Harris, the financial service organization whose parent company recently announced the purchase of Wisconsin’s M & I bank, has been recognized as one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.” The company scored a perfect 100-percent on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's 2011 Corporate Equality Index, which is the primary method for businesses to assess and evaluate their policies, practices and diversity efforts involving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.
Harris is among 337 businesses awarded for their outstanding diversity efforts in the workplace after being evaluated on non-discrimination policies, benefits, diversity training, internal resources provided to LGBT workers, and outside support of the LGBT community. Harris offers several employee affinity groups, including Lion's Pride, which provides a supportive forum for LGBT employees while offering cultural and educational opportunities and events.
M &I has a diversity program and has reached out to LGBT consumers through advertising in the Wisconsin Gazette.
"Promoting fairness and equality in the workplace not only helps foster an environment where our employees can flourish, but also helps us better understand and serve our diverse customer base – and ultimately helps us achieve our vision to be the bank that defines great customer experience," said Deirdre Drake, senior vice president of human resources.
Harris’ parent company, Canadian Bank BMO Financial Group, is purchasing Marshall & Ilsley (M & I) Bank for $4.1 billion in stock in an effort to expand its North American business. There’s no word yet on whether BMO will change the name of the M & I branches.