Corporate Equality Index: About the Survey

Filed under: Workplace

The HRC Corporate Equality Index survey is the primary source of information for the Corporate Equality Index rating. The survey also helps gauge trends and best practices among all businesses or in particular industries. Many questions on the survey relate directly to the ratings and are required for participation in the Corporate Equality Index, while others are informational questions.

Survey Process

The surveys will be sent out in early summer. If a business has not previously participated in the HRC Corporate Equality Index, surveys are sent to the chief executive officer or managing partner of the firm, as well as the head of human resources and diversity managers or chairs when it is possible to obtain this information. If a business has previously participated in the Corporate Equality Index, surveys are first sent to the individuals responsible for the previous submissions.

Participating businesses submit their answers through a web-based survey which includes links to sample policies and other guidance on the HRC Workplace Project website; HRC Foundation staff and Business Council members provide additional assistance and advice throughout the process. Businesses are able to check their preliminary ratings through the online survey and are invited to provide HRC with any additional information or updates before the report is released.

If a business does not submit a survey, the HRC Foundation may still rate that business if it has obtained sufficient information to do so, or if the employer has submitted a survey in previous years and the information is still accurate. In these cases, the HRC Foundation notifies that employer of the rating and asks for any updates. In most cases, if the employer has not previously submitted a survey, the employer has not responded to the HRC Foundation's request.

Who Completes the Survey

Typically, one person acts as the official submitter of the survey and is responsible for obtaining information from multiple departments. At any point, the following practice areas may need to provide input for the survey:

  • Human Resources
  • Diversity
  • Staffing
  • Counsel / Legal
  • Marketing / Communications and
  • Corporate Giving / Foundation Relations.

The Business Case 

  • Drives recruitment and retention of talent, eliminates barriers to investment
  • Eliminates inconsistencies across operations, business clients and suppliers.
  • Reinforces corporate reputation as a champion of fairness and equality. 
  • LGBTQ and fair-minded market segment is looking to spend their dollars with companies that align with their values.

A copy of each year's survey can be viewed in the appendices of that year's CEI report:

2020 Corporate Equality Index Timeline

The following dates are provided for planning purposes only and are subject to modification:

  • July 11, 2019: Surveys sent out to companies
  • October 4, 2019: Surveys due back to HRC from companies
  • December 2019: Final scores distributed
  • January 2020: Report released