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February 3, 2022

Maine employers receive high marks in LGBTQ+ workplace equality index

Three Maine companies received high rankings on the Corporate Equality Index’s annual review of LGBTQ+ policies, with Hannaford Supermarkets again receiving a perfect score.

The index, released by the Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign and the HRC Foundation, was first issued in 2002. It uses voluntary surveys and other data to evaluate companies on the basis of LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination policies, benefit equity, support for an inclusive culture, and corporate social responsibility.

L.L.Bean Inc. earned a rating of 90%, the same rating as last year. Woodard & Curran Inc., a Portland-based environmental engineering firm, got a score of 60% for its first time in the ranking.

Hannaford received a perfect score for the 11th consecutive year. It’s the only grocery retailer in its market area to have received a perfect score and the only Maine-based business across all industries to have received top marks.

“We strive every day to ensure that everyone who works or shops at our stores feels a sense of belonging and is accepted and respected,” Todd Bullen, Hannaford’s vice president of operations and executive sponsor of the company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion council, said in a statement.

“We are proud to have achieved a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign in recognition for the work we do to create a safe environment that respects one another and celebrates differences.”

The CEI rated companies on detailed criteria falling under four central areas: non-discrimination policies across business entities; equitable benefits for LGBTQ+ workers and their families; supporting an inclusive culture; and corporate social responsibility. The 20th-anniversary edition of the CEI included over 1,200 participants and more than 800 top scorers.

Other firms with a large presence in Maine also appeared with high marks on the list.

Unum Group (NYSE: UNM) scored 100% for the past two years. The insurance and benefits company, now based in Tennessee, dates back to the 1848 founding of Union Mutual Life Insurance Co. in Portland. The company was headquartered until 2002 in Maine, and still employs about 2,400 workers in the Portland area.

Insurer Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE: SLF) also scored 100% for the 14th time. Sun Life has about 500 employees in Maine.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) received a score of 95%, the same as last year. The medical device company has facilities in Westbrook and Scarborough for the production of COVID-19 medical tests. It also has plans for a different kind of testing in South Portland.

Hannaford’s primary rival in Maine, Shaw’s Supermarkets, is a subsidiary of Albertsons Cos. Inc. (NYSE: ACI), an Idaho-based food retailing giant that received a 90% ranking, up from 80% a year ago.

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