The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced today that Nissan received a perfect score of 100 in the Corporate Equality Index (CEI), up 70 points from two years ago, marking one of the fastest rises in the history of the index.
“Nissan proudly has one of the most diverse customer bases in the automotive industry, and we want to ensure our workforce reflects that. The two biggest factors that catapulted us to a perfect score were the implementation of a companywide diversity training program and the launch of Nissan’s LGBT affinity group, the Gay-Straight Alliance at Nissan (GSAN),” said Robert Wilson, director of Diversity and Inclusion at Nissan. “With the training program, employees take a deeper dive into what inclusion really means. GSAN has become one of the company’s quickest expanding business synergy teams with outreach programs that are making a difference in terms of sales, recruiting, retention and satisfaction.”
GSAN began forming in late 2012 with about a dozen Nissan employees who expressed interest in a group that could support LGBT employees and allies. GSAN officially launched in July 2013 and since then, the group has expanded to nearly 100 members, making it one of the fastest-growing and most engaging of Nissan’s employee resource groups. The team has taken an integrated approach in its efforts with significant collaboration with other Nissan affinity groups, and more than half of GSAN membership is made up of allies.
The group has been key in getting a variety of teams to work cross-functionally to establish Nissan’s presence at community activities, increasing awareness and driving sales. GSAN members worked with sales operations teams to develop a way to track purchases driven by Nissan’s involvement in the community, and since June the company already has seen a measureable return on investment in events such as Pride festivals, HRC’s Equality Dinner and activities with the Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce.
“We want GSAN to serve as a catalyst that drives a culture of equality providing a safe, respectful, inclusive and supportive environment for our employees, vendor partners and customers,” said Cathy Lively, ally supporter and co-chair of GSAN. “Looking at the successes we’ve had just in the last year makes us really eager to carry that momentum forward as we amp up our presence at LGBT events and get more involved with civic and philanthropic organizations that serve the LGBT community.”