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Five Tampa Bay companies earn perfect score on LGBTQ equality index

Jaymi Butler



Photo provided.

Despite a challenging year, a record 767 companies achieved a perfect score for LGBTQ-inclusive workplace policies according to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2021 Corporate Equality Index – and several of them call the Tampa Bay area home. 

Raymond James Financial earned the highest possible score – 100 – for the second year in a row, as did Clearwater’s Tech Data, Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans and law firms Carlton Fields and Holland & Knight

“We work exceptionally hard to keep diversity and inclusion front of mind in every facet of the firm’s business operations in order to accomplish an inclusive environment, particularly for the LGBTQ community,” said Dianne Phillips, co-chair of the firm’s LGBT Affinity Group. “Working with HRC provides an outlet to showcase all of the great policies we have been able to implement here at the firm.”

To earn this distinction, companies are rated on criteria that fall under four central pillars — non-discrimination policies across business entities, equitable benefits for LGBTQ workers and their families, support for an inclusive culture and corporate social responsibility.

“From the previously unimaginable impact of the Covid-19 pandemic to a long overdue reckoning with racial injustice, 2020 was an unprecedented year,” Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign said in a statement. “Yet many businesses across the nation stepped up and continued to prioritize and champion LGBTQ equality.”

Here are a few other highlights from the report, now in its 19th year: 

  • 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 percent, up from 89 percent last year.

To access the full report, click here. 

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