Wednesday, November 7, 2007
The Echelon team just returned from the West Coast Franchise Expo in Los Angeles on October 19-21. As the Gay/Lesbian community has been somewhat hidden in the franchise industry in the past, we were very pleasantly surprised to be welcomed by the majority of the exhibitors as well as the attendees. At the onset of the Expo, I must admit that I was curious as well as a bit concerned that we would not be welcomed. However, the entire experience was a positive one and over the course of the three days proved to me that times are definitely changing.
Similar to the franchising industry in terms of GLBT inclusiveness is the sport of racecar driving. Evan Darling is a pioneer as he makes waves by being one of the only “out” race car drivers in the country. His courage and integrity in living and working in his truth is amplified by his desire to act as a role model to inspire young GLBT individuals.
Evan Darling highlights Echelon’s first Auto Industry issue which will be featured as a regular issue each year. This issue marks the first time that our publication focuses on a particular industry and describes some of the positive stories that are occurring in the marketplace. It is encouraging to read about what GM has been doing lately in terms of their GLBT inclusion efforts and GayWheels.com is also making great inroads into this industry.
Like a well-oiled machine, the Human Rights Campaign has churned out a record number of companies scoring 100% in their Corporate Equality Index (CEI). We list each company in this issue specifically to applaud their endeavors and also to illustrate how each and every one of us need to realize how respect for the GLBT community in the workplace is growing. This year’s CEI depicts an increase in the number of companies scoring 100% by 41%. So, depite how well ENDA bades in Congress this season we can rest assured that the business world is recognizing GLBT equality in the workplace. As so many companies are aligning their internal corporate culture with the diverse communities within our country, their efforts will obviously impact their bottom line.
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