Monday, Oct. 4, 2010 | 2:25 p.m.
Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. and Wynn Resorts Ltd. lead the gaming industry rankings in the newest national business report card on supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equal rights.
The rankings, called the 2011 Corporate Equality Index, were issued today by the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C.
In an industry with a 92-percent average score, Harrah’s and Wynn scored 100s along with another big player in the Las Vegas hotel industry, Marriott International.
The only other gaming operator to be ranked, MGM Resorts International, scored an 85.
Companies were given credit for having equal employment opportunity policies and diversity training that cover sexual orientation and gender identity; for having domestic partner benefits; and for supporting LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) equal rights groups in the workplace and community.
In the hotel and gaming industries, such diversity rankings are important not only for fostering workplace equality and opportunity, but for marketing purposes as companies seek the business of people from various racial, ethnic and sexual-identity groups.
Other big players in the Las Vegas economy and their scores in the report were NV Energy, 85; Southwest Airlines, 95; Cox Enterprises (Cox Communications) 100 and UnitedHealth Group (Sierra Health) 100.
The foundation said in today’s report that the number of businesses achieving 100 percent scores rose by 45 to an unprecedented 305, representing more than 9.3 million full-time employees.
The increase came despite opposition from anti-LGBT organizations, said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, which has been promoting passage of a federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act that would support inclusion efforts for LGBT workers.
Separately, Harrah’s was honored Sept. 25 by the Las Vegas Urban Chamber of Commerce as the “Corporation of the Year” at its Annual Awards Gala and Roast.
The company was recognized for its continued support and commitment to the community and its business accomplishments.
“We are very appreciative to be named the first-ever recipient of the ‘Corporation of the Year’ award,” said Fred Keeton, vice president of finance, external affairs and chief diversity officer. “At Harrah’s we are proud to support the Urban Chamber so it may continue to assist African American business owners and enhance economic development across the Las Vegas.”
In addition to the award, a celebratory roast event was held for community leader Hannah Brown, who introduced the Hannah Brown Community Development Corporation (HBCDC), a non profit organization whose mission is to support economic development and education initiatives. Following the presentation, Harrah’s presented HBCDC with $25,000 to support the non profit’s initiatives.
Harrah’s said the Nevada Minority Business Council also inducted Harrah’s into its hall of fame as “Corporation of the Decade” for the company’s 15-year dedication to diversity and inclusion. And most recently, Profiles in Diversity Journal selected Harrah’s for its top honor, the “2010 Diversity Leader Award,” for its diversity communications practices.