Procter & Gamble Publicly Supports LBGT Employees
For the first time in its history, Procter & Gamble is openly supporting same-sex marriage.
The Cincinnati-based consumer products giant says it embraced gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees for more than 20 years. Now, the company says same-sex marriage has become an important enough issue to its workers that it is taking a public stand.
P&G executives say they want to attract top talent from all backgrounds and part of that strategy is providing a welcoming work environment.
“We have always supported our employees and fostered a culture of inclusion and respect – this includes the right to marry whomever they choose and to have that union legally recognized,” said Deborah P. Majoras, P&G’s chief legal officer and executive sponsor to GABLE – the company’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender-allied employee group.
One of the world’s largest and most valuable companies, P&G’s public stance won’t go unnoticed in corporate America. Still, the company says it continues to focus on making consumer products from Pampers diapers, Tide detergent and Head & Shoulders shampoo.
“At the heart of it all, P&G is a company heavily dependent on innovation – what’s critical are new insights and new ideas,” said William Gipson, P&G’s chief global diversity officer. “For our company, it’s not a political statement, but a statement of support for our employees.”
The public show of support comes a week after the city of Cincinnati won top score for inclusion by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization. The organization also rates corporations, giving P&G a perfect score this year.
Sometimes criticized as a conservative, buttoned-down corporation, P&G has actively cultivated a gay-friendly reputation in the past two decades. Locally, it has been a presenting sponsor of the Cincinnati Pride parade and awareness events since 2011.
P&G first included anti-discrimination language regarding sexual orientation in its equal employment opportunity statement in 1992. It has provided domestic partner benefits since 2001 and started offering transgender transition benefits in 2010.
Terry Kelly, principal and investment adviser at Bartlett, said P&G’s views have evolved over time. He added P&G’s latest stand could anger some consumers, but believed the company has already weighed those risks.
“They’ve done this thoughtfully and measured the risks,” Kelly said.
Companies can invite boycotts or get sucked into the broader culture wars when they venture into controversial issues like same-sex marriage. Fast food chain Chick-fil-A was boycotted by gay rights groups after its CEO Dan Cathy expressed opposition to same-sex marriage. Conservative customers, however, rallied and lined up to eat at the chain.
P&G’s declaration also comes less than two weeks after the Cincinnati-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit upheld gay marriage bans in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.
Several corporations expressed support of same-sex marriage by signing an amicus brief in the case including: aluminum producer Alcoa; financial players American International Group, New York Life Insurance and Sun Life Financial Services; broadcaster CBS; tech companies eBay, Google and Intel; casino operator Caesars Entertainment; jeans maker Levi Strauss; hotelier Marriott International; pharmaceutical giant Pfizer; and coffee purveyor Starbucks.
The 6th Circuit court ruling snapped a string of legal victories for same-sex marriage including the U.S. Supreme Court struck down last June part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and other circuit court rulings against bans in Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Utah, Idaho and Nevada.
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Article By: Alexander Coolidge, Visit: www.cincinnati.com