ExxonMobil Scores a -25 on the Corporate Equality Index
ExxonMobil receives pressure from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) to include sexual orientation and gender identity within their Equal Employment Opportunity(EEO) policy.
Even though ExxonMobil shareholder’s voted to add protections, relinquishing the company from discriminatory policies, they still refuse to protect their Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) workers. This 13 year refusal has placed ExxonMobil behind the rest of the corporate world, for 86 percent of Fortune 500 companies in 2012 altered their EEO policy to address sexual orientation, and 50 percent of companies have included gender identity.
Last March New York State Comptroller, Thomas DiNappoli, backed ExxonMobil in omitting a resolution, which would allow sexual orientation and gender identity to be added to the EEO policy during a shareholder meeting. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) denied the request to block the shareholder’s resolution, but was later vetoed.
Prior to ExxonMobil purchasing Mobil Corp., more than a decade ago, the company refused to hire based on sexual orientation and provided health benefits to their employee’s domestic partners. In 1999 the two companies merged, and this non-discrimination policy and domestic partner benefit program was uplifted.
“The shareholder resolution to add sexual orientation and gender identity to ExxonMobil’s EEO policy was a non-binding referendum and the company still has the chance to do the right thing,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “As perhaps the largest corporation in the country, ExxonMobil has a responsibility to be a good corporate citizen; sadly they have fallen far short. The company has resisted offering basic employment protections for their LGBT workers for years and it’s time they treat all of their employees like the valuable assets they are.”
However, the Dallas Morning News, ExxonMobil’s hometown newspaper, is also putting pressure on the company. Last week the newspaper addressed the company in an article calling them to do the right thing and end this 13 year battle. Along with the HRC, other organizations such as the New York City Pension funds, submitted a resolution adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the company’s protected categories within the EEO policy since 1999. It wasn’t until 2011, that the resolution gained popularity and received votes from over 500 million shares, averaging a market value of over 42.4 billion dollars.
ExxonMobil on the HRC’s corporate equality index scored a -25, while other oil and gas companies, like Chevron, BP, Shell, and Spectra received scores of 85 or higher.
Rachel Williams is a rising senior at Virginia Commonwealth University with a calling to be a voice to the voiceless; and passion is to bring gender equality and ethnic justice to the forefront of RVA.
“…local governments are at the forefront of our fight for equality. Unfortunately, our opponents have witnessed this progress too…”October 24, 2016
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