UPS is continuing its support for the LGBTQ community, and UPS employees are volunteering their own time in more than a dozen pride celebrations. The company is also extending its global commitment to diversity and inclusion by confirming support for two new initiatives and continuing to drive progress through business and community efforts.
UPS’s support of the United Nations Global LGBTI Standards of Conduct for Business demonstrates the organization’s alignment with the global standards designed to advance equality within corporations and across value chains. The areas addressed by the Standards include: Respect Human Rights, Eliminate Discrimination, Provide Support, Prevent Other Human Rights Violations, and Act in the Public Sphere.
UPS has also confirmed its commitment through The Business Statement on Transgender Equality, led by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Out Leadership. Through this commitment, UPS is calling for all people to be treated with respect and dignity, and reaffirming that the company opposes any administrative and legislative efforts to roll back transgender protections through reinterpretation of existing laws and regulations.
The commitments are in addition to the announcement in March 2019 that UPS received a 100% rating on the Human Rights Campaign Foundations’ Corporate Equality Index, and the designation of being a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.” UPS also received the prestigious “Best-of-the-Best” designation for 2019 from the National Business Inclusion Consortium, which honors organizations for their commitment to diverse employees and business owners.
In a recent statement to UPS’s LGBTQ and Allies Business Resource Group, UPS Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and President of The UPS Foundation Eduardo Martinez called out the importance of these commitments saying, “Our company recognizes that it plays an important role in acknowledging basic human rights in accordance with our values and high standards for the ethical, inclusive treatment of people around the world. No person should be denied the right to be treated equally among all people; all should enjoy the personal freedom from persecution and economic, social, and cultural opportunities.”
The UPS Foundation, which leads the global citizenship programs for UPS, is bringing support for diversity and inclusion actions in communities, with a new commitment of more than $11.5 million in grants to support organizations focused on empowerment, education and leadership. The grants include funding for the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Workplace Project, a nationally recognized source of expert information on LGBTQ issues, and support for the Global Workplace Equality Coalition, focused on global LGTBQ inclusion.
UPS employees are demonstrating support by participating in more than a dozen Pride Month events across the U.S. and Europe, and through hands-on volunteer work and financial support for non-profit organizations focused on supporting the LGBTQ community. Among the organizations receiving support is the United Way Arise Project, which seeks to bring caring professionals together to support the lives of LGBTQ homeless youth. UPS will also be sponsoring the Reaching Out MBA, (ROMBA) conference in October, a student-run event created to empower professionals to lead the way to equality in business education, in the workplace, and throughout society.
Within UPS, LGBTQ & Allies Business Resource Groups in the U.S. and Europe provide ongoing support and activities to foster a safe, equitable workspace, positively impact inclusion within the communities where UPSers live and work, and provide outreach to the LGBTQ community that affirms UPS is an advocate.
UPSer Joe Rayburn, who chartered one of the first UPS LGBTQ and Allies Business Resource Groups, explains why, “Being in the closet is very uncomfortable. Playing the pronoun game, trying to remember what you’ve said to whom and what pronouns you’re using when talking about your personal life — you spend so much time thinking about how to hide your personal truth. There’s a lot of fear, and it consumes so much energy. Coming out at work was a huge relief. The reception I received within UPS from the top down has always been nothing but kindness and acceptance. After I came out, I wanted to help create a group that would help others at UPS feel the same support I did.”
All of the company’s and employees’ support of the LGBTQ community during Pride Month is part of an even broader focus on diversity and inclusion.
UPS recognizes and embraces the value of inclusion as a core business focus. New initiatives focused on employees, customers, suppliers and communities are using the power of UPS’s vast global workforce to create opportunities for advancement and economic strength for populations that have been traditionally underserved. Some of these initiatives and commitments include:
- The UPS Women Exporters Program, a partnership with the International Trade Centre’s SheTrades initiative, helps to train and connect women entrepreneurs to enable them to gain access to global markets. This is complemented by our collaboration with USAID as part of the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP) aimed at training more women entrepreneurs to tap into global business markets.
- At the Transitional Learning Center at the UPS Worldport global hub in Louisville, Kentucky, the company provides pre-employment training to build a pathway for success for people who have neurological challenges and face discriminiation or suppression of employment opportunities. The program is a cooperative effort between UPS and the Coalition for Workforce Diversity. A film about the program received the 2019 Boston College Center for Citizenship “Best in Show” award.
- The dedication to drive inclusion is reflected in UPS’s top leadership. The company is one of more than 650 signatories of the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion™ pledge.
- Most recently, UPS Chairman and CEO David Abney spoke at the Operation HOPE Global Forum, underpinning the company’s continued support for economic empowerment, which enables diverse groups to realize their full potential.
Standing up for others is an underlying theme within all of these efforts. Said UPSer Joe Rayburn, “The most impactful moments over the last seven years have been when that unidentified ally made a point of being very blatant and visible in their support of my community. Being given that express permission to bring my whole authentic self to work is what makes me so grateful to work at this company every day.”