Humanrights campaign CEI report companies
2 min read

A record-breaking 767 companies achieved a top-score for LGBTQ-inclusive workplace policies despite an arduous year for businesses, stakeholders, and customers during 2020.

In a report released by the HRC Foundation in the United States, the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, the 2021 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) has shown 767 businesses earned the CEI’s top score of 100, up from 686 last year—a single-year increase of almost 12 per cent.

In 2002, the first year of the CEI, only 13 companies achieved a top-score, demonstrating the incredible impact the CEI has had on the business world over its 19-year life.


This year’s CEI reflects growth across every measurement category, from the adoption of inclusive non-discrimination policies to equitable healthcare benefits for transgender employees.

The CEI comes out after a year the nation has faced a global pandemic, legitimate racial injustice and national unrest. Within this climate, companies have continued to advance vital workplace protections for LGBTQ employees around the world, as acknowledged in this report.

The most considerable progress measured over the 19-year history of the CEI, and continuing in 2021, has been the wide-scale adoption of transgender-inclusive initiatives across businesses.

  • A full 94 per cent of the Fortune 500 and 99.7 per cent of all CEI rated businesses have gender identity protections in their nondiscrimination policies—up from 3 per cent and 5 per cent respectively since the launch of the CEI in 2002.
  • 71 per cent of the Fortune 500 and 91 per cent of all CEI-rated businesses offer transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage, up from 0 in 2002, and 22 times as many businesses as ten years ago.
  • 97 new employers offer this coverage according to the 2021 report.

Other key findings revealed in the 2021 CEI:

  • The 767 companies who earned a 100 on the CEI represent over 13 million employees nationally, and another 13 million globally.
  • Of all Fortune 500 companies, 458 have sexual orientation in their U.S. non-discrimination policy, and 448 have gender identity.
  • The average CEI score for all Fortune 500 companies increased from 73 to 76 in the past year—with actively participating Fortune 500 companies having an average score of 91 per cent, up from 89 per cent last year.

Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said from the previously unimaginable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to a long-overdue reckoning with racial injustice, 2020 was an unprecedented year.

“Many businesses across the nation stepped up and continued to prioritize and champion LGBTQ equality,” David said.

“The progress made since the CEI’s inception is truly astounding and proves these initiatives have a deep impact on the day-to-day lives of LGBTQ workers.

“While the CEI cannot measure every facet of what makes a workspace inclusive, it does create a foundation upon which employees can feel more comfortable living and working as their true selves—an important step, but one which is only the starting point.

Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David
Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David

“Diversity and inclusion policies and practices advanced through tools like the CEI are critical, but meaningful change requires breathing life into these policies in real and tangible ways, so that LGBTQ employees are truly seen, valued and respected not only at work, but in every aspect of life.”

The full report is available here.


Last Updated on Jan 29, 2021

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