Discrimination | Eliot Spitzer | Gay Marriage | News | Tico Almeida

ExxonMobil Needs to Step Up and Protect Its LGBT Employees: VIDEO

Almeida

Freedom to World President Tico Almeida talks to Eliot Spitzer on Viewpoint about the NAACP's endorsement of marriage equality and a campaign targeting Exxon Mobil for its lack of corporate policies to protect LGBT employees from discrimination.

Says Almeida: "They are decades behind in adopting the principles of corporate leadership that so many Fortune 500 companies have already adopted because it's the right thing to do for business."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Perhaps -- just perhaps -- the reason that these efforts have FAILED for the last 14 years is that the organizations doing the pushing are not based anywhere near ExxonMobil's main operations and frankly also have little understanding of the oil & gas industry.

    Dallas (well, Irving) ain't NYC and no petition on change.org is going to "pressure" a company the size of XOM into doing anything.

    The really troubling thing about this interview is that Almeida has obviously never met any LGBT people who work for XOM or even looked at what is happening from the inside. I doubt, for that matter, that Almeida's organization -- a lobbying group -- even understands how the vast majority of LGBT non-discrimination policies got put in place at all the other Fortune 500 companies: through the hard work of a company's employees / employee groups.

    I expect ExxonMobil to change in the near future, not because of anything that Almeida's group is doing, but because:

    1) Competitive advantage enjoyed by peer companies in hiring and retention;
    2) Aging out of the current middle and upper management (what we in the industry call 'the great shift change'); and
    3) The continued hard work that XOM LGBT employees and allies are putting into making change happen.

    Posted by: Mike in Houston | May 22, 2012 10:58:47 AM


  2. "Dallas (well, Irving) ain't NYC and no petition on change.org is going to "pressure" a company the size of XOM into doing anything."

    That's fine (Mike in Houston) and I and many others don't have to buy their gas until they do...

    Posted by: Andy | May 22, 2012 11:37:05 AM


  3. I interviewed at Mobil a long time ago. Got a distinctly anti-gay vibe from the upper management people I spoke to. Also Mobil had that "private country club" atmosphere, if one were allowed in.

    Not based on much, but I would be surprised if they had many gay employees above a certain level, and probably none in upper management.

    Posted by: old school capitalism | May 22, 2012 12:33:08 PM


  4. Pressure is exactly what got most companies to adopt anti-discrimination policies.

    As for Exxon-Mobil, Mike, you should look into the history of that merger and what it did to pro-LGBT rules.

    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2010/05/26/23013

    They dumped gay rights because the oil industry and Exxon are closely tied to you-know-which political party.

    Posted by: BobN | May 22, 2012 12:48:24 PM


  5. BOBN -- I'm well aware of XOM's history. I live in Houston and work for Chevron (which, BTW, has a 100% rating from HRC).

    Outside "pressure" rarely has gotten companies to change their policies -- despite what you may think. The vast majority of change comes in the form of LGBT employees who challenge from within and make the business case for change. The HRC Corporate Equality Index, for example, is a great measure -- but without employee groups working with their respective management to understand why LGBT workplace equality is important, what it means to the company's bottom line and why change in this area can and is positive, management typically doesn't simply wake up and go, "let's enact LGBT-inclusive policies".

    Posted by: Mike in Houston | May 22, 2012 1:45:45 PM


  6. I am a gay ExxonMobil employee. There are policies protecting gay people. In our nondiscrimination policy handbook there is even an example about a supervisor who uses a mild gay slur and they say, it violated the policy. Employees have been fired for using gay slurs, and the CEO himself said that our antidiscrimination policies cover gay people. ExxonMobil does not offer same sex benefits. But to say that it won't protect gay people from on the job harassment or discrimination is wrong. HRC gives ExxonMobil a 0, the same as a company that won't hire gay people. We all lose credibility in our positions, and our ability to persuade, when we lie about the other side and are inflexible in our own positions. ExxonMobil won't engage our side because we lie about ExxonMobil's policies.

    Posted by: cahbf | May 22, 2012 4:35:32 PM


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