BOSTON, MA — Eastern Bank is pleased to announce that for the ninth consecutive year, it received a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality. Eastern joins over 840 major U.S. businesses that also earned top marks this year, including 47 Massachusetts-based companies.
“Eastern has been a longtime supporter of LGBTQ+ equality, and we are committed to continuing the work we and so many of our community partners began years ago to ensure our workplace and the communities we serve are welcoming places to work and live,” said Bob Rivers, CEO and Chair of the Board of Eastern Bankshares, Inc. and Eastern Bank. “We thank the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for its leadership in creating better opportunities for the LGBTQ+ community and for acknowledging Eastern’s efforts over time.”
Eastern has been a corporate leader in supporting equality initiatives through progressive corporate practices and partnerships in the community. Through the years, this has included:
- Becoming the first company in the country to sign GLAD’s amicus brief that asked the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA);
- Offering a stipend to married same-sex employees to offset the federal tax on healthcare benefits that married opposite-sex employees do not pay;
- Adding same-sex partner benefits to its benefits package;
- Expanding its employee health insurance to offer comprehensive transgender-inclusive coverage, including coverage for treatments and services related to sex affirmation or reassignment;
- Adding gender identity and expression to its employee nondiscrimination policy;
- Becoming a founding member of the Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce and the LGBT Business Network, working to promote opportunities for LGBTQ+-owned businesses, corporations and professionals, and during the pandemic, helping to ensure LGBTQ+-owned businesses have access to loan assistance programs like the Paycheck Protection Program;
- Convening the community to successfully uphold Ballot Question Three in Massachusetts, which led to protections of the civil rights and access to public accommodations for people who are transgender;
- Receiving the Boston Business Journal’s Corporate Ally Award, for its long-standing commitment to Greater Boston’s LGBTQ+ community; and
- Committing its support for the Equality Act, joining what has become the largest business coalition to come together in support of LGBTQ+ equality.
Eastern’s “Equality Under the Blue” Employee Network meets regularly with senior leadership on issues of importance to the LGBTQ+ community, and helps to organize workplace practices as well as various community events. Most recently, it organized employee volunteers to serve as notaries for transgender, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming people in the process of legally changing their name or gender-marker in Massachusetts. In addition in 2021, the Eastern Bank Foundation contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to community partners serving the LGBTQ+ community.
The CEI rates employers providing crucial protections to over 20 million U.S. workers and an additional 18 million abroad. Companies rated in the CEI include Fortune magazine’s 500 largest publicly traded businesses, American Lawyer magazine’s top 200 revenue-grossing law firms, and hundreds of publicly and privately held mid- to large-sized businesses. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people. Through its programs, the HRC Foundation seeks to make transformational change in the everyday lives of LGBTQ+ people, shedding light on inequity and deepening the public’s understanding of LGBTQ+ issues, with a clear focus on advancing transgender and racial justice.
The CEI rates companies on detailed criteria falling under four central pillars:
- Non-discrimination policies across business entities;
- Equitable benefits for LGBTQ+ workers and their families;
- Supporting an inclusive culture; and,
- Corporate social responsibility.
The full report is available online at www.hrc.org/cei.
About Eastern Bank
Founded in 1818, Boston-based Eastern Bank has more than 120 locations serving communities in eastern Massachusetts, southern and coastal New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. As of December 31, 2021, Eastern Bank had approximately $24 billion in total assets. Eastern provides banking, investment and insurance products and services for consumers and businesses of all sizes, including through its Eastern Wealth Management division and its Eastern Insurance Group LLC subsidiary. Eastern takes pride in its outspoken advocacy and community support that includes $240 million in charitable giving since 1994. An inclusive company, Eastern employs approximately 2,100 deeply committed professionals who value relationships with their customers, colleagues, and communities.
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