Research into the 2018 Best Workplaces in Technology, announced today by Great Place to Work and FORTUNE, reveals that tech companies struggling to create an inclusive workplace should foster an environment where each employee can be their own authentic self, regardless of their age, gender, race, or what they do within the organization.
Up to 30 percent of tech workers feel they can’t be themselves at work. That feeling reduces employee innovation, effort, and retention.
Employees at winning cultures are 6x more likely to recruit their friends on behalf of their company. Overall, best workplaces see half the voluntary turnover of peer companies. Employee recommendations and lower turnover help nurture a diverse workplace.
“Many companies offer great experiences such shark tank sessions and hackathons,” said Michael Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work. “But the best tech companies offer meaningful experiences relevant to their organization that resonate with every employee, creating a culture that welcomes all into every program, tapping into the unique genius of every person.”
Great Place to Work surveyed more than 79,000 employees across the information technology industry, assessing 50-plus elements of the workplace. These include trust in managers, compensation, fairness, camaraderie and workplace traits linked to innovation. The ranking accounted for the experiences of all employees including women, people of color, LGBT individuals, older team members and disabled employees.
California State Treasurer John Chiang Thursday officially rolled out CBIG.ca.gov, the California Business Incentives Gateway. The online gateway connects business owners and entrepreneurs to incentives to help them grow and create jobs.
“CBIG is open for business. California is launching its version of Amazon or Angie’s List, but instead of connecting people with products or services, we will be connecting businesses — ranging from local mom-and-pops to multinational corporations — with the economic incentives, permitting assistance, and employee training that they need to grow and prosper,” said Chiang. “Today, there are hundreds of incentives and opportunities for businesses just a click away, tomorrow there will be thousands. We are taking a page from the innovative marketplaces pioneered by California’s tech sector to propel not just business creation and expansion, but ultimately job, jobs, and more jobs.”
The CBIG site makes it easy for businesses expanding or locating in California to find and apply for incentives as part of a strategic business plan. Counties, cities and municipalities have been loading the site with incentives during a beta trial over the past year.
CBIG provides access to scores of incentives, including those overseen by the Treasurer, such as tax credits, loans and bond financing.
Incentives on CBIG include:
Sales tax exclusions
Reduced utility rates
Among businesses already seeing the potential of using the CBIG portal is Aemerge RedPak Services. Aemerge converts problematic waste into clean energy. The company recently was awarded millions in tax-exempt bonds and a $3.1 million sales tax exclusion from the State Treasurer’s Office to build a state-of-the-art medical waste recycling processing plant in the City of Hesperia.
“The new business incentives gateway website created by the State Treasurer’s Office represents a new and useful tool to view many of the programs that we have used to aid in the expansion of our company and the construction of new facilities,” said Aemerge COO Landon Miller. “This financial assistance has allowed us to create more good-paying jobs right here in California.”
CBIG makes it simple for local, state and federal government agencies to post an incentive. Its user interface makes searching and applying for incentives akin to state-of-the-art online shopping experiences, like Amazon.com. Businesses can search by location or industry to find the most advantageous opportunities.
The number of incentives uploaded to the site has surpassed initial projections and is expected to accelerate as awareness for CBIG continues to grow.
Walmart is facing a lawsuit from a former employee who says she faced horrific discrimination at work because she is transgender.
The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund has today filed a federal lawsuit against Walmart on behalf of a North Carolina transgender woman.
The employee alleges she faced faced workplace discrimination at a Sam’s Club store in Kannapolis, North Carolina.
Sam’s Club is a membership-only retail warehouse chain owned by a subsidiary of Walmart.
According to the lawsuit, Charlene Bost endured a shockingly hostile work environment during her time at the company, from 2011 through her firing in 2015.
Ms Bost says that after she transitioned, co-workers and supervisors began discriminating against her because of her sex. She was repeatedly subjected to a barrage of hostilities which included being wrongfully disciplined and repeatedly called by the wrong name and pronouns.
