This week, the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT advocacy group in the United States, released its highly anticipated, annual Corporate Equality Index. The 2013 index, which looks at the polices and practices that impact LGBT employees across hundreds of large U.S. corporations, has revealed that LGBT equality is becoming more and more commonplace in the workforce.
As Instinct Magazine notes, there is "plenty to cheer about" when looking at the 11th edition of the CEI. Not only did a record number of companies earn a top score of 100 in the HRC index, but for the first time in history, it was revealed that a majority of the Fortune 500 now "offers both sexual orientation and gender identity protections."
Last year, 189 major U.S. employers received a top score; this year, that number burgeoned to 252. According to HRC, 13 of the top 20 Fortune-ranked companies -- including General Motors, Chevron, AT&T and Citigroup -- received 100 percent ratings.
Apple, Bank of America, Comcast, eBay, General Mills, Google, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Nike, United Airlines, Walgreens and Walt Disney were just a handful of the other corporations that clinched a perfect score and won the title of one of the "Best Places to Work for LGBT equality."
A large number of other companies -- including Starbucks, Visa, Southwest Airlines and Macy's -- received a score of 90 or higher.
According to the HRC, the criteria that was used to determine companies' scores was wide-ranging. It included looking at equal employment opportunity policies, employment benefits for workers and their spouses/partners, transgender-inclusive health insurance, public commitment and responsible citizenship.
"Despite the fact that people can be legally denied a job or fired simply for their sexual orientation in 29 states and their gender identity in 34, our corporate allies have surged well ahead of lagging legislation to afford these protections," HRC President Chad Griffin wrote in the introduction to this year's findings.
In this year’s CEI, you will see an exciting trend crystallizing: businesses are implementing an ethos of LGBT inclusion that goes beyond U.S. employee policies. As you will see, major businesses are ensuring that wherever they do business, here and abroad, LGBT people enjoy the same workplace protections. In addition, these same businesses are aligning their corporate values of LGBT inclusion with their suppliers, funders and within the community at large. Record numbers of businesses stood with our community to endorse pro-equality legislation.
Check out 25 of the best places for LGBT people to work in America in the slideshow below. Then, download the HRC list of "Best Places To Work," or read the full report below.