Record number of Wisconsin businesses named best places to work for LGBTQ

Nineteen Wisconsin-based businesses have received top marks for LGBTQ inclusion in the latest edition of the Corporate Equality Index released last week.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, or HRC, report monitors the LGBTQ-related policies and practices of companies across the United States, assigning each participating company a score from zero to 100. This year’s report marks the 20th anniversary of the first report.

The Racine-based Johnson Financial Group received a perfect score on the Index for the first time after receiving a 70 last year. Denise Domian serves as the head of human resources there.

“To go from a 70 to 100 is not without thought and efforts, and without really taking a deep look at your organization to see what is it that we need to do to be better and to really make everybody feel welcome and a part of the organization,” Domian said.

Domian said opening up conversations in the workplace played a significant part in improving diversity.

“Being able to have an honest dialogue about things is the first step in better understanding, right, in feeling like we all can participate and be our best selves in the organization,” Domian said. “A lot of it’s just about how you treat people and what you’re trying to achieve in the organization and recognizing that we all have work to do, and we all have biases, inherent biases in ourselves.”

Domian said Johnson Financial Group is starting to turn its focus toward bringing the dialogue and support into the community. She said fostering diversity in an organization is an ongoing journey.