Local Businesses Unite

Austin's most iconic businesses unite for LGBT equality

Austin's most iconic businesses unite for LGBT equality

Home Slice Pizza_exterior
Home Slice is one of the Austin companies that has joined Texas Competes.  Home Slice Pizza/Facebook

KVUE — In Texas, 15 Fortune 500 companies and some of the most well-known companies in Austin have united for LGBT equality under a new organization called Texas Competes.

Ultimately, Texas Competes organizers believe equality pays off for the economy, and nearly 200 companies around the state have made the pledge since Texas Competes launched 10 days ago.

Home Slice Pizza is one of the Austin companies who has joined Texas Competes. Home Slice co-founder Terri Hannifin says it is the company's policy to hire based on talent and character, not sexual orientation.

"Our business is all about our people, our employees are our business," said Hannifin. "We don't put up with that. We don't put up with making people feel uncomfortable or disrespected in any way."

Alamo Drafthouse, HomeAway, SXSW, Deep Eddy Vodka and Whole Foods Market are some of the high-profile Austin companies to join the pledge.

Texas Competes Managing Director Jessica Shortall tells KVUE that the priority is a show of force to the rest of the country.

"What we need to see is a Texas brand that is projecting that same kind of inclusive and diverse environment so that we can be sure that Texas and the businesses that call it home can attract the best talent. As Texas goes, so goes the nation because we are so economically strong," says Shortall.

According to the website, "in order for Texas businesses to compete for top talent, we must have workplaces and communities that are diverse and welcoming for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people."

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Read the full story on KVUE.com