Updated: 06/05/2020

2021 Corporate Equality Index Coming Soon 

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

*Please note: With the global COVID-19 pandemic, HRC will continue to closely monitor the situation and its impact on our corporate participants. We will adjust the timeline for the CEI if needed.

  • On or before June 17th
    invitations to the online survey are set to be mailed to invited employers and e-mailed to employers that have participated in the past (more about the survey). Employers are able to check their rating under the criteria as they complete the survey
  • August 7th
    Deadline for Recertification surveys

  • September 4th
    Deadline for full surveys

  • September, October 2020
    Surveys submitted to HRC for review - employers will be notified of any concerns or inconsistencies found and will be given the opportunity to provide clarification

  • November 2020
    Scores finalized, communicated to participants

  • January 2021
    2021 Corporate Equality Index report released

We haven't participated in the past - how do we get involved now?

Make sure that your employer qualifies to participate, then submit the name, position, e-mail, phone number and mailing address of a person authorized to represent your business to cei@hrc.org.

Is there a fee to participate?

No, participation in the Corporate Equality Index survey and report is free.

What does a 100 percent mean on the Corporate Equality Index?

Employers that have earned a 100 percent rating on the HRC Corporate Equality Index have satisfied all of the criteria for that year and are recognized as a "Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality."

These criteria have been created to encourage employers to participate in the index and to advance the best practices for LGBTQ workplace inclusion that should be expected of all large employers. The criteria have always been intended to evolve as more employers adopt existing criteria and new best practices emerge.

Will the rating system and criteria stay the same for the 2021 CEI?

The criteria will not be changing for the 2021 Corporate Equality Index. 

Current criteria for the 2021 CEI

1. Workforce Protections (30 points possible) 

  • Policy includes sexual orientation for all operations (15)
  • Policy includes gender identity or expression for all operations (15)

2. Inclusive Benefits (30 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 (10) 
  • Equivalency in same- and different-sex domestic partner medical and soft benefits (10) 
  • Equal health coverage for transgender individuals without exclusion for medically necessary care (10) (more info)

3. Supporting an Inclusive Culture & Corporate Social Responsibility (40 points possible)  

Three LGBTQ ​Internal Training and Education Best Practices (10)

Businesses must demonstrate a firm-wide, sustained and accountable commitment to diversity and cultural competency, including at least three 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
  • Gender transition guidelines with supportive restroom, dress code and documentation guidance
  • 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.
  • Senior management/executive performance measures include LGBTQ diversity metrics

Employee Group –OR– Diversity Council (10)

Three 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 three 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 

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.

Click here for more information and to view the 2019 Criteria Updates & Toolkit for Success

We are committed to giving at least one year's notice for the rating system to change.

Does every question on the 2021 survey affect my rating?

No, only those questions marked with an asterisk listing a corresponding criterion number affect your 2020 CEI score. We include several informational only questions in order to identify new and best practices.

Do we need to be members or supporters of HRC to participate and score well on the survey?

No, the HRC Foundation does not require employers to make financial contributions to HRC in order to obtain a 100 percent. The CEI survey and report is administered and run by staff of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the 501(c)(3) educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign, who do not have fundraising responsibilities.
The CEI awards credit under the Public Engagement criterion in the survey. Employers that have received credit on this criterion have collectively contributed to hundreds of local, state and national LGBTQ groups and events throughout the U.S. since 2002; HRC is just one of the many recipients of such support.