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44 Chicago corporations named “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality”

Written by
Kris Vire

More than 40 companies based in Chicago and its suburbs earned perfect ratings for their commitment to LGBT employees in the 2017 edition of the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, released Monday morning. Among those achieving 100% ratings, thereby being recognized as one of HRC’s “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality,” were such prominent employers as Boeing, Crate and Barrel, Groupon, Leo Burnett, McDonald’s, United Airlines and Walgreens.

The annual survey examines corporations’ non-discrimination policies, benefits and other organizational aspects that affect LGBT employees in the workplace. HRC invites the 1,000 largest publicly traded businesses in the United States (as listed in Fortune magazine’s Fortune 1000) and the 200 top grossing law firms (American Lawyer magazine’s AmLaw 200) to participate. Any private-sector, for-profit company with 500 or more employees in the U.S. that’s not on those lists can also request to participate.

In order to receive a CEI score of 100 employers must offer non-discrimination protections that include sexual orientation and gender identity (and require the same of their contractors and vendors), provide equivalent benefits for same-sex spouses or domestic partners as opposite-sex couples, offer transgender-inclusive health coverage, demonstrate organizational competency in employee training and support LGBT employee resource groups or similar efforts, and show a public commitment to supporting LGBT equality.

Among the 44 Chicago-area companies to earn perfect scores, three—retailer Crate and Barrel/CB2, accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP and Blue Cross parent Health Care Service Corporation—reached 100% for the first time. Two others, media agency Starcom and Deerfield-based Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, participated in the survey for the first time. See the full list of top-rated Chicago companies below; the complete report can be found at

A.T. Kearney, Inc.
AbbVie Inc.
Alcoa Inc.
Aon Corporation
Astellas Pharma US Inc.
Baker & McKenzie LLP
Barilla America Inc.
Baxter International Inc.
Boeing Co.
Chapman and Cutler LLP
CNA Insurance
Crate and Barrel/CB2 (first 100%)
Discover Financial Services
Exelon Corp.
Faegre Baker Daniels
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Grant Thornton LLP (first 100%)
Groupon Inc.
Health Care Service Corp. (first 100%)
HERE North America Inc.
Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
Huron Consulting Group Inc.
Hyatt Hotels Corp.
Jenner & Block LLP
Kattin Muchin Rosenman LLP
Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Leo Burnett Company Inc.
Mayer Brown LLP
McDermott Will & Emery LLP
McDonald's Corp.
MillerCoors LLC
Navigant Consulting Inc.
Northern Trust Corp.
Schiff Hardin LLP
Sears Holdings Corp.
Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Sidley Austin LLP
Starcom (first appearance)
Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. (first appearance)
United Airlines
W.W. Grainger Inc.
Walgreen Co.
Winston & Strawn LLP

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