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The Human Rights Campaign Foundation Releases 20th Corporate Equality Index & Announces New, Robust Criteria


Marking 20 years of progress through the Corporate Equality Index, a record 842 companies achieved a top-score for LGBTQ+ inclusive workplace policies

WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released its 2022 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which is celebrating 20 years of being the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring company policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality. This year, a record-breaking 842 businesses employing 14.3 million workers earned the CEI’s top score of 100, up from only 13 in its inaugural year—demonstrating the incredible impact the CEI has had on the business world over its 20-year life.

Throughout the CEI’s two decade history, new criteria have been periodically introduced to ensure more robust, inclusive policies for LGBTQ+ workers—this year marks the next chapter in the tool’s evolution. HRC Foundation’s newly created CEI criteria will focus on expanding gender-affirming healthcare and workplace policies, ensuring equality in LGBTQ+ family formation benefit offerings, centering LGBTQ+ intersectionality through training and data collection best practices, and more—setting a new standard for LGBTQ+ equality in the workplace.

When the Human Rights Campaign Foundation created the Corporate Equality Index 20 years ago, we dreamed that LGBTQ+ workers—from the factory floor to corporate headquarters, in big cities and small towns—could have access to the policies and benefits needed to thrive and live life authentically. We are proud that the Corporate Equality Index paved the way to that reality for countless LGBTQ+ workers in America and abroad. But there is still more to do, which is why we are raising the bar yet again and ensuring our ‘Best Places to Work’ label continues to be the gold standard. Evolving the CEI’s criteria to mirror society is imperative to create more equitable workplaces and a better tomorrow for LGBTQ+ workers everywhere.”

Jay Brown, Human Rights Campaign Senior Vice President of Programs, Research and Training

The first year of the CEI included 319 participants, and the 2022 CEI now includes 1,271 participants; further demonstrating the tremendous trajectory of the CEI, a record-breaking 1,268 businesses have non-discrimination protections specific to gender identity, up from 17 in 2002. These critical non-discrimination protections cover 40.7 million employees in the U.S. and around the globe.

Other key findings revealed in the 2022 CEI include:

  • 379 of Fortune 500 businesses have official CEI ratings based on submitted surveys, as compared to 366 last year—with actively participating Fortune 500 companies having an average score of 94 percent, up from 92 last year.

  • 71 percent of the Fortune 500 and 91 percent of all CEI-rated businesses offer transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage, up from 0 in 2002, and 14 times as many businesses as ten years ago.

  • 56 percent of the Fortune 500 and 77 percent of all CEI-rated companies offer comprehensive domestic partnership benefits, up from 69 percent of companies in 2002, which at that time only required same-sex partner benefits.

The CEI criteria are reviewed annually and are periodically updated, this year HRC Foundation is releasing several criteria changes that will go into effect for the 2023 CEI. The new criterion is outlined below:

  • The minimum requirements for transgender-inclusive healthcare policies have been increased.

  • A new category has been created centering on family formation that works to ensure equitable access to family benefits for same and different sex legal spouses and domestic partners.

  • An ease of access to benefits information is now required for transgender healthcare benefits, family formation and HIV/AIDS health benefits coverage.

  • At least one employee training integrating concepts of intersectionality will be required.

  • Employers will be required to implement at least one self-ID data collection practice—for example, confidential surveys, human resource systems, or a mechanism for board members to self-ID.

  • Gender transition guidelines are required as well as implementing at least one additional transgender-inclusion best practices, such as gender-neutral restrooms and inclusive dress codes.

The 2022 CEI criteria are its 5th iteration and fall under four central pillars: non-discrimination policies across business entities; equitable benefits for LGBTQ+ workers and their families; supporting an inclusive culture; and corporate social responsibility. Companies rated in the CEI include Fortune magazine’s 500 largest publicly traded businesses, American Lawyer magazine’s top 200 revenue-grossing law firms (AmLaw 200), and hundreds of publicly and privately held mid- to large-sized businesses.

The full report is available online at www.hrc.org/cei.

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