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Synchrony Financial recognized for diversity initiatives

November 20, 2017 GMT

STAMFORD — Synchrony Financial has earned a 100 percent score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2017 Corporate Equality Index, marking the third consecutive year the company has earned perfect marks in the national ranking of corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ employees.

“Synchrony’s rating of a 100 percent ... demonstrates that the company has taken concrete steps, from foundational non-discrimination policies to fully inclusive benefits, to ensure equity and inclusion in the workplace for LGBTQ employees,” Deena Fidas, director of HRC’s Workplace Equality Program, said in a statement.

Supporting diversity and equality initiatives represented a priority for Synchrony when it still operated as part of GE Capital, but executives said they have ramped up their focus on those programs since Synchrony was spun off in 2014 into its own company.

Among their top objectives, Synchrony executives want the company’s workforce to increasingly reflect the demographics of the customers and communities that they serve. Minority employees account for 43 percent of the company’s contingent.

In the executive ranks, minorities make up 23 percent of the total. Women comprise 27 percent of executives. President and CEO Margaret Keane represents one of 32 women to lead one of this year’s Fortune 500 companies.

To advance its diversity goals, Synchrony runs seven employee networks that focus on women, military veterans, the LGBTQ community, Hispanics, people with disabilities, African Americans and Asian professional engagement. Those groups — which are open to all Synchrony employees — focus on employment recruitment and development and community service initiatives.

More than 7,000 Synchrony employees — the company employs about 15,000 in total — are participating in at least one diversity network. The diversity networks operate at Synchrony’s offices around the country.

Synchrony’s commitment to diversity and equality does not supersede its performance standards, company officials said.

“We will always select the most qualified individual for any role, whether it’s an internal or external candidate,” Marissa Lara, Synchrony’s chief diversity officer, said in an interview last year. “We will never give preferential treatment to someone just because they’re diverse. What our focus on diversity gives us is the opportunity to open up the pool of candidates.”

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