The Commerce of Inclusion: Take a Look at Logo’s List of 25 Trailblazing Companies for the LGBT Community

What do Target, Google, Nike, AT&T, and American Express have in common? They’re among the 25 most LGBT-friendly companies in the U.S., according to Logo, Viacom’s network inspired by the LGBT community.

Logo unveiled its second annual Trailblazing Companies list on the eve of Pride Month in June to compile the catalog of inclusive and supportive businesses.

So, how can Logo measure the economics of equality? With the help of Witeck Communications, a marketing firm focused on LGBT consumer habits, Logo scored companies based on seven criteria:

Courtesy of Logo/Witeck Communications.

Aside from promoting equality and inclusivity, why should companies care about promoting LGBT initiatives? Well, there’s this: the LGBT community has an estimated buying power of $971 billion, according to Witeck Communications President Bob Witeck.

“The footprint that gay people have today in the economy is much, much more present, much more visible,” Witeck said in an interview with Bloomberg News. “Also, companies are responding not just to LGBT purchasing power, they are responding to others who are aligned and sympathetic.”

Take a look at the top 25 companies:

Stay Hilton, Go Out: How a hotel consortium advocates equality

Inclusive Advertising, Digital Media and Social Posting: According to the study, Hilton regularly creates packages for LGBT travelers, advertising on mainstream TV and LGBT print media. The global resort franchise also earned points for including same-sex couples in general advertisements, and uses social media to promote LGBT equality.

Hilton’s acceptance and normalization of LGBT couples hasn’t been without flack, however. In 2016, the American Family Association started a petition against the hotel empire, arguing Hilton’s “Stop Clicking Around” ad violated family values, according to Salon. However, the ad in question—and Hilton’s unwavering support of the LGBT community by refusing to take it down—is part of why the company made the number one spot on Logo’s list.

Supportive Policy: According to Logo’s study, “Hilton has shown further solidarity with the LGBTQ community by opposing anti-LGBTQ legislation including North Carolina’s HB2 and Georgia’s HB757 – both of which restrict LGBTQ rights.”

Specifically, North Carolina’s law would prevent transgender people from using public bathrooms based on their gender identity, while Georgia’s law would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT citizens based on religious principles.

Last spring, Viacom joined a number of influential media companies who spoke out against these and other discriminatory bills.

AT&T: Connecting people in more ways than one

Orlando Support: The telecommunications conglomerate earned recognition for its immense support toward the victims of last year’s Orlando shooting. AT&T donated $25,000 to the families of victims and survivors of the tragedy, using a text messaging service to source donations.

Supportive Policy: According to Logo’s list, At&T was “the first corporations in America to adopt a policy that prohibited discrimination against employees for their sexual orientation, and this policy has since been updated to include things like gender identity and gender expression.”

Diageo North America: “Love Comes in Many Flavors”

While you may not be familiar with the name Diageo North America, you may be familiar with one of their products. The company owns 30 popular liquor brands, including Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, and Guinness.

Inclusive Advertising: Smirnoff’s “Love Comes in Many Flavors” campaign depicts a slew of vodka flavors artfully arranged in a rainbow color scheme. This marketing tool honors the gay pride flag while reminding consumers of their fantastic flavors.

Courtesy of Logo/Witeck Communications.

Click here to view and download the full presentation of Logo’s 25 Trailblazing Companies

“Each of these companies is delivering a message of inclusion, diversity and equality that is needed now more than ever,” said Pamela Post, senior vice president of Programming for Logo in an interview with LGBT Weekly. “While we are incredibly proud to recognize these 25 trailblazing companies who are raising the bar higher than just their bottom line, the ultimate goal is to one day reach a time when a list like this is no longer necessary.”

Viacom embodies many of the traits championed by these companies. EMERGE, Viacom’s employee resource group for LGBT employees and allies, offers events and campaigns that champion equality and diversity in the workplace.  Our brands and corporate social responsibility team regularly march in the Pride parade. The company supported survivors of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando last year, matching donations to support survivors and families of victims, raising nearly $25,000.

Click here for more on Emerge and Viacom’s diversity and inclusion, and click here for more information about the 25 Trailblazing Companies initiative.

Viacom and its brands are celebrating Pride Month. Check back for more coverage.

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