NEW YORK (September 19, 2006) — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released its annual Corporate Equality Index, naming McDermott Will & Emery as one of the record number of U.S. companies earning the top rating of 100 percent. The results of the survey illustrate an increased number of companies expanding benefits and protections for their gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees and consumers. The number of companies earning a 100 percent rating increased by 37 percent over last year, including a record number of law firms—12.
In early 2006, McDermott formalized its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Diversity Committee. Led by New York partner Lisa Linsky, the LGBT Committee’s goal is to develop Firm-wide policies, programs and initiatives to maintain a supportive environment for all of our employees regardless of transgender or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
"This year, more major American businesses received a perfect rating for equality and fairness than in any other year," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "At an ever increasing pace, corporate executives understand that supporting their gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees is not only the right thing to do but it is also good for business. The findings in this year's report sends a clear message that the American workplace is rapidly becoming more inclusive of diversity."
The 2006 HRC Corporate Equality Index rated companies on a scale of 0 to 100 percent on several factors, including whether they have a written non-discrimination policy covering sexual orientation; support transgender employees with written non-discrimination policies and benefits; offer inclusive health insurance, bereavement and family leave policies to employees with same-sex partners; offer diversity training; have LGBT employee groups; engage in appropriate and respectful advertising to the LGBT community; contribute to LGBT community organizations; and decline to engage in any activities that would undermine the goal of equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. A copy of the report and all ratings can be found at http://www.hrc.org/cei/.
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian and gay political organization with members throughout the country. For more information visit: http://www.hrc.org/.
McDermott Will & Emery's commitment to diversity arises from this clear, simple and indisputable principle: diversity is necessary for us to achieve excellence in all aspects of providing services to our clients. The Firm has three diversity committees: the Racial & Ethnic Diversity Committee, the Gender Diversity Committee and the LGBT Diversity Committee, all of whose chairs report directly to the Firm's management on recommendations for diversity-related policies, procedures and initiatives that they believe need to be pursued. These initiatives can range from hiring, retention and promotion to ensuring that diversity remains a key component in all major Firm-wide strategic decisions.