Altria Group Inc. proudly receives the 2023-2024 Equality 100 Award from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC), solidifying its status as a leader in LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion. This esteemed accolade, tied to a perfect score of 100 on the HRC Corporate Equality Index (CEI), places Altria alongside 172 other Fortune 500 companies recognized for their commitment to inclusivity.
This marks the sixth consecutive year that Altria has achieved a perfect score, a testament to the company’s unwavering dedication to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. Billy Gifford, Altria CEO, underscores the significance of this recognition, stating, “To responsibly lead the transition of adult smokers to a smoke-free future, we need to be a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming place to work.”
The continuous perfect score reflects Altria’s ongoing efforts to champion LGBTQ+ equality. Internal policies and practices prioritize creating safe and affirming workplaces. Notably, Altria’s anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies extend protections based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
In addition to comprehensive policies, Altria goes further by offering equitable benefits to LGBTQ+ employees and their families. This includes adoption and surrogacy-related benefits and transgender-affirming healthcare benefits. The company’s commitment extends to implementing voluntary self-identification and pronoun programs, showcasing a dedication to fostering an inclusive culture.
Notably, Altria embraces ongoing internal training programs and resources related to LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusion. This multifaceted approach ensures that employees are not only protected by policies but also immersed in an organizational culture that celebrates diversity.
In 2023, the HRC raised the bar for corporate allyship in LGBTQ+ inclusion with a new survey for employers. This year’s CEI evaluated companies based on four central pillars:
- Workforce Protections:
- Assessing measures in place to protect LGBTQ+ employees within the workforce.
- Inclusive Benefits:
- Evaluating the inclusivity of benefits provided to LGBTQ+ employees and their families.
- Inclusive Culture:
- Examining the overall organizational culture to ensure it promotes inclusivity and diversity.
- Corporate Social Responsibility:
- Recognizing corporate efforts to contribute positively to society.
RaShawn “Shawnie” Hawkins, Senior Director of Workplace Equality at the Human Rights Campaign, acknowledges the pivotal role businesses play in advancing LGBTQ+ equality. The year-over-year growth in CEI participation is a testament to the business community’s recognition of the responsibility and value in upholding equity and inclusion.
Altria’s commitment to LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion not only aligns with corporate values but also positions the company as a beacon of diversity in the corporate landscape. As businesses evolve, Altria remains at the forefront, leading the way toward a more inclusive and equitable future.
For further insights, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s full report is available here.
In conclusion, Altria’s recognition for LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion goes beyond a score; it reflects a deep-seated commitment to creating an environment where every employee, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, can thrive. As Altria continues to break barriers, its efforts stand as an inspiration for other corporations navigating the path toward genuine inclusivity.