For many of us in the United States, yesterday was an exciting step in the quest to honor equal rights for all American citizens. The US Supreme Court made two historic rulings that have strengthened the future of marriage for same-sex couples, both in California and across the US.
Equality, diversity and inclusion are foundational to how Symantec views the employee experience. We hold ourselves accountable to making sure any employee feels safe, respected and that their voice is heard.
We were honored to be mentioned for this today, along with leading Silicon Valley peers, in an article by Wired Magazine “In Silicon Valley, the Same-Sex Marriage Debate Was Already Over”:
[In the current U.S. workforce, 62 percent of Fortune 500 companies already offer same-sex domestic partner health benefits, according to the Human Rights Campaign’s 2013 Corporate Equality Index. Thirteen of the top twenty Fortune 500 companies received 100 percent ratings from the HRC for their LGBT-friendly policies….
Also receiving 100 percent ratings: a nearly complete who’s who list of the biggest and most influential companies in tech.
Apple, Cisco, Dell, eBay, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Google, HP, Intuit, Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle, Symantec and Yahoo all scored 100 in the index, which was released at the end of last year.]
Equality for same-sex couples is something we’ve supported historically and have spent years engraining in our values and benefits:
- Symantec has scored 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2013 Corporate Equality Index - the US’s national benchmarking tool for corporate policies and practices related to LBGT equality - for the last four consecutive years.
- Our diversity and inclusion efforts start at the top with an Executive Steering Committee that champions Symantec's global diversity and inclusion initiatives, including the rights of the LGBTA community.
- We offer a leading benefits package, including all of the health benefits around equality, many of which are often not included in corporate benefits programs.
- Additionally, Symantec’s LGBTA employee resource group (ERG) - SymPride - is one of the most active of our ERGs. This community is not only active inside Symantec, but frequently connects outside of the workplace, supporting local pride events and initiatives.
Today’s rulings are just another validation of the LGBT community’s rights as equal and respected citizens in the world, their workplace and the community.
Undoubtedly any business that does not recognize that the best ideas and best products come from a diverse set of people, will face a crippling disadvantage in the workplace. However, at Symantec this is really secondary for us – we understand and acknowledge this inherent advantage, but more importantly, we see equality as a fundamental right that all our employees should have.
Fundamentally it is just the right thing to do, it always has been and always will be.
Bettina Koblick is Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Symantec.