Updated March 25 at 6:25am
social justice

Nixon Peabody, Textron ranked for LGBT equality


(Updated, Dec. 12, see bottom)

PROVIDENCE - Nixon Peabody LLP, the international law firm with offices in Providence, received a perfect score for corporate equality on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2011 Corporate Equality Index for the sixth consecutive year.

Textron Inc., headquartered in Providence, also ranked on the index but only earned 15 points for prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. It lost out on points awarded for prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity or expression, and offering partner health/medical insurance, among others.

“We are honored that the HRC recognizes our efforts to create a diverse and welcoming workplace,” said Andrew I. Glincher, CEO and managing partner of Nixon Peabody, in a news release on Thursday. “Our attorneys and staff represent a broad range of backgrounds and life experience. Embracing that diversity is fundamental to our core values and priorities.”

The Corporate Equality Index, now a decade old, has increased its participation from 319 businesses in its first year to 636 participants this year. Just 13 businesses achieved the top score in the first year and, under a new CEI criteria, this year 190 businesses achieved a 100 percent rating.

“The largest and most successful U.S. businesses have proven — across industry and geography — that LGBT workplace equality is good for business,” the index said.

In order to receive a perfect rating, an employer must provide: diversity training; a nondiscrimination policy that includes sexual orientation; inclusive health insurance, bereavement and family leave policies to all employees with same-sex partners; and a firm-wide diversity committee, including an LGBT affinity group.

Nixon Peabody said it was one of the first in the U.S. to extend health and welfare coverage to domestic partners. In 2010, it launched its Diversity Challenge program, encouraging attorneys to devote 40 hours annually to a diversity initiative, activity or event.

“Nixon Peabody has a rich and long history of focus on inclusion. We are firmly committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse work force, and continually strive to be a leader in these efforts,” said Jennifer A. Kuenster, partner and co-chair of the firm’s Diversity Action Committee.

For the full report, click here.

Textron's rating is based on publicly available information and information submitted by unofficial LGBT employee groups or individual employees because the company did not respond to the CEI survey, HRC said.

Textron, however, pointed to its diversity statement and said that “the specific benefits and diversity policies that cover this type of inclusiveness (as relates to insurance coverage etc.) are on our internal sites.”


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