Amalgamated Bank was founded almost 100 years ago to create a diverse, inclusive, and egalitarian community for labor workers. These tenets of our founding are elevated again today as we proudly announce that the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index (HRC CEI) has designated Amalgamated Bank “One of the Best Places to Work” in 2021. We are incredibly honored to have received a perfect score of 100 on the most stringent index to date.
This is the 19th edition of the CEI, recognized as a national benchmark on corporate practices, benefits and policies for LGBTQ+ employees. The index scores companies on myriad non-discrimination and inclusion practices, including domestic partner and transgender-inclusive benefits; organizational competency of issues facing the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities; and public commitment to the LGBTQ+ equality. Amalgamated Bank employees benefit from our full compliance with best workplace practices for LGBTQ+ employees, and our outspoken stances on LGBTQ+ rights.
Amalgamated Bank is committed to inclusion, diversity, equity and access - externally through advocacy and equitable service provision and internally through our values, policies, values, and practices. Our employees are also able to take advantage of our Pride Employee Resource Group (ERG) to meet fellow LGBTQ+ identified colleagues and allies and enjoy educational programming with groups such as The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund. They engage in volunteer opportunities with organizations like SAGE: Advocacy & Services for LGBT Elders. For Pride Month in 2020, we donated funds to several Black-led LGBTQ+ organizations to highlight the importance of intersectionality within our community, and partnered with the minority ERG to donate even more funds at the end of 2020 to groups such as GLITS, Latino Equity Alliance, and Transgender District.
The news of our score comes at an important time for LGBTQ+ rights and protections at the national level. President Biden has signaled his support for LGBTQ+ issues through several actions on his first day in office last week, including nominating openly LGBTQ+ individuals to Cabinet positions, increasing gender and pronoun options for citizens contacting the White House, and reversing the transgender military ban. Crucially, the Biden administration issued an executive order to broaden workplace federal statues to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
We are incredibly proud to see the work on LGBTQ+ discrimination this administration has promoted in its early days—and yet we know there is much more work to be done across the legislative and judicial branches as we see harmful anti-trans bills in states and critical cases going to the Supreme Court. We are proud to continue working to protect LGBTQ+ rights through our advocacy with client Freedom for All Americans, such as signing on to a business amicus brief in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia to protect the right of same sex couples to foster children and expressing concern to Health and Human Services about their proposed rule change to allow transgender and gender-diverse healthcare discrimination. We know that policies like this harm our employees, clients, and communities, and we are committed to fighting discriminatory practices at every level.
Customers and employees alike know that our B Corporation certification and membership in the Global Alliance for Banking on Values mean that we hold ourselves to a higher standard when it comes to building a more equitable world. Now, we can proudly add our perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index to that list and demonstrate that we, like the new presidential administration, fully oppose workplace discrimination for the LGBTQ+ community.
We have built on our founding nearly 100 years ago to continue to advance accessibility and equality for all and look forward to doing so for the next 100 years as a corporate champion of LGBTQ+ equality.
Dara Kagan is the First Vice President of Commercial Banking and Co-Chair of Amalgamated Bank’s Pride Employee Resource Group.