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Record 842 Employers Get Perfect Score in HRC Corporate Equality Index

American Airlines plane and Apple headquarters

Just 13 companies earned a perfect score when the index was launched in 2002.

American Airlines and Apple are among the companies that have earned a perfect score throughout the history of the index. American image by Gagliardi Photography/Shutterstock; Apple by Achinthamb/Shutterstock.

The number of companies earning a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Corporate Equality Index continues to increase, with a record 842 employers doing so in the index's 2022 edition, released Thursday.

The index, in its 20th year, rates companies on their policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ equality in the workplace. Criteria include nondiscrimination policies, equitable benefits, an inclusive culture, and corporate social responsibility.

The foundation, which is the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign, also announced updated criteria for the 2023 index. The new criteria will focus on expanding gender-affirming health care and workplace policies, ensuring equality in LGBTQ+ family formation benefit offerings, centering LGBTQ+ intersectionality through training and data collection best practices, and more. The index's criteria have been updated periodically throughout its history.

"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," Jay Brown, HRC senior vice president of programs, research, and training, said in a press release. "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."

The number of employers receiving a perfect 100 percent score is up from 767 last year and only 13 in 2002, the first year of the index. The 842 businesses earning the score this year employ 14.3 million workers.

Some of those receiving perfect scores for the first time are Del Monte Foods, DoorDash, Hearst Corp., Radisson, Neiman Marcus, and Ziff Davis. Nine companies have earned a perfect rating throughout the index's history: Apple, JPMorgan Chase, American Airlines, Nike, Xerox, Eastman Kodak, and Replacements.

The index is compiled primarily through a survey sent to past and prospective participants. There were 1,271 participants in this year's survey. A record 1,268 of them have nondiscrimination policies that specifically include gender identity, up from just 17 in 2002.

Three hundred seventy-nine 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.

Seventy-one 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 as 10 years ago.

Ninety-three percent of all participants have an employee resource group or diversity council that includes LGBTQ+ and allied workers and programming. Ninety-three percent have also demonstrated at least three instances of public commitment to the LGBTQ+ community.

Read report highlights here and the full report here.

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