Darden Digest Post: Darden Scores 100 on the HRC Corporate Equality Index

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Darden Digest Post: Darden Scores 100 on the HRC Corporate Equality Index

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#Darden is the only restaurant company earning a perfect score on the Corporate Equality Index #LGBT
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - 5:00pm

Today, the Human Rights Campaign announced that Darden Restaurants scored a perfect 100 on its 2013 Corporate Equality Index. Darden was recognized for offering partner and transgender benefits, empowering self-identification through the annual One Voice survey, securing non-discrimination policies for LGBT employees, starting an employee resource group, and supporting external organizations such as Out & Equal and the Point Foundation.

This recognition reflects our company’s culture of respect and caring, doing what’s right, embracing and fostering diversity, and learning from one another. It also reflects the commitment of our senior leaders who helped establish the Darden Pride Alliance and foster the changes needed to reach this milestone. We’ve collected a few quotes from a few of the people that made this possible:

As a 40-year Darden employee and the executive sponsor of our LGBT employee network, I’m extremely proud that Darden received the top score on the HRC Corporate Equality Index.  We want Darden to be a special place, where everyone feels valued for who they are and what they bring to the workplace each and every day.

We want our employees to feel that they can be their real selves at work, by ensuring an inclusive environment where someone’s individual differences are appreciated.

At Darden we always say that our people are our greatest asset, and this is just one example of how Darden is creating an environment that supports that statement.

-  Dave Pickens, President, Red Lobster

Earning a score of 100 on the HRC Corporate Equality Index is a highly visible representation of Darden’s commitment to diversity, and a huge source of pride for me and other members of our LGBT Community.  I have always felt at home at Darden – valued for who I am and what I bring to the table.  It’s great to work at a company where I can simply be myself….now many more people will know that Darden truly is a special place!

- Laurie Burns, Senior Vice President, Strategic Platform & Development

This is an incredibly powerful moment for Darden!  Based on this recognition, we stand alongside top companies that really matter to all of their employees and constituents.  I am proud of the work our team has been able to accomplish.  And personally, it makes me even prouder to be a part of Darden.

- Mark Gilley, Vice President, Red Lobster Marketing

Having worked for Darden for 22 years, it’s exciting to see how the organization has evolved by continuing its quest to be a Great Place to Work; a place where we embrace, celebrate and are strengthened by individual differences. With the introduction of our Employee Resource Group for LGBT employees and allies three years ago, Pride Alliance was the catalyst to educate, inform and open the door for all employees to feel comfortable bringing their full self to work. Along this journey, we have seen strides in our HR policies, practices and benefit offerings.

This HRC Corporate Equality Index score of 100 recognizes and honors Darden’s changing mindset and the importance of ensuring everyone has a seat at the table. It was an honor to be a part of the leadership team that established the Pride Alliance and helped make all this possible. With this increased focus, I believe Darden has strengthened employee engagement and positively impacted the guest experience while diversifying our community presence.

- David Fischer, Senior Director, Operations Training