A record number of ExxonMobil
shareholders voted on Wednesday in favor of adding sexual
orientation and gender identity to the company's official equal
employment opportunity policy, but it was not enough for the measure
to pass. ExxonMobil, the world's largest company by revenue, remains
the only Fortune 50 company that does not offer GLBT protections.
Nearly 40% of ExxonMobil's shareholders
voted in favor of offering protections to the company's GLBT workers.
The resolution first appeared in 2000 when it only received an 8.2%
approval – a number that has increased every year since.
The Human Right Campaign (HRC), a group
that monitors GLBT rights in the workplace, reports that nearly 90%
of Fortune 500 companies include sexual orientation in their
non-discrimination policies and 30% include gender identity.
ExxonMobil's competitors – BP Corp., Chevron Corp., Dow Chemical,
DuPont and Shell – all offer GLBT protections. HRC also notes that
ExxonMobil's policy of not offering domestic partner benefits places
the company in the minority of Fortune 500 companies.
ExxonMobil protections have been a sore
point with gay rights groups since the company was formed by merging
Exxon and Mobil in 1999. Mobil Corp. offered sexual orientation
protections and domestic partner benefits, but after the merger
Exxon's policies were carried forward. New employees were no longer
offered domestic partner benefits.
HRC President Joe Solmonese said in a
statement, “While the rest of corporate America recognizes and
respects the diversity of their workforce, ExxonMobil continues to
resist the most basic protections that should be afforded to