The lawsuit says Walmart employees took to “misgendering Ms. Bost directly by addressing her as ‘Sir’ or ‘man’ or by her former male name, or mocking her by calling her ‘Ma’am’ or ‘Madam’ in a sarcastic tone of voice, or pretending confusion by calling her both ‘Ma’am’ and ‘Sir’ in succession.
She was also branded a “faggot” by colleagues, “while humiliating Ms. Bost by treating her as a freak”.
Don’t Miss these Innovative Creole-Caribbean Flavors in New Orleans
Chef Nina Compton Channels Caribbean Dishes mixed with Creole Character at Compère Lapin, Her Award-Winning Restaurant in New Orleans
Ad by New Orleans
The court heard that on one occasion, a customer in Walmart filed a complaint after overhearing workers referring to Ms Bost as a “faggot”.
Ms Bost says bosses failed to step in to stop the tirade of harassment.
She said: “Despite excelling at my job, Sam’s Club treated me with cruelty and disrespect, simply for being a woman.
“I am bringing this lawsuit because transgender people must have the same opportunities to work hard, earn a living and contribute to our communities, free from bias. No one should ever be confronted with the prejudice I experienced on the job.”
TLDEF contends that the discrimination violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the North Carolina Equal Employment Practices Act.
In August the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found evidence that Ms Bost was subjected to discrimination and a hostile work environment because of her sex and determined this violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The determination was one of two successful EEOC decisions secured by TLDEF against Walmart this year that led the Human Rights Campaign to suspend Walmart’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI) rating, despite the company’s trans-inclusive corporate policies.
TLDEF Executive Director Jillian Weiss said: “The EEOC put its weight behind this case and our federal lawsuit is the next step on the road to justice for Ms. Bost.
“This case makes clear that workplace discrimination against transgender individuals violates the law and will not be tolerated. It also sends a strong message to Walmart that good corporate policy alone will not suffice. It must be backed by strong enforcement mechanisms that reach the shop floor.”
“We stand with TLDEF and our fellow North Carolinian, Ms. Bost, in their pursuit of this discrimination case,” said Ames Simmons, Director of Transgender Policy for Equality North Carolina. “Mistreating trans employees is illegal and unacceptable. Sam’s Club must be held accountable.”
This case is Charlene Bost v. Sam’s East, Inc. and Wal-Mart Associates, Inc. It was filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.
TLDEF Senior Staff Attorney Donna Levinsohn is representing Ms. Bost in partnership with Robert Elliot of the North Carolina law firm of Elliot Morgan Parsonage, PLLC.
A spokesperson for the company said: “Wal-Mart maintains a strong anti-discrimination policy. We support diversity and inclusion in our workforce and do not tolerate discrimination or retaliation of any kind.
“We disagree with the claims raised by Ms. Bost. Her termination was for performance reasons. We will respond as appropriate with the court.”
There is no federal law that explicitly bans discrimination against LGBT people, so the case relies on an interpretation of a civil rights provision outlawing discrimination based on sex.
Such interpretations have been hotly contested in the past few months.
Under the Trump administration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has argued that the Civil Rights Act provisions should be narrowly interpreted to refer to discrimination against men or women, whereas Obama-era officials had argued that it logically also provided protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
A court had been hearing the case of Donald Zarda, a late former skydiving instructor who alleged that Altitude Express Inc fired him because of his sexuality.
In a surprise intervention, federal government officials sided with the employer – arguing that it is entirely legal to discriminate against gay employees on a federal level.
Zarda’s lawyers had cited civil rights protections from the 1960s in their case.
But the Department of Justice now insists that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlaws discrimination in employment based on sex, does not provide any protection for gay people.
Mooppan insisted: “Employers under Title VII are permitted to consider employees’ out-of-work sexual conduct.
“There is a commonsense, intuitive difference between sex and sexual orientation.”
The DOJ had insisted: “Discrimination based on sexual orientation does not fall within Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination because it does not involve “disparate treatment of men and women”.
“Rather than causing similarly situated ‘members of one sex [to be] exposed to disadvantageous terms or conditions of employment to which members of the other sex are not exposed’, differential treatment of gay and straight employees for men and women alike.”
