On Thursday, November 30, the HRC Foundation released its annual Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which scores corporations on a scale of 1 to 100 based on its LGBTQ-affirming policies and culture.
The four criteria are:
- Workforce protections (5 points), including sexual orientation and gender identity for all operations
- Inclusive benefits (50 points), including equivalency in same- and different-sex medical and soft benefits. For example, a company that covers fertility and family planning support benefits to a straight couple, but denies the same benefits for LGBTQ+ couples would not be awarded points.
- Supporting an inclusive culture (25 points), including, for the first time since the inaugural CEI in 2002, Gender Transition Guidelines that gives the company guidelines to follow to support transitioning coworkers.
- Corporate social responsibility (20 points) for companies that engages in at least 5 distinct LGBTQ+ efforts or outreach.
Wins: 95% of participating businesses have nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ workers, up from 5% in the inaugural CEI in 2002.
- 1,384 companies participated in this year's CEI compared to 319 in 2002.
- See the list of companies that scored 100 points on the CEI on the Human Rights Campaign's Equality 100 Award List. The Equality 100 Awardees include Urban Outfitters, Starbucks, Ben & Jerry's, AT&T and many more.
The big picture: This year's CEI findings show significant progress for the safety of LGBTQ+ people in the workplace. However, this data may not accurately reflect LGBTQ+ workers' experiences in the workplace.
- The methodology of the index shows that companies were invited to participate and receive a score from the HRC. It's possible that companies that do not have LGBTQ+ inclusive policies did not participate in the index.
- A 2022 study by the Center for American Progress shows that half of LGBTQ+ adults reported experiencing some form of workplace discrimination or harassment in the past year because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or intersex status.
- Notably, Starbucks received a score of 100 points on the CEI, however, the company was scrutinized for allegedly removing pride flags from its stores during Pride month, according to the Associated Press. And, recently, queer workers who tried to unionize claim they are being punished by the company, according to LGBTQ Nation.