Overview of the 2018 Corporate Equality Index

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Every year, the Human Rights Campaign releases it Corporate Equality Index—a rating of US corporations’ policies and procedures relevant to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees.

The organization rates a number of factors, including the presence of non-discrimination policies based on sexual orientation and gender identity, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive benefits, internal education and accountability metrics to promote LGBTQ inclusion, and a public commitment to LGBTQ individuals.

According to the 2018 report, most companies have formal non-discrimination policies. This has increased over time, especially when it comes to transgender protections. In 2002, only 5 percent of companies had such policies in place, compared to 97 percent in 2018.

In addition, about 4 out of 5 companies offer benefits for transgender employees. 83 percent have training or resources aimed at promoting LGBTQ inclusion. These can take several forms. For example, 44 percent of the companies allow senior leaders to submit LGBTQ-focused diversity efforts as part of their annual evaluation.

The report also shows that 72 percent of the companies made public commitments to support the LGBTQ community. This took the form of advertising, community philanthropy, and the like.

Finally, as this is the 16th report, interested parties can examine changes over time. Some companies, such as Exxon, have improved over time and now offer many benefits and outreach efforts to the LGBTQ community. This was not always the case. Other companies, like Walmart and Berkshire Hathaway, have traditionally fared poorly in this report and continue to do so today.

Overall, the Corporate Equality Index shows that LGBTQ inclusion is increasingly a priority among American’s largest corporations.