The DOJ also argued somewhat circularly that it was clear that existing civil rights law doesn’t protect gay people, because Congress remains opposed to “proposed legislation that would prohibit discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation”.
Over 21,000 AT&T wireless workers have reached a precedent-setting tentative agreement that, in addition to curbing outsourcing and raising pay, wins the widest-reaching protections for transgender employees of any telecom industry contract. The tentative agreement, secured by the Communications Workers of America (CWA), provides the first-ever enforceable protections against discrimination based on gender identity in 16 states where no statewide non-discrimination law covering this category exists—proving the power of union bargaining in addressing workplace discrimination in all forms.
The tentative agreement – which also includes the first-ever commitment that AT&T will send a guaranteed percentage of customer service calls to union-represented call centers, rather than contractors – is enforceable across the 36 states covered by CWA’s bargaining unit. Many of these states have laws in place allowing companies to terminate employees for their gender identity or expression. In a bold step to address this inequity, the agreement’s language establishes full LBTGQ protections that provides a vital supplement to anti-discrimination laws by outlining a clear process for redressing discrimination through the union grievance and arbitration process.
“We stand in solidarity and unity with LGBTQ members of the CWA family. Their fight for equality and a workplace free of discrimination and harassment is our fight too and we are proud to carry the torch on their behalf,” said Dennis G. Trainor, Vice President of CWA District One. “This contract shines a light on the union power to drive progress—proving that no problem is too daunting to go unchallenged. Let this be a signal to opponents of LGBTQ equality, who are nearly always opponents of workers’ rights too: we stand strong together and will tear down all obstacles to full equality.”
According to the U.S. Transgender Survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality, the unemployment rate for transgender people is three times the national average and nearly 1 in 3 transgender people who had worked in the previous year reported mistreatment on the job that was directly related to their gender identity or expression. Unions play a key role in reversing this trend in states and among companies lacking comprehensive non-discrimination policies.
In addition to the new AT&T wireless agreement, CWA has negotiated gender identity protections in other AT&T contracts covering wireline workers in the Southeast and in a legacy national contract.
“This contract shows a real commitment to the dignity and respect of working people, specifically transgender working people—a community that has long fought for equality in the workplace,” said Jerame Davis, executive director of Pride@Work, a nonprofit organization that represents LGBTQ union members and their allies. “CWA is a strong ally in the fight for LGBTQ equality and has demonstrated that by negotiating this provision that makes it possible for thousands of AT&T workers to go to work knowing they have affirmative protection against discrimination or retribution—many for the very first time. Unions have long fought for economic, social and workplace equality and, CWA has always been a leader among union in the fight for LGBTQ equality.”
CWA’s tentative agreement with AT&T provides 10.1% in raises over the course of the contract and shifts $2,500 from commission to base pay for retail workers. Under the new agreement, AT&T wireless retail workers would be paid an average $19.20 per hour by the end of the four-year contract, about 74% more than the national average pay for retail workers. This comes as a recent report by the Center for Popular Democracy finds that only 8% of U.S. retail workers are paid at least $15/hour, have paid leave and full-time hours.
For the first time at any wireless company in the country, workers have won guaranteed customer service work at U.S. call centers, representing an 80% increase in the share of total call volume over the current levels. AT&T wireless workers have also won first-time job security protections that require AT&T to find them a new job if their call center or retail store closes. Combined with better, more stable pay and reduced intrusive surveillance at work, the proposed agreement dramatically improves the quality of workers’ lives on the job.
As the holiday shopping season kicks off, equality-minded shoppers can stand with companies who stand with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community by using the new Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s popular consumer guide to hundreds of American companies to choose brands and retail outlets committed to LGBTQ-inclusive workplace policies and practices.
The Buying for Workplace Equality guide, released Thursday by the HRC Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s LGBTQ civil rights organization, was first issued more than a decade ago. It provides invaluable consumer information based on company scores reported in HRC’s annual Corporate Equality Index (CEI), as well as HRC-researched data on additional well-known companies and their brands.
