For the sixth consecutive year, Aramark earned a 100 percent rating and the designation of being a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality,” from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2020 Corporate Equality Index (CEI).
This recognition validates our efforts to maintain an open and inclusive workplace environment for our LGBTQ+ employees and allies -- an environment where everyone can succeed.
But what does it mean to our LGBTQ+ employees to work in an inclusive workplace? We decided to ask the co-chairs of Pride, our LGBTQ+ employee resource group, what it means to them. Vincent Poplaski, Associate Vice President, Executive Compensation, is relatively new to Aramark, while Kris Reinhardt, IT Senior Technical Analyst in Information Technology, has been with Aramark for more than 20 years.
For Vincent, Aramark’s Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, and specifically those focused on the LGBTQ+ community, were important factors in his decision to work at Aramark.
“I was encouraged during the interview process that Aramark was not only tolerant of D&I initiatives but fully embraced them,” he said about his interviews for the position he now holds. “I was able to conclude that Aramark is a workplace that not only tolerates differences but openly welcomes them.”
After joining Aramark, Vincent stepped into the role of Pride co-chair, to help advance diversity and inclusion efforts even more.
“My time as Pride co-chair has only reinforced that conclusion along with external recognition such as Aramark being named as a 2020 Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality,” he said. “Overall, I feel fortunate to work at a company like Aramark that has such a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, including those specific to the LGBTQ+ community.”
Kris Reinhardt has been out from the beginning of her career with Aramark, said that working for two decades at a company that “accepts me for ALL that I am is both freeing and comforting.”
“I’m proud of our multiple awards over multiple years. All of these have made me confident in Aramark’s pledge that every employee shall be able to ‘bring their whole selves to work.’ So confident, in fact, that I am now the co-chair of the Pride ERG and I am excited about continuing to move us forward.”
Under Kris and Vincent’s leadership, the Pride ERG at Aramark had a banner year, hosting multiple informational webinars, actively participating in the Out and Equal Workplace Summit in Washington, D. C., sharing LGBTQ+ news through its monthly newsletter, and topping off the year by hosting a cross-ERG holiday party that encouraged employees from all 10 ERGs to meet, network and celebrate the season. The ERG also hosted the Pride of Aramark reception that included special guests from the Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs, the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and the Independence Business Alliance, the local LGBT Chamber. And Pride was integral to Aramark joining the amicus brief in support of LGBTQ+ workers.
Overall, Pride's goals include enhancing Aramark's competitive advantages as an LGBTQ+-friendly employer and business partner as well as engaging employees. For the past six years, the CEI recognition has validated Aramark’s work. Employers earning top ratings took concrete steps to ensure greater equity for LGBTQ+ workers and their families in the form of comprehensive policies, benefits and practices. The CEI rating criteria have five key categories: non-discrimination policies across business entities; equitable benefits for LGBTQ+ workers and their families; supporting an inclusive culture, public commitment to LGBTQ+ equality and responsible citizenship.
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