Human Rights Campaign emphasizes ‘state of emergency’ for LGBTQ+ talent

Dive Brief:

  • In releasing its annual Corporate Equality Index, LGBTQ+ rights watchdog Human Rights Campaign emphasized that queer and trans talent are in a state of emergency.
  • This year’s report, which combined insights from 2022 and 2023, focused once more on how Fortune 500 companies stacked up against each other regarding LGBTQ+-inclusive policies and benefits packages. However, the corporate equality report also emphasized the challenges provided by the regional gender-affirming care bans.
  • Of the more than 14,000 survey-takers, almost 80% said these bans make them feel less safe. Likewise, 1 in 3 respondents said they would consider moving if their state enacts a gender-affirming care ban. “Anti-LGBTQ+ legislation creates real, measurable, and tangible strain on business operations broadly and individual workers and their families,” HRC said in its report.

Dive Insight:

Like reports past, HRC provided a case comparison of Fortune 500 companies that chose to participate in the indexing or abstained. The 2022 report outlined how more engaged companies typically had public commitments to the LGBTQ+ community, LGBTQ+-inclusive nondiscrimination policies for their US workers, and a host of queer- and trans-inclusive benefits.

In 2023, as the climate gets more tense, it seems more of the Fortune 500 companies across the board are starting to invest in LGBTQ+-focused benefits and programming.

Companies that had gender transition guidelines ticked up by 60% since HRC’s last survey (from 660 to 974). Companies doing LGBTQ+ data collection also increased from 470 to 832. Additionally, 63% of companies created resource guides on LGBTQ+ benefits for their employees.

While the focus of the report is centered on U.S. branches of these business leaders, HRC emphasized “that inclusion efforts did not have to be contained to any one border.” The watchdog called upon employers to consider how their policies “could impact their workforces in countries with less tolerant legal and cultural stances towards LGBTQ+ communities.”