“Our annual Buying for Workplace Equality guide provides quick, user-friendly help in selecting everything from groceries to cars, allowing fair-minded consumers to use their wallets to resist attacks on the LGBTQ community by supporting brands committed to fully inclusive workplaces,” said Deena Fidas, Director of HRC Foundation’s Workplace Equality Program. “Every year we hear from members of the LGBTQ community and many other consumers who want to choose brands that align with their priorities of workplace fairness. Using the Buying for Workplace Equality guide this holiday season helps ensure that their dollars go to businesses that support equality.”
Through the CEI, the HRC Foundation proactively rates more than 1,000 Fortune 500 companies and top law firms on LGBTQ-inclusive workplace policies and practices. The new guide includes more than 750 companies, 600 of them rated in the CEI, and an additional 140 independently researched by the HRC Foundation. A total 5,600 affiliated businesses and brands are featured in this year’s report.
The Buying for Workplace Equality guide sorts businesses by sectors, assigning them a score ranging from zero to 100 based on LGBTQ workplace equality, as measured by the CEI and HRC-researched data.
Businesses and their products are divided based on their CEI rating into red, yellow and green categories so that consumers can easily determine which brands support LGBTQ workplace equality:
Green (80-100): Businesses/brands with the highest workplace equality scores.
Yellow (46-79): Businesses/brands that have taken steps toward a fair-minded workplace and receive a moderate workplace equality score.
Red (0-45): Businesses/brands that receive our lowest workplace equality scores
Now more than ever, it is important to support businesses that support equality. For more information on the Buying for Workplace Equality guide and to search by company category, go online to www.hrc.org/buyersguide.
New research indicates that LGBT workers are facing bullying in an area that should be a safe place – their workplace. Two in five LGBT workers (40 percent) report feeling bullied at work, 11 percentage points higher than the national average of all workers combined. Fifty-six percent of bullied LGBT workers report being bullied repeatedly.
The nationwide survey was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from February 16 to March 9, 2017 among a representative sample of 3,420 full-time workers across industries and company sizes in the U.S, including 238 LGBT workers and 3,215 workers in the private sector.
“Bullying of any kind or of anyone has no place in the workplace – period,” said Michael Erwin, director of corporate communications and social media at CareerBuilder. “Employers have a responsibility to create a safe working environment for all employees. They can minimize this destructive behavior by offering sensitivity training and enforcing anti-bullying policies across their organizations.”
Bullying Takes Many Forms
What does bullying look like in today’s workplace? Fifty-three percent of bullied LGBT workers say they were bullied by one person, and 13 percent say it happened in a group setting. Fourteen percent of LGBT bullied workers say they were bullied by someone younger, and 61 percent say they were bullied by someone older.
Among the most common examples of bullying given by LGBT workers who were bullied at work were:
Falsely accused of mistakes you didn’t make (61 percent)
Ignored – comments were dismissed or not acknowledged (50 percent)
Used different standards/policies for you than other workers (49 percent)
You were gossiped about (47 percent)
Picked on for personal attributes (race, gender, appearance) (42 percent)
Constantly criticized by boss or co-workers (40 percent)
Someone didn’t perform certain duties, which negatively impacted your work (40 percent)
Purposely excluded from projects or meetings (31 percent)
Belittling comments were made about your work during meetings (28 percent)
Consequences of Bullying
Being bullied can have many effects, many long-lasting, and LGBT workers are feeling the consequences. Of those LGBT workers who were bullied at work, 19 percent have suffered from health-related problems as a result of being bullied at work, and 15 percent have called in sick because of feeling bullied.
Forty-one percent of LGBT workers who have been bullied at work have left a job because they have felt bullied.
Dealing with Workplace Bullying
Erwin shared the below tips for workers dealing with office bullies.
Take notes. Document interactions with the bully. Keep these notes in a private place, and use them if you need to show the bullying pattern to a third party, such as your company’s HR department.
Rise above, but don’t be afraid to confront. At first, try to minimize time spent around the bully, and ignore any bullying behavior. But sometimes, enough is enough, and you need to confront them. Explain how the negative treatment makes you feel, and ask them to stop. Sometimes perpetrators are not aware of the effect their actions have. Fifty-three percent of workers who were bullied at work confronted their bully, and 20 percent said the bullying stopped.
