Workplace Equality Index (EQLT) Updates Portfolio of LGBT Equality-Minded Corporations

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

Denver, CO – December 22, 2015 – Denver Investments announced today that it has completed its year-end review and reconstitution of the Workplace Equality Index®. At year’s end, the Index will be composed of 242 U.S. corporations, the largest number in the Index since its inception. To see the new Index holdings, please visit: http://workplaceequalityindex.com/index-information/#index-holdings

The Workplace Equality Index® is a stock index that includes many of America’s leading equality-minded corporations. It consists of publicly-traded companies that support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality in the workplace. The Index was created by Denver Investments at the request of its clients and incepted in 2001. According to John Roberts, founder of the Workplace Equality Index® and a partner at Denver Investments, “Our research suggests that forward-looking corporations also are among the most progressive and inclusive. This also tends to make them market leaders given their growing demand for diverse, high-performing talent.”

This month, the Index’s nine-person external Advisory Board conducted its annual review of companies in the Index, to assess whether changes needed to be made, including the addition or removal of any stocks to the Index. To be eligible for inclusion in the Index, companies must:

    • Have an equal employment opportunity statement that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity;
    • Extend full benefits (health, dental, etc.) for same-sex spouses, domestic partners, and also include coverage for transgender individuals;
    • Provide support for employee LGBT groups and the LGBT community in general;
    • Have a minimum market capitalization of $250 million at time of inclusion in the Index;
    • Average trading volume of $2 million for the previous 30 days;
    • Must have its stock trade in the U.S. and the company conduct business in the U.S.; and
    • Not currently be in bankruptcy or reorganization.

Following its review, the Advisory Board determined that two companies should be removed, and added 43 companies to the index, including financial data provider Markit and Colorado’s own Level 3 Communications.

The companies added to the portfolio are a diverse group, representing what we believe to be the best publicly-traded LGBT-inclusive companies in America. “Inclusion in the Workplace Equality Index® reflects our genuine commitment to diversity and inclusion and supporting employees regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Laurinda Pang, Chief Administrative Officer. “Level 3 takes pride in offering benefits to LGBT employees and their families that meet their healthcare, family planning and financial needs.”

“Diversity and inclusiveness are essential to Markit’s culture and our success,” said Lance Uggla, CEO of Markit.  “We are delighted to be included in the Workplace Equality Index® and to be recognized as one of the more LGBT-inclusive public companies trading in the US.”

About the Workplace Equality Index® Advisory Board

The Advisory Board consists of business leaders from the LBGT community. The Board provides the critical function of approving any changes to the Index and Index rules as part of the Index Committee. It also is tasked with providing feedback and knowledgeable perspective on marketing and advertising strategies. The members of the Board include:

 

Steve Brandwein, Phoenix, Arizona

Robert Corzo, Beverly Hills, California

John Farnam, Denver, Colorado

J. Kevin Jones, Petaluma, California

Bill Lewis, Phoenix, Arizona

Debra A. Neiman, CFP®, Boston, Massachusetts

Charlie Rounds, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Todd Sears, New York, New York

Meghan Stabler, Austin, Texas 

For full biographies and backgrounds of the Advisory Board members.


About Denver Investments

Since the inception of the firm’s investment management services in 1958, Denver Investments (www.denvest.com) has managed assets for a diverse array of institutional and individual investors across a broad range of equity and fixed income styles. Its capabilities include over 15 years’ experience managing portfolios for foundations and individuals that choose to allocate investments in securities of companies that support the LGBT community.

 

Contact:         Ms. Cindy Knowlton, Denver Investments

(303) 312-5024 or email us