By Pat Padilla and Gary Phillips, Co-Champions of SymPride.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced yesterday that Symantec achieved a perfect score of 100 in its Corporate Equality Index (CEI) for the sixth consecutive year. HRC also recognized Symantec for being one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.” The coveted distinction acknowledges Symantec’s leadership and commitment to equality, and represents the many efforts dedicated to assuring Symantec is a great place to work.
HRC is the nation’s largest civil rights organization working for the equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. It uses the CEI as a means to rate large U.S. companies on how they treat their LGBT employees, consumers, and investors. The CEI requires companies who score 100 percent to have fully inclusive equal employment opportunity policies, provide equal employment benefits to all employees and to demonstrate their commitment to equality publicly. This year HRC awarded over 300 companies perfect scores, an increase over last year.
Symantec’s perfect score, along with the “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality” distinction, is a reflection of our goal to create a work environment where all employees are valued and respected for their individual differences and unique perspectives. Diversity at Symantec encompasses respect, open-mindedness and a commitment to professional and personal growth in a safe work environment for all. Symantec encourages its employees to contribute to and participate in an open, flexible and supportive environment that helps bring the best ideas to light. By embracing diversity, we make the most of our human resources, talent and abilities – and that is what makes Symantec a great place to work.
SymPride, an initiative we are both particularly passionate about, is Symantec's LGBTA Employee Resource Group (ERG). SymPride engages in activities designed to promote equality, cultural sensitivity, and social networking for Symantec employees. The group strives to help make Symantec a great place to work by fostering LGBTA awareness and learning, improving our cultural competence, and engaging employees. What started in 2007, initially through an informal LGBTA group formed at Symantec, has transformed into a dynamic team that has helped in influencing Symantec’s place on the CEI for the past six years.
SymPride's charter is to:
- Support workplace improvement, community outreach programs, and D&I programs for LGBTA employees at Symantec
- Create a safe and open working environment at Symantec for all LGBTA employees
- Encourage LGBTA career development through leadership, mentoring, and networking opportunities
- Lead Symantec outreach to non-profit organizations supporting the LGBTA community
SymPride is just one of Symantec’s Diversity & Inclusion ERGs. Others include Symantec’s Women’s Action Network (SWAN) (with 17 chapters worldwide), Symantec’s Black Employee Network (SBEN), our Hispanic Outreach and Leadership Affinity group (HOLA), and Leading and Empowering Asian Development (SymLEAD). ERGs are grassroots networks of employees who share a common culture or common characteristics and have a desire to connect. At Symantec, ERGs help to build cultural awareness and understanding while celebrating differences. They’ve also been an invaluable tool in helping us connect with employees on key cultural and diversity issues and ensuring all employees feel their voices are heard.
You can read more about Symantec’s diversity and inclusion efforts in the 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report.
Co-authored by Pat Padilla, SymPride Champion, and Gary Phillips, SymPride Co-Champion