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Human Rights Campaign Launches #WorkingPositively Campaign in Partnership with IBM, SAP and DeutscheAidshilfe

Original post was published on HRCF’s website here.

The campaign launches in the United States on World AIDS Day

WASHINGTON – Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRCF), the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, launched #WorkingPositively, a campaign that invites employers to commit to being visible role models in their support for HIV-positive employees. The campaign first launched in Germany in June 2019 and has expanded to Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and today, the United States. For the initial launch in the U.S., the Human Rights Campaign has partnered with IBM, SAP and Deutsche Aidshilfe. This campaign is a first-of-its-kind program that allows corporations to formally declare that they will work to end workplace discrimination against people living with HIV.  

Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David will deliver remarks at a virtual launch event today at 11 AM ET followed by a panel session with representatives from SAP, IBM, Deutsche Aidshilfe and HRC’s Workplace Equality Director, Beck Bailey. Since its inception in Germany, over 100 companies have signed a declaration committing to ending workplace discrimination against people living with HIV.

“Inclusivity is not only good for the bottom line – it is also the right thing to do,” said Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign. “We are pleased to launch #WorkingPositively in the United States, and we will be actively encouraging businesses around the country to take the pledge and to root out discrimination against people living with HIV. We are grateful to our partners at IBM, SAP and Deutsche Aidshilfe for joining us to announce this important pledge and campaign, and we look forward to adding many corporations to this list in the months to come.”

“At IBM, we’re committed to creating a safe and inclusive workplace for every employee. As we work together to address inequalities across social, economic and demographic factors, we know that understanding the unique experience of others is key to equality,” said Carla Grant-Pickens, VP, Global Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, IBM. “By listening to and learning from those living with HIV, we are building a workplace and society free of stigma where everyone can be visible and supported.”

“We have a great opportunity, and a responsibility, as a global firm to ensure we do everything we can to offer a safe environment in which employees feel they belong and can thrive,” member of SAP Executive Board and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Luka Mucic shared. “SAP is proud of #WorkingPositively, an initiative that aims to de-stigmatize HIV-positive employees and other chronic illnesses.”  

Today, discrimination against people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS persists. Fear, stigma, and basic misinformation remain at the root of much of this discrimination and continue to drive exclusions from private and public sector employment opportunities. Inclusive employers know that creating welcoming workplaces across a wide spectrum of workforce diversity is not only the right thing to do, but is also good business practice. Employers that create welcoming workplaces for employees living with HIV or AIDS stand to benefit in workforce recruitment and retention as well as improve employee engagement and productivity.

In addition to IBM and SAP, HRC welcomes the following founding members of the WorkingPositively campaign in the U.S: Accenture, Cultural Vistas, Estée Lauder Companies, Gilead, Levi Strauss & Co. and TechData. The #WorkingPositively Pledge on behalf of HIV-positive employees asks companies to commit to creating safe, supportive and inclusive spaces for people living with HIV and other chronic illnesses. Signatories to the pledge commit to: 

Fight stigma and promote open, respectful cooperation for people living with HIV and other chronic illnesses.

Welcome employees living with HIV who can be open about their HIV status without fear of reprisal.

Create opportunities for employees to engage with AIDS services and community-based organizations.

Honor privacy and never demand an HIV test during company medical examinations, or ask an employee to disclose their HIV status.

Promote their commitment internally with their employees and publicly share their organization’s commitment on social media.

For more information about the campaign and the pledge, visit this website. 

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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