Bring in the experts. Seventy-two percent of workers who were bullied at work do not report it to HR. Your HR team is trained in dealing with workplace conflict, and can step in to help you solve the issue.
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 3,420 employees (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government including 3,215 in the private sector and 238 LGBT workers) between February 16 and March 9, 2017 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 3,420, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.68 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.
The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the LGBT community, and the USBLN (US Business Leadership Network), the disability inclusion business resource, have announced that The Billion Dollar Roundtable has voted to expand their criteria of diverse businesses counted toward a corporation’s billion dollar supply chain spend on diverse-owned businesses to include: certified LGBT Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs), Disability-Owned Business Enterprises (DOBEs®), Service-Disabled Veteran Disability-Owned Business Enterprises (SDV-DOBE™) and Veteran-Disability Owned Business Enterprises (V-DOBEs™).
“The inclusion of LGBT, disability, and veteran-owned businesses into the Billion Dollar Roundtable reflects the national best practice in supplier diversity of including all communities at the table of opportunity,” said NGLCC Co-Founder and President Justin Nelson. “In the United States, LGBT-owned businesses are creating tens of thousands of jobs and adding over $1.7 trillion to the economy, much of that due to inclusion in corporate supply chains. We’re proud to see our businesses included in the criteria that rewards corporate excellence in creating new opportunities for diverse-owned businesses to thrive.”
The Billion Dollar Roundtable was created in 2001 to recognize and celebrate corporations that achieved spending of at least $1 billion with diverse suppliers. The BDR promotes and shares best practices in supply chain diversity excellence through the production of white papers, thought leadership, and annual meetings. The group encourages corporate entities to continue growing their supplier diversity programs by increasing commitment and spending levels each year.
“In a country where 1 in 5 Americans have a disability, corporations are realizing the importance of disability inclusion across the enterprise,” said Jill Houghton, president and CEO of USBLN. “People with disabilities are nearly twice as likely to be self-employed as people without disabilities, and nearly one in 10 small businesses nationwide are veteran-owned. The inclusion of disability and LGBT-owned businesses presents more opportunities for diversity in The Billion Dollar Roundtable and will lead to more economic opportunity for people with disabilities”
To date, the Billion Dollar Roundtable reports at least $72 billion in spend with diverse-owned businesses. That number is expected to continue climbing as corporations are encouraged and incentivized to work with LGBT, disability, and veteran-owned firms.
It’s no great surprise that cities and neighborhoods that boast significant LGBTQ populations tend to be the ones with the most gentrification. And while that’s great for local economies, it also means that many of the same queer folk who help make vibrant neighborhoods such attractive places to live are left priced out when rents inevitably tick ever more skyward.
Add to that the inherent historical challenges of finding queer-friendly housing, and securing a spot to rest your head can be an incredibly daunting task.
While panning for queer-friendly housing gold can still yield success on sites like Craigslist, more people are turning to a bevy Facebook groups across the nation to link up with potential like-minded roommates.
“Let’s keep our friends together in this beautiful city,” reads the tagline of Juanita’s List, a San Francisco group set up by local drag queen Juanita More.
Another group — Gay Area Housing — also connects queer and queer-friendly house hunters in the area.
With the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment clocking in at around $3500 a month in San Francisco, these groups are needed more than ever for the city to retain the identity that made it a mecca for queer people seeking community.
In New York, where the average rent for a one-bedroom will set you back around $3000, the Queer Housing New York City group has over 22,000 members.
Using one of these groups is easy — just request to join. Once you’ve been cleared by an admin (not as scary as it sounds), you’re free to post housing opportunities or respond to others’ posts to your heart’s content.
Here’s a handy list of some of the more popular groups operating on Facebook. Happy hunting!
Nearly half of Americans and 64% of those who identify as LGBT allies say they are more likely to spend money with brands that are LGBT inclusive, according to a new survey from Ogilvy.
The study found that the opposite was true as well — nearly half of Americans and a majority of allies said they would avoid purchasing products and services from companies they perceived as not supporting the LGBT community.
