The retail industry continues to pave the way as a leader in LGBTQ workplace equality, according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s 2021 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). The 2021 CEI, which measures company policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality, ranked 1,142 major U.S. businesses, and 51 are retail companies that earned a 100% ranking, designating them as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.
The retailers are:
Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
Barnes & Noble Inc.
Best Buy Co. Inc.
Brooks Sports Inc.
Conagra Brands Inc.
Diageo North America
Estée Lauder Companies Inc.
Fossil Group Inc.
Giant of Maryland LLC
Hallmark Cards Inc.
IKEA Holding US Inc.
J. Crew Group, LLC
L Brands Inc.
Lowe’s Companies Inc.
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
Mondelez International Inc.
Newell Brands Inc.
Office Depot Inc.
Peloton Interactive Inc.
Pernod Ricard USA LLC
Procter & Gamble Co.
Qurate Retail Group
S.C. Johnson & Son Inc.
Samsung Electronics America Inc.
Sony Electronics Inc.
Tiffany & Co.
“From the previously unimaginable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, to a long overdue reckoning with racial injustice, 2020 was an unprecedented year,” said Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign in a statement. “Yet many businesses across the nation stepped up and continued to prioritize and champion LGBTQ equality. This year has shown us that tools like the CEI are crucial to increase equity and inclusion in the workplace, but also that companies must breathe life into these policies and practices in real and tangible ways.”
The CEI criteria are reviewed annually and periodically changed, raising the bar to reflect best practices for LGBTQ inclusion and to drive companies to improve upon their commitment to the community. The criteria 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.
Progress for Transgender-Inclusive Initiatives
The most considerable progress, as measured over the 19-year history of the CEI and continuing in 2021, has been the wide-scale adoption of transgender-inclusive initiatives across businesses.
- A full 94% of the Fortune 500 and 99.7% of all CEI-rated businesses have gender identity protections in their nondiscrimination policies — up from 3% and 5% respectively since the launch of the CEI in 2002; and
- 71% of the Fortune 500 and 91% of all CEI-rated businesses offer transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage, up from 0% in 2002, and 22X as many businesses as 10 years ago (97 new employers offer this coverage, according to the 2021 report.).
Other key findings revealed in the 2021 CEI include:
- The 767 companies that earned a 100% ranking on the CEI represent more than 13 million employees nationally and another 13 million globally;
- Of all Fortune 500 companies, 458 have sexual orientation in their U.S. non-discrimination policy, and 448 have gender identity; and
- The average CEI score for all Fortune 500 companies increased from 73 to 76 in the past year — with actively participating Fortune 500 companies having an average score of 91%, up from 89% last year.
The full report is available online at www.hrc.org/cei.