2023 Corporate Equality Index Criteria

Produced by the HRC Foundation

Launched in 2002, the HRC Foundation's Corporate Equality Index has become a roadmap and benchmarking tool for U.S. businesses in the evolving field of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer equality in the workplace. The HRC Foundation is committed to keeping the criteria for the CEI rigorous, fair and transparent by identifying emerging best practices that improve the experiences of LGBTQ employees of participating businesses. Equally important, we are committed to providing the resources and consultation that enable each business to attain a 100 percent rating.

Updated: 01/27/2022

Rating Criteria for the 2023 CEI

1. Workforce Protections (5 points possible)

  • Policy includes sexual orientation and gender identity/gender identity or expression for all operations (5)

2. Inclusive Family Benefits (50 points possible)

To secure full credit for benefits criteria, each benefit must be available to all benefits-eligible U.S. employees. In areas where more than one health insurance plan is available, at least one inclusive plan must be available.

  • Equivalency in same- and different-sex spousal medical and soft benefits (No points awarded)
  • Equivalency in same- and different-sex domestic partner medical and soft benefits (10)
  • Equivalency in spousal and domestic partner family formation benefits regardless of sex. (10)
  • Equal health coverage for transgender individuals without exclusion for medically necessary care (15)
  • At least 5 additional essential services and treatments (10)
  • LGBTQ+ Benefits Guide (5)

3. Supporting an Inclusive Culture (25 points possible)

a. Four LGBTQ+ ​Internal Training and Accountability Efforts (5)
Businesses must demonstrate a firm-wide, sustained and accountable commitment to diversity and cultural competency, including at least four of the following elements:

  • New hire training clearly states that the nondiscrimination policy includes gender identity and sexual orientation and provides definitions or scenarios illustrating the policy for each
  • Supervisors undergo training that includes gender identity and sexual orientation as discrete topics (may be part of a broader training), and provides definitions or scenarios illustrating the policy for each
  • Integration of gender identity and sexual orientation in professional development, skills-based or other leadership training that includes elements of diversity and/or cultural competency
  • Integration of intersectionality in professional development, skills-based, or other training (required)
  • Senior management/executive performance measures include LGBTQ diversity metrics

b. One LGBTQ+ Data Collection Effort (5)

  • Anonymous employee engagement or climate surveys conducted on an annual or biennial basis allow employees the option to identify as LGBTQ+
  • Data collection forms that include employee race, ethnicity, gender, military and disability status — typically recorded as part of employee records — include optional questions on sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Board (or other governing body) member demographic data collection include the option for individuals to report their sexual orientation and gender identity or self-identity as LGBTQ+

c. Transgender Inclusion Best Practices (5)

  • Gender transition guidelines with supportive restroom, dress code and documentation guidance
  • Implementation of the at least one (1) of the following policies or practices
    • Trans-inclusive restroom/facilities policy
    • Gender-neutral dress code
    • Policies/procedures that allow for optional sharing of gender pronouns

d. Employee Group –OR– Diversity Council (10)

4. Corporate Social Responsibility (20 points possible)

a. Five Distinct Efforts of Outreach or Engagement to Broader LGBTQ+ Community (15)
Businesses must demonstrate ongoing LGBTQ+ specific engagement that extends across the firm, including at least five of the following:

  • LGBTQ employee recruitment efforts with demonstrated reach of LGBTQ+ applicants (required documentation may include a short summary of the event or an estimation of the number of candidates reached)
  • Supplier diversity program with demonstrated effort to include certified LGBTQ+ suppliers
  • Marketing or advertising to LGBTQ consumers (e.g.: advertising with LGBTQ+ content, advertising in LGBTQ media or sponsoring LGBTQ organizations and events)
  • Philanthropic support of at least one LGBTQ+ organization or event (e.g.: financial, in kind or pro bono support)
  • Demonstrated public support for LGBTQ+ equality under the law through local, state or federal legislation or initiatives

b. LGBTQ+ Corporate Social Responsibility

Contractor/supplier non-discrimination standards AND Philanthropic Giving Guidelines (5)

4. Responsible citizenship (-25)
Employers will have 25 points deducted from their score for a large-scale official or public anti-LGBTQ blemish on their recent records. Scores on this criterion are based on information that has come to HRC’s attention related to topics including but not limited to: undue influence by a significant shareholder calculated to undermine a business’s employment policies or practices related to its LGBTQ employees; directing corporate charitable contributions to organizations whose primary mission includes advocacy against LGBTQ equality; opposing shareholder resolutions reasonably aimed at encouraging the adoption of inclusive workplace policies; revoking inclusive LGBTQ policies or practices; or engaging in proven practices that are contrary to the business’s written LGBTQ employment policies.

Point Allocations

Businesses are rated on a scale from 0 to 100, with a certain number of points awarded for meeting each criterion. The HRC Foundation will continue to award partial credit to employers that have satisfied a portion of certain criterion.

Timeline

The following dates are intended for planning purposes and subject to change:

For the duration of the 2022 calendar year, the CEI team will focus our efforts on educating employers on the new criteria. There will not be a new CEI survey in the field until Spring of 2023. This updated timeline will enable us to devote substantial time to providing additional education to employers on the new criteria. The next report will be released in November 2023.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions about the Corporate Equality Index at cei@hrc.org.

2023 CEI Criteria Informational Webinar

Watch this recording to learn more about the updates and improvements we're making to the CEI for the 2023 cycle.


The Human Rights Campaign reports on news, events and resources of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation that are of interest to the general public and further our common mission to support the LGBTQ+ community.
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