WestRock earns top mark on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s assessment of LGBTQ+ workplace equality

Sample article from our Packaging Industry

December 5, 2023 (press release) –

ATLANTA—December 5, 2023—WestRock (NYSE:WRK), a global leader in sustainable paper-based packaging, today announced that it received a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2023-2024 Corporate Equality Index, the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality. WestRock joins the ranks of 545 major U.S. businesses that also earned top marks this year.

“Implementing policies and practices is one of the ways WestRock ensures our LGBTQIA+ teammates are fairly and equitably represented, but it’s our team members around the world who are nurturing a culture where each individual feels respected, supported, valued, heard and empowered to contribute authentically – proof positive that our actions must model our words,” said David B. Sewell, chief executive officer at WestRock. “We are honored to earn a score of 100 on the HRC Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index for the third consecutive year.”

“Our goal at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation is to work in a spirit of partnership with companies, providing educational resources and leading benchmarking, and collaborating on ways for businesses to support the LGBTQ+ community at a time when we face unprecedented legislative attacks, heightened anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and physical violence. The CEI is an ever-evolving tool – a blueprint that companies can use to show up more effectively in supporting their LGBTQ+ employees and their families,” said RaShawn “Shawnie” Hawkins, Human Rights Campaign senior director of Workplace Equality. 

The results of the 2023-2024 CEI showcase how U.S.-based companies are promoting LGBTQ+ friendly workplace policies in the U.S. and abroad. The first year of the CEI included 319 participants, and the 2023-2024 CEI now includes 1,384 participants; further demonstrating the tremendous trajectory of the CEI, a record-breaking 1,340 businesses have non-discrimination protections specific to gender identity, up from just 17 in 2002. These critical non-discrimination protections cover 21 million employees in the U.S. and around the globe.  [Business Name]’s efforts in satisfying all the CEI’s criteria earned a score of 100 and the designation as recipient of the Equality 100 Award: Leader in LGBTQ+ Workplace Inclusion.

The CEI rates employers providing these crucial protections to over 20 million U.S. workers and an additional 18 million outside of the U.S. Companies rated in the CEI include Fortune magazine’s 500 largest publicly traded businesses, American Lawyer magazine’s top 200 revenue-grossing law firms (AmLaw 200), and hundreds of publicly and privately held mid- to large-sized businesses.
The CEI rates companies on detailed criteria falling under four central pillars:

  • Non-discrimination policies across business entities;
  • Equitable benefits for LGBTQ+ workers and their families;
  • Supporting an inclusive culture; and,
  • Corporate social responsibility.

The full report is available online at www.hrc.org/cei.

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About WestRock

WestRock (NYSE: WRK) partners with our customers to provide sustainable paper and packaging solutions that help them win in the marketplace. WestRock’s team members support customers around the world from locations spanning North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Learn more at www.westrock.com.

About HRC

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people. Through its programs, the HRC Foundation seeks to make transformational change in the everyday lives of LGBTQ+ people, shedding light on inequity and deepening the public’s understanding of LGBTQ+ issues, with a clear focus on advancing transgender and racial justice. Its work has transformed the landscape for more than 15 million workers, 11 million students, 1 million clients in the adoption and foster care system and so much more. The HRC Foundation provides direct consultation and technical assistance to institutions and communities, driving the advancement of inclusive policies and practices; it builds the capacity of future leaders and allies through fellowship and training programs; and, with the firm belief that we are stronger working together, it forges partnerships with advocates in the U.S. and around the globe to increase our impact and shape the future of our work.

 

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