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IBM and Google top global index for being LGBT friendly corporations

AMSTERDAM – Two U.S. companies, IBM and Google, top the list in a survey of LGBT-friendly corporations worldwide.

The International Business Equality Index 2010 was released this week by the International Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (IGLCC).

The annual index is a measurement of the performance of multinational corporations in relation to Diversity and Inclusion issues in the countries where they have offices, specifically regarding to LGBT communities. It serves as an indicator of the diversity leadership taken by global corporations in the local communities in which they serve.

This year the Top 5 most LGBT friendly corporations in the world are IBM, Google, BT Group, Morgan Stanley and Cisco Systems. Of these, three were on the Top 5 in 2009 – Google and Morgan Stanley are new to the index.

Pascal Lépine, IGLCC founding president and secretary general, said registration in this year’s index has more than doubled, compared to the 2009 inaugural edition of the survey. Twenty-five global corporations representing over $1 trillion in global sales and employing more than 2.2 million people in 220 countries submitted the complete survey.

"On behalf of IBMers worldwide and our LGBT communities, IBM is extremely proud to receive this recognition from the International Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (IGLCC)" said Frank Kern, senior vice president, Global Business Services. "IBM's heritage on diversity spans nearly 100 years, and we're as committed today as at any point in our history to continuously evolving our innovative global workplace policies and practices."

The enthusiastic participation of so many firms in the 2010 index is an indication of the increasing role global corporations are playing in introducing and championing diversity wherever they have a presence.

“International business has an immeasurably important role to play in developing tolerance and diversity throughout the world,” Lépine said. “Not only do diversity programs such as those measured by the International Index contribute to the communities, but they are good for business and help ensure that every employee is as productive as he or she can be.”

“It is extremely encouraging,” said David Pollard, chair of the International Business Equality Index Committee, “that 22 out of the 25 largest participants in this year’s study had Diversity and Inclusion programs in all of the countries in which they operate, and even more impressive is that the same number included LGBT issues in their global diversity program. This is very exciting and demonstrates how business can contribute to the community globally.”

Again this year, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) and its European Region (ILGA-Europe) have played an instrumental role in its development.

"The growth of the index, and its reinforced global coverage is very good news," said Gloria Careaga and Renato Sabbadini, co-secretaries general of ILGA. "In the light of the fact that too many LGBTI people still experience rampant harassment and other forms of discrimination in employment in many workplaces around the world, leading by example is crucial, which is why rewarding the best LGBTI inclusion policies and practices through the 2010 International Index is the best way to indicate other companies the way to follow."

The index has been made possible thanks to an international committee that includes gays, lesbians and transgender professionals living and working in nine different countries in Europe and North America.

To download a copy of the index report, go to: www.iglcc.org/index2010

The Top 20 list

1. IBM
2. Google
3. BT Group
4. Morgan Stanley
5. Cisco Systems
6. Continental Airlines
7. Merck
9. The Dow Chemical Co.
10. TD Bank Financial Grou
11. American Airlines
12. Cummins
13. Credit Suisse
14. Philips
15. Royal Dutch Shell
16. Lenovo Group
17. Deutsche Bank
18. TNT
19. Deutsche Post DHL
20. LAN Airlines