Thursday, December 8, 2011

HRC's Equality Index

via Advocate, by Neal Broverman

The Human Rights Campaign released the 2012 Corporate Equality Index today and, thanks to a more stringent ranking criteria, 148 fewer companies received a 100% score than last year.

Though 10 of the top 20 Fortune-ranked companies received a 100% score on the index — which rates corporations on LGBT-inclusive policies — only 190 corporations in total received that ranking.

Last year, 338 businesses received a 100% ranking. The CEI now uses more rigorous criteria that takes into account corporate giving and health care coverage for transgender employees, alongside long-time factors like employment opportunity policies and equal employment benefits.

J.P. Morgan Chase, Johnson & Johnson, Intuit, Kraft, Office Depot, Herman Miller, and Levi Strauss are some of the corporations who received a perfect score on this year's CEI.

Even with the decrease in 100% rankings, HRC says huge progress has still been made — only 13 businesses received a perfect score in 2002, the CEI's first year.

Many in-roads were made in 2011 for transgender employees — people can still be fired in 34 states simply for their gender identity (gay and bisexual people can be legally fired in 29 states).

The CEI found that 50% of Fortune 500 companies now have nondiscrimination policies covering gender identity — a growth rate of 1,567% from 2002.

Companies offering comprehensive health care coverage to their transgender workers increased to 207 from 85 last year and 49 in 2009.

Looking back at the start of the CEI shows huge advances when it comes to domestic partnership benefits — the number of Fortune 500 companies offering domestic partnership benefits increased 76% since 2002.

"Corporate America is leading the charge for equality in the workplace,” HRC president Joe Solmonese said in a press release. “We commend the businesses that participated in the CEI. They understand that LGBT-inclusive workplace policies are the right thing to do and good business practices." 

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