Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released the tenth edition of its Corporate Equality Index, which evaluates Fortune 500 companies for their treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees. Among the most important findings include dramatic gains in trans healthcare coverage and inclusive employment nondiscrimination policies:
- The number of companies providing transgender inclusive healthcare coverage quadrupled since 2009, the year when the HRC began requiring these benefits for a perfect score. That is a growth of 49 companies in 2009 to 207 companies in 2012.
- 207 companies now include medically necessary care including sex reassignment surgery in their healthcare plan, almost a tripling in growth since last year.
- For the first time, fifty percent of the Fortune 500 companies now include gender identity in their employment nondiscrimination policy, a growth of 1,567 percent since 2002.
NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said, “In a time when the gap between the haves and have-nots widens, many private companies are at least stepping up to make sure that trans workers can access medically necessary healthcare. Knowing that your workplace respects your health needs, and protects your job regardless of who you are provides a life changing sense of security for trans workers and a competitive advantage for employers looking for the best staff. I join HRC in congratulating these companies and I sincerely thank the team at HRC for doing this important work.”
The Corporate Equality Index (CEI) has become an essential tool for consumers and employers alike. Companies promote their scores to both attract highly skilled LGBT applicants, and to edge out competitors in their industry to attract LGBT business.
“The benefit for us is that corporations’ pursuit of the perfect score has accelerated acceptance and change for trans people” says Keisling. “Let me be clear, though. There are still lots of trans people desperate for these life changing health and employment protections. While there is still more work to do,” she said, “these dramatic gains are changing the norms of how employers ensure the fair and equal treatment of their workers.”