“We were happy with the findings,” said Bill Berman, Group director at Ogilvy and co-chair of Ogilvy PRIDE. “We were happy that the needle is moving in the right direction, but I think it’s a slow shift.”
More than one-third of respondents said they used advertising as an indicator that a brand was LGBT inclusive, citing social media and news outlets as the most common way to find information about a particular company’s stance.
While 72% of respondents said that an LGBT-inclusive business is an ally to the LGBT community, a similar number of participants reported that representative advertising isn’t enough. Sixty-eight percent of respondents believe brands need to deliver on plans and promises of support to the LGBT community to truly be allies.
“These consumers are demanding authenticity from brands,” Berman said. “They want brands to take action on some level. They want them to ‘walk the walk’ and follow through.”
Nearly 75% of Americans believe businesses need to employ a diverse team of people to best serve customers, according to the survey.
It’s not enough to just put out an ad during PRIDE month or target messages to LGBT spaces and publications. Brands need to hire and promote LGBT employees and support groups and organizations working against discrimination, Berman said of the survey findings.
He pointed to IKEA’s “Dream” commercial, which promotes the company’s products while asserting that all homes are created equal, as an example of good inclusive advertising.
“The reason I love that campaign is because it included an interracial same-sex couple, but it was less of a spotlight and more of an image of diversity overall,” he said.
But inclusive advertising is more than just a diversity campaign initiative. This survey shows that it affects the bottom line as well, and if it’s done right it can create a positive halo-effect for the entire business.
“I think the thing people respond to, like in the IKEA campaign, is that we’re part of the fabric of society,” Berman said. “We’re not just given this special treatment when you think it’s viable for you to do it.”
Logo, the leading entertainment brand for the LGBTQ community, today released the second annual ‘Trailblazing Companies’ list, a ranking of companies and brands that have demonstrated a public commitment to LGBTQ people and issues through advertising, communications, and other public initiatives. The campaigns and marketing endeavors on the list showcase a range of personalities, stories and experiences within the LGBTQ community.
Hilton, Anheuser-Busch, Marriott, Google, and Apple were found to have the highest scores in categories that counted LGBTQ initiatives in the following objective, public-facing categories: LGBTQ-Inclusive Advertising, Digital Video & Social Media, Policy Support, Spokespersons & C-Suite Executives, Donations & Sponsorships, and Website Engagement. This year, examples of corporate support for the survivors, families and victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub tragedy were also calculated in scoring.
According to Bob Witeck, President of Witeck Communications, LGBTQ consumers represent an estimated buying power of $971 billion. Previous Logo research also has found that 71 percent of LGBTQ consumers are more likely to support a brand after seeing an equality-themed ad, while 71 percent were more likely to purchase from a company that actively supports and contributes to LGBTQ charities/causes.
Logo’s ‘Trailblazing Companies’ list was created through extensive research conducted in partnership with Witeck Communications, a strategic communications firm with special expertise in LGBTQ communications. Logo started with a pool of close to 200 consumer-facing companies that earned 100% scores for their internal LGBTQ policies on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. Each company was then evaluated based on the seven objective categories that demonstrate each company’s support of the LGBT community in the public sphere. Companies were awarded points based on their performance in each of these areas.
“Each of these companies is delivering a message of inclusion, diversity and equality that is needed now more than ever,” said Pamela Post, SVP of Programming for Logo. “While we are incredibly proud to recognize these 25 trailblazing companies who are raising the bar higher than just their bottom line, the ultimate goal is to one day reach a time when a list like this is no longer necessary.”
Bob Witeck also adds that, “the resonance of LGBTQ attitudes in the marketplace has made a sea of change in how brands express their values, connect innovatively with diverse households, and grow market share. This new study is an encouraging roadmap of trends and opportunities for all brands aiming to step up their competition.”
Logo’s Top 25 Trailblazing Companies (in ranking order):
American Express Co.
Nissan North America
Bank of America Corp.
Diageo North America
E&J Gallo Winery
Alaska Air Group
For more information on the rankings and each company’s score visit: