Supporting the LGBTQ+ community

At United, we recognize, embrace and celebrate the differences that make our customers and employees unique. We’re committed to creating an inclusive work environment while contributing to the diverse communities we serve.

As a part of this mission, we believe it’s important to support the LGBTQ+ community by upholding inclusive policies and practices, partnering with LGBTQ+ organizations, and hosting programs and engagement events to honor the LGBTQ+ community.

Our partnerships

The partnerships we’ve established reflect our commitment to the communities we serve. These include:

Other notable partnerships include Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS in New York City, Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund in Washington, D.C., and Teen Living Programs in Chicago.

EQUAL, our LGBTQ+ business resource group

Our employees can become members of EQUAL, our inclusive business resource group that benefits lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally coworkers. With more than a thousand members, multiple chapters, and employees from every labor group, division and hub airport, EQUAL continues to develop and foster our many goals of diversity and inclusion.

EQUAL strives to offer philanthropic, educational and networking opportunities for its members to become more well-rounded individuals both at United and within the community. EQUAL hosts a number of networking, seminar and guest speaker series throughout the year and has featured individuals like Rocco Claps, former Director of the Illinois Department of Human Rights, and Aditi Hardikar, former Director of Public Engagement for the White House.

Community outreach

Throughout the year, we host and participate in events that allow us to support and give back to the LGBTQ+ community. During the month of June, we participate in pride celebrations and invite our employees and customers to march together in parades and attend festivals in cities around the world.

In October, we show our support for LGBTQ+ youth and take a stand against bullying by going purple for Spirit Day, a campaign hosted by GLAAD. We recognize the importance of Spirit Day in the press, on social media and with various celebrations and fundraisers.

Over the past few years, EQUAL has raised thousands of dollars in support of community organizations in both Chicago and Houston, and volunteered with organizations such as Teen LivingUpwardly Global and Spark and at various AIDS walks throughout the country.

Awards and recognition

We’re proud to offer our colleagues a work environment that’s built on inclusion and respect, which empowers every employee to contribute to our success. We’re committed to creating and implementing workplace policies that support our LGBTQ+ coworkers. As a result, we’ve earned a 100% rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index and named Best Place to Work for several consecutive years. We’ve also been named a Top Company for LGBT Equality by Work Life Matters magazine.

In addition to being the Exclusive Airline of Equality Illinois, we were awarded the Business Leadership Award in 2013 — given to businesses that demonstrate vision and leadership in the effort to establish LGBT equality — and named a Top Corporation for LGBT Economic Empowerment by Affinity Inc Magazine in 2015 and 2016, which recognizes our supplier diversity efforts.

Equality and inclusion for employees

At United, we continuously try to establish policies that benefit LGBTQ+ equality. In 1999, United became the first U.S. airline to fully recognize domestic partnerships and provide comprehensive fringe benefits. Since the legalization of marriage equality, we've expanded our benefits program to ensure that same-gender spouses receive the same health and travel benefits as opposite-gender spouses. We believe in creating a great place to work for all employees and will continue to support inclusive policies.

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