Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility and LGBT Equality
A Program to Build an Inclusive Workplace Culture

CHICAGO (July 8, 2015) – With marriage equality now the law of the land and anti-discrimination laws firmly in place in the state if not nationally, the focus for many Illinois businesses is how to create a welcoming and affirming workplace for LGBT employees.

This week, Equality Illinois, the state’s oldest and largest advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Illinoisans, is launching a new publication and a series of training seminars to help business executives build inclusive companies that benefit them, their staffs, and the customers they serve. The presenting partner of this project is the law firm of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

Corporate Best Practices 2015 coverThe publication, Corporate Best Practices: A Guide to LGBT-Inclusive Workplaces in Illinois, is a step-by-step guide for businesses. The guide can be read and downloaded at

The first of a half-dozen Corporate Social Responsibility Trainings is this Thursday (July 9) and will focus on the Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality and its implications for corporate policies and practices. More information and registration for this session at 8:30 AM Thursday at Seyfarth Shaw LLP (131 S. Dearborn St., Suite 2400, Chicago) can be found at

“The past few years have brought numerous victories for the LGBT community, from winning marriage equality in our own state to federal recognition of same-sex couples,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois.

“While these advances have been crucial in creating a fair world for those who identify as LGBT, there are many additional steps to creating a workplace environment where LGBT employees can flourish. This requires taking affirmative steps to create an inclusive and supportive community – both within the workplace and in society at large,” he said.

Future training sessions, which will be held every few weeks, will focus on gender identity issues, benefits, reaching LGBT consumers and public accommodation laws, diversity, training, and workplace policies and practices. These presentations are specifically geared at corporate decision makers, community affairs and HR professionals, and local to national level business executives. All the sessions are free, but advanced registration at is required for each training.

“Employees’ commitment and productivity at work are directly connected to the employer’s commitment to its employees, and Equality Illinois is dedicated to supporting the efforts of companies to understand and implement these workplace best practices,” Cherkasov said.

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