Minnesota companies score high marks in LGBT-friendly consumer ratings

Minnesota’s consumer-brand companies generally score high marks for employment policies and practices supportive of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees in the fifth annual shopping guide issued by the Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

Buying for Equality 2010 http://www.hrc.org/buyersguide2010 is described as “a guide to hundreds of popular American brands rated on businesses’ treatment of LGBT employees.” Among the companies singled out in the survey announcement, HRC urged consumers to favor Minnesota-based Best Buy and General Mills, each with a perfect score of 100 over rivals Radio Shack (40) and Kellogg’s (65).

The shopping guide is intended to flex the economic muscle of the LGBT community in support of highly rated companies.

Citing research by Witeck-Combs Communications and Marketresearch.com, the HRC estimates $712 billion in buying power this year within the LGBT community. They also reported a separate study by Witeck-Combs/Harris Interactive that found “78 percent of LGBT people ‘extremely’ or ‘very likely’ to consider brands that are known to provide equal workplace benefits for their employees, including LGBT workers.”

In a prepared statement, HRC President Joe Solmonese said, “By purchasing products from businesses that support LGBT equality, shoppers send a clear message to businesses that their support, or lack thereof, will directly impact their bottom line.”

Wells Fargo and Delta Airlines, non-Minnesota companies with significant Minnesota employment, also were highly rated.

Here are HRC Buying Guide rankings for Minnesota companies:

Ameriprise Financial, Minneapolis, 100
Best Buy, Richfield, 100
Cargill, Wayzata, 100
Carlson Cos., Minnetonka, 100
General Mills, Minneapolis, 100
Imation, Oakdale, 88
Land O’Lakes, Arden Hills, 53
PepsiAmericas, Minneapolis, 95
RBC Wealth Management, Minneapolis, 100
Regis Corp., Edina, 68
Supervalu, Eden Prairie, 100
Target, Minneapolis, 100
The Travelers Cos., St. Paul, 50
U.S. Bancorp, Minneapolis, 100
UnitedHealth Group, Minnetonka, 100
Wells Fargo, San Francisco, 100
Delta Air Lines, Atlanta, 100

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Gail O'Hare on 11/24/2009 - 06:25 pm.

    Thanks for this very useful information. All of us can act on it, not just the GLBT community – except, of course, that everyone with a sense of justice is part of that community.

    Now I’d like suggestions for letting companies know we’re making choices based on this significant criterion. We are urged to support local companies, but we can avoid Land of Lakes and let them know we’ve done so.

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