Nissan earned a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Corporate Equality Index for the second year in a row. In 2013, Nissan was among the fastest risers in the history of the index with a 70-point increase in just two years.
“Nissan has the most culturally diverse consumer base of any automotive manufacturer, and we know that to maintain that advantage we must focus on the human connection,” said Jeffrey Webster, director of Diversity and Inclusion at Nissan. “We concentrate our efforts on grassroots initiatives that give consumers the chance to interact with our vehicles and to have an open dialogue about what Nissan is doing in the LGBT community.”
In August, Nissan sponsored the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association’s (NLGJA) national convention in Chicago and as a part of the event, Nissan hosted a charity ride-and-drive featuring the Nissan Altima and Rogue. For every person who took a spin in a Nissan, the company made a $25 donation to NLGJA’s Connect Student Journalism Project. After 100 test drives in two days, Nissan made a donation of $2,500 to help fund the program that gives college journalism students the opportunity to report on vital issues in the LGBT community.
Nissan’s LGBT employee resource group, the Gay-Straight Alliance at Nissan (GSAN), was one of the strongest factors behind Nissan’s perfect score in 2013, and it continues to be the driving force behind a large portion of the company’s LGBT community outreach.
In June, Nissan hosted an HRC Summit at Nissan North America’s headquarters in Nashville, where businesses and community leaders across middle Tennessee gathered to share best practices for LGBT inclusion in the workplace and in the community. GSAN leaders led the discussion on employee resource groups, highlighting their own recruiting efforts that helped the group gain more than 100 members in its first six months.
GSAN members also coordinated Nissan’s presence at Nashville’s largest Pride festival to date in June. The all-electric Nissan LEAF kicked off the event as the official pace car for the Nashville Pride Equality Walk, and Nissan had interactive car displays and ways to escape the summer heat for festival-goers.
In addition to having a highly engaged group of LGBT employees and allies, Nissan offers inclusive benefits and Championing Diversity workshops for employees, and the Diversity and Inclusion team works closely with advocacy groups such as the HRC to drive a culture of equality in the workplace.
The HRC Corporate Equality Index is a national benchmarking survey and report that evaluates LGBT-related policies and practices including non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive health care benefits, competency programs and public engagement with the LGBT community. Nissan was among 364 major U.S. businesses that earned a 100 percent ranking and the designation as a Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality.