HRC Releases Buyer’s Guide to Businesses Supporting LGBT Workplace Inclusion

by HRC Staff

WASHINGTON - Before hitting the “purchase now” button for that holiday gift, consumers are encouraged to check out the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s new annual buying guide to see if those dollars are going to a business committed to workplace equality.

The popular Buying for Workplace Equality guide, first issued a decade ago by the HRC Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, provides invaluable consumer information based on company scores reported in the new Corporate Equality Index (CEI), as well as HRC-researched data on additional well-known companies and their brands.

The HRC Foundation’s CEI proactively rates Fortune 500 companies and top law firms on LGBT workplace equality. Smaller companies are also invited to participate. 

The guide, released today, is available for viewing and download online. The guide’s iPhone and Android applications have also been updated and can be downloaded at and

“Our annual Buying for Equality Guide gives all fair-minded consumers a quick reference to those familiar, popular brands that are also prioritizing LGBT inclusion,” said Liz Cooper, who oversees the guide as associate director of HRC Foundation’s Workplace Equality Program. “With the LGBT community’s buying power in the U.S. edging close to $900 billion, businesses are increasingly responding with inclusive workplace policies.”

Said Cooper: “Every year we hear from members of our community that before choosing a car, a present, or even drinks for a holiday party, they check the buyer’s guide to ensure their dollars go to businesses that support them.”

The guide sorts businesses by sector and assigns them a score ranging from zero to 100 based on LGBT workplace equality, as measured by the HRC Foundation’s CEI and HRC Foundation research. The new guide includes the more than 550 companies, 470 of them rated in the CEI, and an additional 129 independently researched by the HRC Foundation. Companies independently researched have declined invitations to actively participate in the CEI; their scores are based on publicly-verifiable information.

Companies are divided into easy buying categories:

  • Green: companies with the highest workplace equality scores;
  • Yellow: companies that have taken steps toward a fair-minded workplace and receive a moderate workplace equality score;
  • Red: companies that earn the lowest workplace equality scores.
  • Companies with scores listed in italics have not responded to the CEI survey, despite repeated invitations.  They have been assigned an estimated score based on publicly-available information related to their LGBT-inclusive policies and practices.

Importantly, the guide also lists companies’ 4,400-plus affiliated businesses and brands.

For example, Mondelez, which scored a perfect 100 on the CEI, may not be a familiar name to most consumers, but its business interests listed in the guide certainly are. They include Mallomars, Chips Ahoy, Wheat Thins, and Toblerone. And Diageo, also with a perfect score, boasts well-known brands Smirnoff, Tanqueray, and Beaulieu Vineyard.

Sectors rated include:

  • Apparel & Accessories
  • Banking & Finance
  • Food & Beverage
  • Home & Garden
  • Restaurants
  • Technology

The HRC Foundation welcomes new relationships with businesses that have not responded in the past to attempts to gather information on their LGBT workplace policies and programs.

The full report is available online at

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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