Co.Design

Infographic of the Day: The Best and Worst Places to Work If You’re Gay

Crack data viz designer Tiffany Farrant shows us who's hot and who's not on the Fortune 500 Corporate Equality Index.

If you're gay, you might want to rethink a job at ExxonMobil. Better yet, ExxonMobil might want to rethink its policy on gays.

The big-oil biz tied with Philip Morris International as the lowest ranking companies in this tremendous multi-part infographic on how LGBT-friendly the top 100 Fortune 500 corporations make their workplaces. Designed by Tiffany Farrant for Meet The Boss TV, the data visualization ranks both individual businesses and entire sectors, drawing up a black-and-white picture of tolerance in corporate America today -- of who has embraced LGBT diversity and who still acts like Stonewall never happened.

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The data Farrant used is something called the 2011 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). It was developed by the LGBT civil-rights organization Human Rights Campaign, and it rates companies on a scale of 0 to 100 on criteria like whether they prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, host office-wide LGBT councils, and offer health insurance and other benefits to same-sex partners.

Farrant threw all the indices on a wheel, then colored them neon green, so the more green you see, the better the company's LGBT policy. She also also arranged businesses around the wheel clockwise, according to their Fortune 500 ranking -- a clever design move, because it shows how they fare compared with companies of similar means. So ExxonMobil, No. 1 on the Fortune 500 list, looks like a jerk next to the others around it (Walmart excluded). The aluminum giant Alcoa (No. 90), on the other hand, looks like a saint. Click the image below for more detail:


Overall, there's an awful lot of gray, which seems to be a stark indictment of many of the nation's biggest corporations. Laser in on the criteria they skimp on (see below), and it's pretty clear that cash is the cardinal concern here. Just 66 percent of the companies offer same-sex partner health insurance, whereas 94 percent provide diversity training. One obviously costs more than the other. This suggests that their half-baked policies are less a matter of unchecked homophobia than good ol? fashioned nickel and diming.

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The good news: Of the 615 companies rated, more than half scored perfect 100s. As Meet The Boss TV reports, that's a huge improvement over 2002 -- the year the index was introduced -- when just 13 companies got top marks. Clearly, we're seeing lots of progress on equality in the workplace. The legal profession, in particular, is so gay-friendly it may as well wrap a rainbow flag around Lady Justice. ExxonMobile oughta take some lessons from its many, many lawyers.

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[Images courtesy of Tiffany Farrant]

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