2015 Corporate Equality Index Shows Highest-Ever Inclusion of LGBT Employees

Some heartening statistics from corporate America

Corporate Equality Index | Human Rights CampaignThe results of the Human Rights Campaign‘s 2015 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) have been released, and the numbers indicate that corporate America is more inclusive than it has ever been of the LGBT community, with a record 366 businesses earning a top rating of 100 percent. This is the largest number of 100 percent rankings in the thirteen-year history of the study.

The report states that these results are particularly significant, as the study’s criteria underwent two major revisions in an effort to strengthen them and make them more stringent; therefore, the fact that the number of businesses to reach the top spot still increased could be considered even more meaningful.

In order for a company to achieve a 100 percent ranking on this year’s index, the business needed to demonstrate “true inclusion” of the transgender workforce, which means non-discrimination protections, inclusive benefits and diversity practices, respectful gender transition guidelines, allowing employees to self-identity based on gender identity, and engaging the broader transgender community.

These 366 companies included fourteen of the top twenty Fortune 500, setting a high profile example for their peers. Take a look at which top companies made the cut below:

“Wherever these 366 companies are doing business, transgender-inclusion is a priority,” states Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation in a statement accompanying the survey results.

In fact, the study included many heartening statistics with specific regard to the transgender communitym including:

  • Two-thirds of the Fortune 500 and 89 percent of the entire CEI universe of businesses offerexplicit gender identity non-discrimination protections;
  • One-third of the Fortune 500 and over half of the CEI universe of businesses offer transgender-inclusive health care coverage, up from 0 in 2002 and nearly ten times as many businesses as five years ago
  • A majority of CEI-rated businesses (eight in ten) offer education and training programs that specifically include definitions and/ or scenarios on gender identity in the workplace
  • Hundreds of major businesses have adopted gender transition guidelines for employees and their teams to establish best practices in transgender inclusion

And while all of this demonstrates marked progress worth celebrating, the fact that only 366 companies earned a 100 percent shows that we still have a long way to go.

“Even with overall increased visibility and the universal progress we have seen among fair-minded employers, we must remember that our work is not done,” said Griffin. “While many companies are leading the way, our nation’s federal non-discrimination protections are lagging behind. Critical cultural shifts need to take place to foster greater inclusion. In this case, our elected leaders should be looking to corporate America for a sterling example of how progress is achieved. We have so much more work left to do. But thanks to the private sector successes documented in the Corporate Equality Index, we have a roadmap to achieve even greater progress,” he added.