For the third consecutive year, Baker & Daniels LLP has earned the top rating of 100 percent in the Corporate Equality Index (CEI), an annual survey administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and announced today.
Baker & Daniels also was again the only Indiana-based law firm to earn the top rating.
For the past nine years, the CEI has examined corporate policies affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees in various industries throughout the country. In the new 2011 report, 338 businesses achieved the top rating of 100 percent, compared with 305 with top ratings a year ago — an 11 percent increase.
The survey rates businesses on a scale of 0 percent to 100 percent on various factors, including:
- Written non-discrimination policies and training covering sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Insurance coverage for transgender-related treatments.
- Health insurance, bereavement and family leave policies for same-sex partners of employees.
- Hosting of LGBT employee groups.
- Engagement in appropriate and respectful advertising to the community.
- Support of community organizations.
- Decline to engage in any activities that would undermine the goal of equal rights for LGBT people.
Baker & Daniels has developed a number of diversity programs, including nondiscrimination policies that include sexual orientation, gender identity and expression; diversity and inclusion training; and parity in domestic partner health insurance and other benefits, including COBRA and bereavement.
Recognizing that Indiana did not have a LGBT-advocacy platform, the firm in 2006 organized an internal LGBT pro bono work group, which presented a series of organizational seminars for organizations serving the LGBT community. After an internal diversity assessment through interviews and focus groups conducted by Boston-based Global Novations, Baker & Daniels implemented an action plan that includes diversity and inclusion training for all firm employees in all offices. The training also includes LGBT content.
Baker & Daniels embraces a broad definition of diversity, targeting initiatives on multiple fronts. In addition to LGBT outreach, the firm regularly participates in minority job fairs and annually awards two $10,000 diversity scholarships with guaranteed placements in the firm's summer associate program to second-year law students of diverse backgrounds at the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis, Indiana University Maurer School of Law-Bloomington or the University of Notre Dame Law School.
A total of 844 companies were rated in the 2011 CEI, including the entire Fortune 500. In all, 263 Fortune 500 companies voluntarily submitted surveys; the remaining 229 were rated based upon publicly-available data. In addition, 66 Fortune 1000 companies, 130 law firms and 156 other companies voluntarily participated in the 2011 CEI.
ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality. HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all. HRC advocating for equal rights and benefits in the workplace, ensuring families are treated equally under the law and increasing public support among all Americans through innovative advocacy, education and outreach programs. HRC works to secure equal rights for LGBT individuals and families at the federal and state levels by lobbying elected officials, mobilizing grassroots supporters, educating Americans, investing strategically to elect fair-minded officials and partnering with other LGBT organizations. For more information, visit www.hrc.org.