The nation’s major companies and law firms are advancing in record numbers vital policies and practices to protect LGBTQ workers around the world, according to the 2017 Corporate Equality Index released today by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization.
The Corporate Equality Index (CEI), launched in 2002 to assess LGBT-inclusive policies and practices at Fortune 500 companies, also highlights how corporate leaders are increasingly stepping up to play a leading role in opposing anti-equality legislation — from statehouses to the U.S. Capitol. Through their actions, taken as LGBTQ workers and customers have been facing a record number of anti-LGBTQ bills in state legislatures across the country, business leaders are building on their longstanding commitment to expanding workplace equality for LGBTQ people.
This year, a record-breaking 517 businesses earned the CEI’s top score of 100, up from 407 last year. That’s a single-year increase of more than 25 percent — the largest jump in the 15-year history of the nation’s premiere benchmarking tool for LGBT workplace equality. Leadership demonstrated by these businesses, including speaking out against discriminatory laws like North Carolina’s HB2, reflect more than a decade of work inside these companies to expand LGBT, and particularly transgender, workplace equality.
“Even in the face of relentless attempts to undermine equality, America’s leading companies and law firms remain steadfast and committed to supporting and defending the rights and dignity of LGBTQ people,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The unprecedented expansion of inclusive workplaces across the country and around the globe not only reflects our progress, it helps drive it. As we enter a new chapter in our fight for equality, support from the business community will be more critical than ever to protect our historic advancements over the last decade and to continue to push equality forward for workers, customers, and families around the world.”
The CEI rates companies and top law firms on detailed criteria falling under five broad categories:
- Non-discrimination policies
- Employment benefits
- Demonstrated organizational competency and accountability around LGBT diversity and inclusion
- Public commitment to LGBT equality
- Responsible citizenship
This year 887 companies and firms were officially rated and, in addition to the record number of companies receiving a perfect score of 100, progress continued across workplaces, including:
- 93 percent of rated companies had adopted sexual orientation equal employment policies for U.S. and global operations and 92 percent had gender identity equal employment policies for U.S. and global operations.
- Same-sex domestic partner or spousal benefits were provided by 98 percent of rated companies.
- 73 percent of rated companies offer transgender-inclusive healthcare coverage, up from 60 percent from last year, the largest single year increase in trans-inclusive health benefits since the coverage was added to the CEI.
via press release