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NORTHBROOK, Ill., Nov. 19, 2014 – Astellas, a leading pharmaceutical company, received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) annual Corporate Equality Index (CEI). The CEI is a national benchmarking tool used to rate companies on policies and practices concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employee equality.
"In order to achieve a perfect score, a company has to show a deep and serious commitment to treating their LGBT employees fairly and equally on the job. We also look at whether a company is speaking out in the public square to advocate for LGBT equality here in this country and around the world,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Astellas not only meets these standards, it goes above and beyond the call of duty, making commitment to equality a fundamental aspect of its corporate values."
For the last 12 years, HRC has released the Corporate Equality Index Survey as a means for companies to contextualize equality efforts, culture and business practices. The survey rates business practices on a 100-point scale and assesses six core areas: human resources, diversity, staffing, counsel/legal, marketing/communications and corporate giving/foundation relations.
Currently, benefits cover all LGBT employees and their domestic partners, including the company’s new extended benefits program, StarLife Family Care Solutions. This program amplifies traditional child and elder care offerings to embrace the broader needs of employees, domestic partners and their families.
Rod Christmon, Director of Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion at Astellas, prioritizes LGBT equality on the job by hosting diversity seminars and training sessions for small groups or entire departments. “We are proud to provide an inclusive culture supporting sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, equivalence in spousal and partner benefits, and training for our employees,” he said.
Astellas has continually expanded its LGBT-focused outreach efforts since the company’s inception in 2005. Some of the current Astellas LGBT- focused efforts include sponsoring the 2014 National Lesbian and Gay Journalist Association Conference, the largest gathering of media in the LGBT community; attending the Out & Equal Workplace Summit for the first time in 2014; and participating in the Chicago Gay Pride Parade annually since 2009 to promote diversity and equality in the workplace.
“Astellas takes workplace equality seriously and strives to provide an inclusive and supportive environment for the LGBT community, which is very much linked to our core tenets of serving patient needs, enthusiasm, results, communication and integrity,” said Linda Friedman, Senior Vice President General Counsel, and Executive Sponsor of Astellas’ LGBT Employee Resource Group.
For more information on Astellas and our culture initiatives, visit our website www.astellas.us.
About HRC Corporate Equality Index
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. For more information on Astellas, please visit our website at www.astellas.us. You can also follow us on Twitter at @AstellasUS.
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