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8 KC Companies Rank ‘Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality’

A Sign of Progress, LGBT Chamber Says

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Above image credit: Companies in Kansas City are doing better with LGBT inclusion, new rankings show.

Several Kansas City, Missouri, companies have earned the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality” distinction this year.

Every year, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation ranks businesses for their adoption of inclusive workplace policies and practices such as domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive benefits and non-discriminatory policies, among others. This year eight of the 686 top companies in the U.S. are located in Kansas City. 

“Kansas City for such a long time has had a reputation as being an enormously conservative city,” said Suzanne Wheeler, executive director of the Mid-America LGBT Chamber of Commerce in Kansas City.

Wheeler identifies as trans and grew up in the Kansas City suburbs in the 1980s. She spent 30 years away from Kansas City while in the military before she retired. Wheeler admits Kansas City wasn’t the first place she considered to retire, but she gave it a shot and went to a chamber meeting. She was pleasantly surprised.

“It was a completely different city than the one I left,” Wheeler said. “I realized there were plenty of opportunities for me in Kansas City. I wouldn’t just be able to make it but I would be able to thrive.”

The ratings suggest the city has become more inclusive for professional LGBTQ+ individuals, which is good for recruitment and therefore good for business. Every year, Kansas City’s ratings improve, Wheeler said, and the community notices. 

“It’s fabulous because ultimately it helps show this eclectic and wonderfully accepting city that we live in,” Wheeler said.

KC companies that earned high scores are listed below:

  • Cerner Corp. — 100 
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City — 95
  • Hallmark Cards Inc. — 100 
  • H&R Block Inc. — 100
  • Lathrop Gage — 95
  • Polsinelli — 100 
  • Shook, Hardy & Bacon — 100 
  • Stinson — 100 

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