Calvert Takes Pride in Working for LGBT Equality
With June 24 marking the official Lesbian and Gay Pride Day around the country, Calvert Investments would like to highlight some of the ways that our work, and therefore your investments, help to support LGBT equality.
A Company's 3P Framework: Policies, Programs, Performance
In addition to evaluating the overall financial performance of a company, before we choose to add a company into one of our traditional sustainable and responsible funds, Calvert goes a step further by evaluating the company's position on a number of issues such as the environment and product safety. This process would include determining whether a company has policies in place to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression. In addition, it would need to be determined that there are actual programs in place to implement those policies and that the company's policies are making a positive impact by reviewing performance measurements. Although company policies to prevent discrimination are most definitely a step in the right direction, without adequate programs and performance measures in place, in essence, these policies might only be window dressing on an important human rights issue.
Corporate Engagement Advocacy and Public Policy:
At Calvert, we also leverage our position as a shareholder to promote equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees in companies held in our portfolios. Furthermore, we actively partner with leading LGBT advocacy groups, other investment firms, or companies to help advance issue-awareness throughout corporate America and in the government. Here are some highlights from the last ten years:
- Since 2002, Calvert has filed shareholder resolutions with 17 companies asking them to expand their non-discrimination policies to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Calvert strongly supports passage of a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would provide a consistent, nationwide policy to enhance efforts to prevent discrimination. As a member of the Business Coalition for Workplace FairÂness (HRC effort), Calvert has sent letters to both the Senate and House in support of a fully inclusive ENDA.
- Calvert joined a growing coalition of leading businesses and employers in signing an amicus brief advising the First Circuit Court of appeals on the ways in which the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) harms business and employers. Calvert's position is consistent with our longstanding support for LGBT rights in the workplace, especially with respect to anti-discrimination and benefit policies.
- Calvert has engaged companies on equal partner benefits for LGBT employees. Calvert recently signed a joint letter with seven other investors and NGOs in an effort to push 104 companies toward extending partner benefits for the LGBT community. The next step will be direct dialogue with several companies.
- Calvert wrote to 19 companies to encourage them to make a public statement backing the Washington State's marriage equality legislation (Senate Bill 6239 and House 2516), which passed recently. We also wrote 9 companies to thank them for the public support they were already voicing.
From investing in companies that have clearly established policies in place for protecting against discrimination to engagement with the companies that we invest in and efforts in the public policy space, Calvert is committed to advancing important equality issues and initiatives. With Calvert, you can take pride in knowing your voice as an investor is supporting this important cause.