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Corteva, DuPont, Highmark earn top HRC equality index score

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PHOTO COURTESY OF STAVRIALENA GONTZOU/UNSPLASH

WILMINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced recently that Corteva Agriscience, DuPont and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware all earned perfect scores on its annual Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality.

DuPont received the honor for the 15th year, while Corteva and Highmark each celebrated their third consecutive perfect annual scores.

Those Delaware-headquartered employers were joined by a number of companies with major presences here, including JPMorgan Chase, M&T Bank, Barclays, Bank of America, Capital One, TD Bank, Amazon, AstraZeneca, Johnson Controls, Air Liquide, Siemens Healtineers, Procter & Gamble, and International Flavors & Fragrances. Major law firms with Wilmington offices also made the list, including Armstrong Teasdale, Ballard Spahr, Faegre Drinker, Greenberg Traurig, Skadden Arps, Troutman Pepper and Wilson Sonsini.

To achieve a perfect score, companies must have fully inclusive equal employment opportunity policies, provide equal employment benefits, demonstrate their commitment to equality publicly and exercise responsible citizenship. The CEI rates employers providing these protections to over 20 million U.S. workers and an additional 18 million abroad.

HRC, the largest LGBTQ+ advocacy organization in America, has been publishing its list since 2002, when only 13 companies received a perfect score. This year, 840 U.S. companies earned perfect scores and more than half of ranked companies have presences overseas as well, it noted.

“When the Human Rights Campaign Foundation created the Corporate Equality Index 20 years ago, we dreamed that LGBTQ+ workers — from the factory floor to corporate headquarters, in big cities and small towns — could have access to the policies and benefits needed to thrive and live life authentically,” said Jay Brown, HRC senior vice president of programs, research and training, said in a statement. “We are proud that the Corporate Equality Index paved the way to that reality for countless LGBTQ+ workers in America and abroad. But there is still more to do, which is why we are raising the bar yet again to create more equitable workplaces and a better tomorrow for LGBTQ+ workers everywhere.”

DuPont employees established their first LGBTQ+ and Ally network over three decades ago. Today, the DuPont Pride Employee Resource Group (ERG) sponsors events, engages in advocacy, provides employee support, and hosts training forums on issues facing the LGBTQ+ community. Through a partnership with Out and Equal and the celebration of Pride Month and National Coming Out Day, DuPont Pride helps to drive awareness and inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies across the globe.

“At DuPont, we support, encourage, and celebrate the diversity of our talented employees, who bring their best selves to work each day,” said Kim Markiewicz, vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion at DuPont, said in a statement marking the company’s perfect score. “We’re honored to once again receive this significant recognition from the Human Rights Campaign, which signals that our work continues to champion what matters most to our LGBTQ+ colleagues to work and live openly in our communities around the world.”

Corteva, which spun out of DuPont’s predecessor in 2019, also celebrated its continued commitment to LGBTQ+ employees and causes.

“The Human Rights Campaign seeks to create equality for all. That’s an aspiration Corteva shares. We are proud to receive this recognition for the third consecutive year – underscoring the progress we’ve made and the importance of the work still to be done,” said Meghan Cassidy, senior vice president and chief human resources and diversity officer at Corteva, in a statement.

Three Highmark Health companies have received perfect scores, with Highmark Delaware and Highmark West Virginia making the list and earning a top score for the third year in a row, joining Highmark Inc., which has earned the designation since 2017.

“The dedication of Highmark team members to creating a safe, healthy and inclusive work environment, whether in person or virtually, is the driving force behind this recognition. Highmark companies are committed to ensuring our team members, and all the people and businesses we serve, are free to be themselves,” said Nick Moriello, president of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware, in a statement. “This acknowledgment is about more than the designation itself and more a testament to the Highmark Delaware team and the positive workplace culture they create together.”

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