Friday, December 21, 2007

ING gets top rating from HRC Equality Index

ING, a global financial services company headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with US operations in Atlanta (also Minneapolis and Hartford) received the top rating from HRC's Equality Index for the second year in a row.

The Corporate Equality index rates 519 large companies a year on how well they treat GLBT employees, on "like non-discrimination policies, diversity training and benefits for domestic partners and transgender employees." The press release is here.

In the United States, ING has grown by acquiring a number of other insurance companies, including ReliaStar in Minneapolis (in 2000), which itself had acquired USLICO Corporation in Arlington, VA in 1995. USLICO had been built around United Services Life, which had specialized in selling life insurance to military officers. USL had always been a major competitor of USAA, a large insurance company in Texas selling many different kinds of insurance military personnel.

I was working for USLICO as an individual contributor computer programmer when it was acquired in 1995. At the same time, the debate about the military ban (the 1993 military "don't ask don't tell" policy) was going on, and I was making plans for my book. I applied for and received a new position within the company in Minneapolis starting in September 1997. I left the company (with a retirement and layoff at the same time during downsizings related to economic turbulence in 2001) at the end of 2001. This all is visible on my resume site.

I visited Amsterdam on my on vacations twice, in 1999 and 2001, but never did visit the worldwide headquarters. The futuristic "House" that headquarters the company can be viewed here. The upside-down design resembles that of the well known Nemo Museum downtown, which I have visited. When you land at Schipol in the morning after flying into the time zones from the states (missing the night in the summer) and head for the double decker blue and yellow Dutch trains, you see ING Orange and lions everywhere (no, it looks different from the MGM lion).

First Picture: where I worked in Arlington until 1997. Second picture: Atlanta Pride, 2004 (ING-US is headquartered in suburban Atlanta). Third picture: Ads at Metro Center in Washington DC Feb. 2008

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