A number of companies in our industry issued press releases this past week highlighting their being recognized by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) as one of the “Best Places to Work for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Equality.” Each company touted the fact that it had earned a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI). I saw releases from Wyndham Worldwide, IHG, Hilton, Caesars Entertainment, Marriott, Wynn Las Vegas and Encore, and Expedia. Other companies may have issued press releases that I just did not see. How does a company earn a perfect score of 100 percent? The methodology for getting to 100 percent is a bit complex but it takes into consideration equal employment opportunity policy, employment benefits, transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage, organizational LGBT competency, and public commitment. Employers can be penalized for a large-scale official or public anti-LGBT blemish on their recent records. CEI, launched in 2002 to assess LGBT-inclusive policies and practices at Fortune 500 companies, also highlights how corporate leaders are increasingly stepping up to play a leading role in opposing anti-equality legislation—from statehouses to the U.S. Capitol.
This year, a record-breaking 517 businesses earned the CEI’s top score of 100, up from 407 last year. That’s a single-year increase of more than 25 percent—the largest jump in the 15-year history of the nation’s premiere benchmarking tool for LGBT workplace equality. Leadership demonstrated by these businesses, including speaking out against discriminatory laws like North Carolina’s HB2, reflect more than a decade of work inside these companies to expand LGBT, and particularly transgender, workplace equality.
In its press release Wyndham Worldwide highlighted Wyndham Vacation Ownership’s donation of $35,000 through the Wyndham Worldwide Foundation to support local organizations providing services to the LGBT community in the Orlando, Fla. area in wake of the June 12 tragedy.
IHG mentioned its endorsement of the bipartisan Equality Act, which would provide the same basic protections to LGBT individuals as are provided to other protected groups under federal law, in employment, housing, education and public services.
Marriott cited its joining the HRC Global Business Coalition, a respected public forum for major multinational businesses to advance workplace protections for LGBT employees worldwide.
The primary source of information for the CEI rating each business receives is the CEI survey sent every year to previous and prospective respondents. Click here to access the Corporate Equality Index 2017.