Corning Named Best of the Best for Corporate Inclusion | National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce | Corning

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Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity & Inclusion

Corning Named 'Best of the Best' for Inclusion

Corning Named 'Best of the Best' for Inclusion

The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), in collaboration with its partners in the National Business Inclusion Consortium (NBIC), has named the second annual Best-of-the-Best list of corporations in America committed to diversity and inclusion across all communities. 

“The Best-of-the-Best designation is the top corporate honor bestowed for commitments to America’s diverse employees and business owners, which includes LGBT, people of color, women, and people with disabilities. This designation is not easily earned, making it all the more prized,” said NGLCC co-founder and president Justin Nelson. “We have already seen the bar rise for corporate inclusion since last year’s inaugural list was named. By recognizing these industry leaders and the policymakers who collaborate with them as the best-of-the-best, we are further shaping a better future for all diverse communities in business. Together we reaffirm our common, ongoing mission to improve business inclusion among Fortune 500 corporations and government agencies across America.”

NGLCC formed the National Business Inclusion Consortium in 2011, and its members represent a total of over $9 trillion in annual economic strength and significant contributions to the marketplace and workplace. Only companies achieving industry leading results across all diverse segments are eligible to receive the prestigious Best-of-the-Best designation from the NBIC, whose members include the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC); US Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC); U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC); U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce (USPAAC), U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN), Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), and WEConnect International.

Criteria required to be named a 2017 Best-of-the-Best corporation includes the completion of a detailed survey of an organization’s inclusive programs, which may involve Supplier Diversity initiatives, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and workplace engagement opportunities, and diverse marketplace and community engagements. Additionally, a detailed report of policies and achievements in the diversity and inclusion space--along with recognition or ratings such as the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, the U.S. Business Leadership Network’s Disability Equality Index, or Diversity Inc.’s Top 50— is weighted and reviewed by a committee of NBIC leaders.


The 2017 Corporations Designated as Best-of-the-Best are:

Accenture EY Merck
Allstate Insurance Company Fannie Mae Nationwide
American Airlines Fidelity Investments New York Life Insurance
Apple Freddie Mac Northrop Grumman
AT&T General Motors Pfizer
Bank of America GlaxoSmithKline Pacific Gas & Electric Company
Bristol-Myers Squibb Health Care Service Corporation PNC Financial Services Group
Capital One Hilton Prudential
Chevron IBM Sodexo
Comcast NBCUniversal Intel Corporation Southwest Airlines Co.
Corning JPMorgan Chase & Co. SunTrust Bank
Cummins Inc. Kellogg Company TD Bank
CVS Health KeyBank TIAA
Delhaize America KPMG UPS
DuPont Marriott International Wells Fargo



The announcement of those honored with the Best-of-the-Best designation was made at the second annual Best-of-the-Best Awards Gala held at The Mayflower Hotel on April 26.

Advocacy honorees included Linda Sanchez, vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus; entrepreneur and LGBT advocate Lisa Vanderpump; and advocate for the deaf community and model Nyle DiMarco. Washington Post columnist & MSNBC contributor Jonathan Capehart served as Master of Ceremonies; Eric Ulloa of Broadway’s On Your Feet sang the National Anthem. Actress, performer, and activist Whoopi Goldberg sent a special message about her commitment to promoting diversity. 

“When a company’s competitors see them listed as a Best-of-the-Best company, they will immediately move to innovate toward greater diversity & inclusion. Being the best-of-the-best means pushing one another to keep innovating the ways we do business to be more inclusive and successful than ever,” says NGLCC co-founder and CEO Chance Mitchell. “Each year that we get back together to celebrate the Best-of-the-Best we will undoubtedly see more and more companies achieve unprecedented excellence in support of their diverse employees and suppliers. Diversity is good for competition, and that’s good for business.”


When Corning was among just 45 American companies honored recently for their commitment to diversity and inclusion at the second annual Best of the Best Awards Gala, Corning made it a night to remember by sponsoring and creating the awards, handmade Steuben Glass pieces.

"The awards were the talk of the night," said Annette, SPECTRA employee resource group (ERG) member, regarding the award designed for Steuben Glass by Michelle Groblewski of Hawke and Axel Glass in Corning. "It was exciting to have Corning and Steuben playing such an integral part of the award. It made the gala even more special."

The award was sponsored by Jeff Evenson, Corning senior vice president and chief strategy officer, and the Office of Global Diversity and Inclusion for the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and its National Business Inclusion Consortium (NBIC), a coalition of diverse business organizations, which selected the winning companies based on their responses to a detailed survey about their inclusive programs, and a report on their diversity and inclusion policies and achievements, said Monica Bankston, talent manager, Global Diversity and Inclusion.

"The NGLCC loved the award and was very thankful to Corning for sponsoring such a prestigious and unique design that recipients treasured," Monica said.

Corning was selected for the Best of the Best list for the second year in a row, and 10 Corning employees and one Corning Museum of Glass employee who works with Steuben Glass attended the Awards Gala recently at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The award is significant to Corning because it recognizes Corning's achievement in promoting diversity and inclusion along with only 44 other American companies, Monica said.

"Only companies that have achieved industry-leading results across all diverse segments are eligible to receive the Best of the Best designation from the NBIC," she said. "That is a big deal not only to the LGBTQ community, but to AA/Black, Hispanic, Asian, and women-led coalitions that focus on driving and improving diversity and inclusion in businesses across the country."

Supplier diversity is also an important criterion for the award, said Annette, who is a member of the NGLCC. "Corning has a supplier diversity program where we are continuing to enhance our ability to work with small and diverse businesses," she said.

A key to Corning's nominating report is its five-year diversity and inclusion strategy, which has two purposes: to build on Corning's 45-year commitment to diversity and inclusion by actively supporting a strategic imperative to hire, retain, and develop diverse employees; and leverage the creativity of diverse and inclusive teams across all business units and staffs to drive future disruptive innovations.

"Our vision is to continue to support and enhance an inclusive culture that values the full spectrum of diversity and provides a safe, accepting environment where every employee can bring their whole self to work," Monica wrote in the nominating report. "We reflect our customers, suppliers, and consumers in our employees and organizational teams. We see our future in the personal and professional development of our diverse workforce, and encourage individual engagement at every level of the organization."

Corning's Talent Management strategy attracts, develops, and retains diverse professionals who can succeed in an open, collaborative environment that develops future global leaders, said Christy Pambianchi, senior vice president, Human Resources.

"Corning's commitment to diversity and inclusion has never been stronger," she said. "We are passionate about the individuals who make up our company and believe it is incumbent on our leaders to create and maintain an environment where employees can contribute to their potential."

Corning's 15 active ERGs represent the interests of employee segments. SPECTRA, founded in 1999, was established for LGBT employees and their allies, and educates employees and the communities near Corning facilities about LGBT issues.

SPECTRA's annual Stepping Out events for employees and the public, for example, feature well-known LGBT comedians. "SPECTRA is an integral component of our work to raise visibility of the LGBT community and broaden understanding of LGBT issues," Annette said.

Christine Heckle, a member of the SPECTRA and the Abled and DisAbled Partnering Together (ADAPT) groups who attended the gala, said the ERGs serve a valuable function in Corning.

"Companies and teams perform better when people with different skill sets, perspectives, and life experiences come together to solve problems," said Christine, research director, Inorganic Materials Research. "ERGs provide a voice to potentially marginalized employees to improve the working environment. They also support individual employees with leadership experience and professional development.

"I'm proud to work for an organization that maintains a focus on Valuing the Individual and puts real effort into making sure employees are treated equitably at work."