Record-breaking number of businesses showing real LGBTQ+ allyship, figures show

New data shows a record-breaking number of businesses are displaying true LGBTQ+ allyship to their employees, proving they “aren’t buying” mounting anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation issued its Corporate Equality Index (CEI) this week, and determined that the workforce is “more allied than ever before.”

The CEI, launched by the HRC Foundation in 2002, is a survey that measures company policies and practices regarding LGBTQ+ equality. 

In its first year, 319 businesses participated to determine if their policies were up to scratch. This year, 1,384 companies took part in the review – and the results were overwhelmingly positive.

The CEI reports that a record-breaking 95 per cent of businesses reviewed have non-discrimination protections in place specifically regarding gender identity. That’s an exceptional jump from 2002’s five per cent.

A man in an office with a laptop looking stressed
A record-breaking number of businesses are displaying true LGBTQ+ allyship to their employees. (Getty Images/PinkNews)

Equally as promising is the 94 per cent of businesses that offer transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage to employees, compared to 0 per cent in 2002.

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Noting that these exceptional figures come at a time when the LGBTQ+ community is under attack by people “hoping to eradicate our identity and push us back in the closet”, HRC President Kelley Robinson said that it looks like “businesses aren’t buying it.”

“The future workforce is more out and allied than ever before in our nation’s history, and this year’s CEI shows a business community looking for ways to further support LGBTQ+ workers and their families,” she added.

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This year’s review also found that 70 per cent of CEI-rated businesses have guidelines and supportive policies and guidance in place to pro-actively support employees going through a gender transition, as well as their managers and colleagues.

A group of colleagues
94 per cent of businesses that offer transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage to employees, compared to 0 per cent in 2002.(Getty Images)

And 63 per cent of the businesses have policies that ensure a safe and affirming environment for transgender and non-binary employees, including trans-inclusive or all-gender restrooms, gender-neutral dress codes, and how an employee’s information, such as name and pronouns, is displayed.

Of the businesses reviewed by the HRC Foundation this year, an impressive 545 companies scored a perfect 100 and will be honored with HRC’s Equality 100 Award as Leaders in LGBTQ+ Workplace Inclusion.

Companies that took part in the CEI rating range from Fortune magazine’s 500 largest publicly traded businesses, American Lawyer magazine’s top 200 revenue-grossing law firms (AmLaw 200), and hundreds of publicly and privately held mid- to large-sized businesses.

Among the companies that earned a perfect score were household names like Apple Inc., AMC Entertainment, Dominos Pizza Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Google Inc., Mars Inc.,  Paramount, Pfizer Inc., Visa, and Warner Music Group – to name but a few.

Commenting on this year’s optimistic findings, Rashawn Hawkins, the HRC’s Senior Director of Workplace Equality, said: “For well over two decades, businesses have played an important role in furthering LGBTQ+ equality by centering employee needs and voices when it comes to workplace inclusion. 

“While there is much more work to be done, year-over-year growth in CEI participation is evidence of a business community that recognizes the responsibility and value in upholding equity and inclusion.”

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