Two SA companies score 100% for LGBTQ workplace equality

Human Rights Campaign grades based on benefits, training, and inclusion

SAN ANTONIO – The non-profit, Human Rights Campaign, just released its annual Corporate Equality Index, which grades companies across the nation on their level of inclusion for LGBTQ employees.

Two San Antonio companies received perfect scores this year: Rackspace and USAA.

USAA invited KSAT to examine what they're doing that stood out in the extensive study.

This was a big year for Bobby and Jeff. They just celebrated their daughter Evelyn's first birthday.

"She's walking, she's talking, we love her to death," Jeff said.

The couple, who elected to only use their first names, always wanted to start a family, but were waiting for the right time and circumstances.

“We were both in the Army at the same time, then we were in school. We were both working at the university at the same time, and now we’re both here at USAA at the same time, so we’ve kind of had a shared experience with the levels of diversity and inclusion,” Bobby said.

Finding that inclusion was a journey for them.

"I think we both experienced that before Don't Ask Don't Tell was repealed. How you have to segment yourself, so you have to compartmentalize your personal life from your professional life. It's little things as simple as your coworkers knowing who your spouse is and just being able to live openly," Jeff said.

Their timing for adopting Evelyn had a lot to do with the inclusive benefits they found at USAA.

“Three months each that we’d be able to take off to spend with Evelyn. They offered us the adoption benefit as well - that and just coupled with the inclusive environment we have here at the company, it was kind of a no brainer,” Bobby said.

HRC puts together an annual Corporate Equality Index, which uses a list of criteria to rate companies on inclusivity.

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Benefits are on that list, as is training.

“We’re not asking you to agree with the sexual orientation. We’re asking you to understand it and respect it in the workplace,” said USAA Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Jason Kamiya.

Kamiya said that effort extends far beyond the company's basic training.

"Diversity is about differences, inclusion is more about how the individual feels: welcome, belonging," he said.

In 2015 Kamiya helped launch one of the company's eight diversity and inclusion groups. The group called BOLD supports the LGBTQ workforce.

"So we have people who don't know enough about the LGBT community, to engage with them to learn about their stories, coming out stories or whatever makes them who they are," Kamiya said.

"Just knowing there's power in numbers and having a group you could turn to if you needed to, that's really great," Jeff said. "I think it's something a lot of LGBT people kind of dreamed of and it's great now you can just be you and focus on the work that you do."

At Evelyn’s birthday party, Bobby and Jeff were surrounded by coworkers whose love and support have allowed them to live the life they’d always dreamed of.

About the Author

Courtney Friedman anchors KSAT’s weekend evening shows and reports during the week. Her ongoing Loving in Fear series confronts Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She joined KSAT in 2014 and is proud to call the SA and South Texas community home. She came to San Antonio from KYTX CBS 19 in Tyler, where she also anchored & reported.

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