For the third consecutive year, Altice USA has achieved a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI). The Human Rights Campaign is the country’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization. Every year, the CEI voluntarily benchmarks companies on how inclusive their policies, practices, and benefits are of LGBTQ employees.
I knew from a very young age that something was different about me. At first, I felt it was "just a phase," but as time passed, I ultimately realized that my sexuality was not temporary, but rather, it was part of my identity. I grew up in Paraguay, where I felt that society's pressures would have forced me down a path of finding a wife. My interpretation of these expectations encouraged me to attend college in the United States and ultimately move to New York. When I started my professional career, I felt I had to keep that part of my life quiet, as though there was an unspoken rule. People around me knew and supported me and my sexuality, but I thought organizations were not required to take strong stances on LGBTQ+ issues.
When Altice USA formed Altice Together in 2018, our LGBTQ Affinity Group, everything changed. It became apparent that not only was my identity acknowledged but also celebrated. I immediately knew I wanted to be involved with leading the group. One of our first objectives was to have Altice USA represented in the HRC CEI. At first, we had no idea how Altice would score. However, we knew that we would know how to improve from there once we received our scores. To our delight, we obtained a perfect score of 100 on our first attempt.
Participating in the HRC CEI made us take an introspective look at ourselves as an organization. It made us focus on policies, our recruitment and retention strategies, and our company culture. With the feedback we received, we understood areas we were strong in and places where we could improve. The CEI has helped us introduce best practices in policy and benefits to create our LGBTQ employees' greatest experience.
In retrospect, obtaining a perfect score in our first year should not have come as much of a surprise. Altice USA has demonstrated its focus and commitment to diversity and inclusion by forming Employee Affinity Groups and the D&I Executive Council, including senior leaders of the company. Sometimes, we take these things for granted, but when looking behind the curtain, you see that those efforts have a tremendous impact on the company culture and the employee base. For me, it was the first time where I felt seen and represented in an organization. This reflection also made me think of my time in Paraguay, that although society may have had certain expectations of me, it was up to me to be brave and live authentically.
I am very proud of the accomplishments that Altice Together has made in the last few years. I know that we will continue to work hard and have a meaningful impact on the organization. Best of all, I know that Altice USA will support us every step of the way.
-Luis Boettner, Manager eCommerce Operations, and Altice Together leader