Charlotte business dethroned?

More N.C. companies outside of Queen City listed with HRC Corporate Index

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In what might come as a shock to many Queen City business folk, the Human Rights Campaign’s 2009 Corporate Equality Index contains more North Carolina companies based outside of the bustling Carolina metropolis than those on the inside.

Often derided as “The Great State of Mecklenberg,” it might just seem that Charlotte just lost her big business throne to her smaller neighbors around the state — at least when it comes to gay friendliness. Seven of the 11 charted companies are based in Greensboro, Salisbury, Taylorsville, Raleigh and Winston-Salem — only four are based in Charlotte.

“But wait just a minute there,” Charlotteans might respond. “More of our companies got perfect scores.”

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“Yeah…whatever,” Winston-Salemites cry back. “Wachovia used to be ours anyway!”

“Go smoke some more Camels, Winston,” Greensborians exclaim. “We have the fine, fine china and we’re national HRC sponsors!”

“Us, too,” scream the Taylorsville, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams furniture makers. “We’re sponsors, too!”

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Although South Carolina had no companies listed with HRC’s 2009 Index, the Tar Heel State brought home a treasured five companies receiving the national advocacy organization’s perfect 100 score. Those companies include the Charlotte-based Bank of America and Wachovia, Taylorsville’s Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Greensboro’s Replacements, Ltd. and Winston’s Reynolds American.

Other Carolina companies listed in the report included: Winston-Salem’s BB&T (Score: 48), Charlotte’s Compass Group USA (Score: 65), Charlotte’s Duke Energy (Score: 75), Salisbury’s Food Lion (Score: 95), Raleigh’s Progress Energy (Score: 68) and Winston’s Wombyle, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice (Score: 65).

A lack of transgender diversity training or missing transgender health insurance coverage were the primary reasons for lower rankings for North Carolina companies.

Two of the companies — Replacements, Ltd. and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams — are gay-owned and operated.

info: www.hrc.org/cei

At a glance…

Five North Carolina companies received perfect 100 scores in the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index. The companies receiving lesser scores and the reasons why are listed below:

BB&T Corp., Winston-Salem, N.C.
Score: 48 (2008 Score: 25) — Does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender-identity/expression, does not include gender-identity/expression in diversity training, does not offer partner health insurance or other benefits regularly given to heterosexual couples

Compass Group USA Inc., Charlotte, N.C.
Score: 65 (2008 Score: 65) — Does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender-identity/expression, does not offer transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage, does not have employer-supported employee resource group or a firm-wide diversity council

Duke Energy, Charlotte, N.C.
Score: 75 (2008 Score: 60) — Does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender-identity/expression, does not offer transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage, does not offer full partner health insurance or other benefits regularly given to heterosexual couples

Food Lion, LLC, Salisbury, N.C.
Score: 95 (2008 Score: 80) — Does not offer transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage

Progress Energy, Inc., Raleigh, N.C.
Score: 68 (2008 Score: 68) — Does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender-identity/expression, does not include gender-identity/expression in diversity training, does not offer transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage

Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice, LLC, Winston-Salem, N.C.
Score: 65 (2008 Score: 65) — Does not provide diversity training covering sexual orientation, does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender-identity/expression, does not include gender-identity/expression in diversity training, does not offer transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage, does not offer full partner health insurance or other benefits regularly given to heterosexual couples

— More detailed listings and figures are available at www.hrc.org/cei

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Posted by Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.