersey's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community fares pretty well, according to the Human Rights Campaign's 2015 Corporate Equality Index.

(Catherine Yeulet, ThinkStock)
(Catherine Yeulet, ThinkStock)

The index ranked 781 companies across the country, including 35 in the Garden State.

According to the report, the average score for companies and law firms in New Jersey was 80 percent. Of the 35 companies that were ranked, 13 earned 100 percent, six earned 90 percent or above and two earned 80 percent or above.

"What is unique about New Jersey is that you have such a close cluster of the nation's top businesses and across those lists, you have incredible diversity," said Deena Fidas, director of the Workplace Equality Program at the Human Rights Campaign.  "You see essentially a microcosm of the American workforce in New Jersey."

The following New Jersey companies received a 100 percent rating:

  • Alcatel-Lucent
  • Automatic Data Processing Inc.
  • BASF Corporation
  • Campbell Soup Company
  • Chubb Corporation
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Merck & Company Inc.
  • Mondelez International Inc.
  • Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
  • Pearson Inc.
  • Prudential Financial Inc.
  • Unilever
  • Wyndham Worldwide Corporation

In order to earn a 100 percent, each company has to meet every criteria which includes having both sex orientation and gender identity in their own company non-discrimination policy, domestic partner benefits, transgender inclusive benefits, internal organizational educational practices and a public commitment to the LGBT community.

"That 100 percent really does reflect a comprehensive gold standard of LGBT inclusion in the workplace," Fidas said.

For those businesses that have not earned a 100 percent, some of the gaps are in inclusive benefits, specifically transgender inclusive benefits.

"We also see room to grow when it comes to the types of programming and diverse and inclusion training that starts to move that policy into an every day practice of inclusion," Fidas said. "The key room for growth is really in implementing more robust internal accountability metrics for diversity and inclusion, educational programming and also employee resource group programming."

In total, the report ranked 781 companies, up from 734 in the 2014 report, and unofficially rated 190 Fortune 500 companies that have yet to respond to the survey about their LGBT policies and practices. Among the key national findings in the report:

  • 366 companies earned a 100 percent in the 2015 CEI, up from 304 in the 2014 report, and 189 two years ago.
  • 89 percent of participants now cover gender identity in their non-discrimination policies, up from 86 percent last year.
  • 66 percent of all Fortune 500 companies have gender identity protections, up from 61 percent last year.
  • 190 Fortune 500 companies were given unofficial scores based on publicly available information.


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