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Raymond James joins top-tier companies on an LGBTQ equality index

Margie Manning

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Raymond James employees in the St. Pete Pride Parade

Raymond James Financial Inc. earned a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2020 Corporate Equality Index.

It was the first perfect score for Raymond James (NYSE:RJF). The St. Petersburg-based financial services company scored 90 on the 2019 index and 85 in 2018.

Other top-scoring companies that are headquartered in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area this year are Tampa law firms Carlton Fields and Holland & Knight; Tech Data Corp. (Nasdaq: TECD), an IT distributor in Clearwater; and WellCare Health Plans (NYSE: WCG), a Tampa managed healthcare company. Each of those also got perfect scores of 100 in 2019.

The HRC Corporate Equality Index measures workplace inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees. “These companies know that protecting their LGBTQ employees and customers from discrimination is not just the right thing to do – it is also the best business decision. In addition, many of these leaders are also advocating for the LGBTQ community and equality under the law in the public square,” said HRC President Alphonso David, who released the 2020 report Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Companies are rated on several criteria based on three key factors — non-discrimination policies across business entities, equitable benefits for LGBTQ workers and their families; and an inclusive culture and corporate social responsibility.

A record number of companies — 686 businesses — earned scores of 100 this year, up from 572 a year ago. The first index, in 2002, had just 13 top-rated companies.

Other companies with local headquarters also are included in the 2020 report. Bloomin’ Brands (Nasdaq: BLMN), the Tampa-based restaurant company whose brands include Outback Steakhouse and Bonefish Grill, got a score of 50, the same as last year. St. Petersburg-based manufacturing solutions firm Jabil (NYSE: JBL) scored 20, also a repeat of 2019. Publix Super Markets in Lakeland scored O. Scores for both Jabil and Publix were unofficial, meaning they did not respond to surveys from the HRC.

Many other companies, including banks, professional services, technology businesses and retailers with offices and employees in the Tampa-St. Pete area are included in the 2020 report. Read the full report here.

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