By Hervé Tessler

Herve Tessler

“Long before Friday’s Supreme Court ruling … we extended equal benefits to married employees, regardless of sexual orientation, race or gender.” — Hervé Tessler, president of Corporate Operations for Xerox.

Since our earliest days, Xerox embarked on a never-ending journey to demonstrate that good business and diversity are not only compatible, but synergistic. At our company, diversity is not viewed as a mandate, but as an essential part of our corporate culture. We know that what’s good for society and communities where we live and work, is good for business.

Long before Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, we extended equal benefits to married employees and same-sex domestic partners in the U.S., regardless of sexual orientation, race or gender. Treating others with respect and offering equal opportunities makes us stronger because it allows us to take full advantage of our global workforce that is rich in experience, knowledge and creativity. Many of our accomplishments as a company originate from teams of diverse individuals who complement one another by representing different perspectives and who work as one to achieve our strategic goals.

Workplace success is truly dependent on employees who feel empowered to bring their whole selves to work. At Xerox, employee caucus groups help our leaders define and achieve inclusion goals, full participation and employee engagement. I have the honor of championing GALAXEe, Pride at Work, a caucus group focused on supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LBGT) employees and their allies in locations all over the world.

Most importantly, all Xerox organizations rate 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, a score that we have maintained for over a decade. This is the national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertinent to LGBT employees.

Work still needs to be done

While the United States has taken a big step towards equality, more work needs to be done. Some states still don’t have legal protection from discriminating against LGBT employees in the workplace. And, as a global company, we have a sharp focus on all of our employees and partners around the world. In 78 countries, LGBT individuals can be put in jail or worse; in five countries, they would receive the death penalty. Sexual orientation and gender identity are important aspects of our selves and should never lead to discrimination or abuse.

Our commitment

Supporting LGBT inclusion and workplace equality is more than the right thing to do: It is critical for companies and leaders who want to create innovative solutions, achieve business goals and improve bottom-line results.  By focusing on diversity, Xerox hires, promotes and retains the best people who are well-suited for our business. Our commitment to diversity in the workplace, and equal opportunity for all will never waver. It’s who we are at Xerox; it’s in our DNA.

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