Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Graduates
Editor & Writer
Editor & Writer
- It's important to work for a company that values you, no matter how you identify.
- By using the Corporate Equality Index, you can find companies that respect and support their LGBTQ+ employees.
- We've identified top-tier companies that are LGBTQ+ friendly and treat their talent fairly.
Are you graduating soon and searching for places to work? Life after graduation can be difficult to navigate, especially if you are part of the LGBTQ+ community. But what does LGBTQ+ stand for, exactly? It is an acronym for
lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (or questioning). The
+ includes all other members of the community who do not find themselves defined by any of the aforementioned terms.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community are often nervous about being transparent about their identities at work. According to a 2021 survey conducted by The Williams Institute, about 50% of LGBT employees had not come out to their supervisors, while 26% had not shared their LGBTQ+ identity with coworkers.
What Is the Corporate Equality Index?
The Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index (CEI) is a system that easily identifies LGBTQ+-friendly work environments. The CEI has been published since 2002, and it was modeled after the 10-point Gay and Lesbian Values Index that author Grant Lukenbill created. It has since transformed into a nationally recognized 100-point scoring system.
The CEI is used as a benchmark for employment equality practices for the LGBTQ+ community nationwide. Diversity efforts are directly related to engagement among LGBTQ+ employees, according to a 2014 report by the Human Rights Campaign. Diversity efforts also positively impact innovation and productivity and even correlate with higher workplace retention.
Now in its 20th year, the CEI has expanded to include 842 top scorers. You can quickly identify key findings on hundreds of employers across the United States with its searchable database. We've put together a list of 13 potential employers to include in your job search, all of which scored 100%.
1. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is one of the big four accounting firms. With over 327,000 professionals in 155 countries, they offer professional services around the world. The company partners with several organizations to make progress on LGBTQ+ equality and recently released a global survey on how businesses need to do more to attract and support LGBTQ+ talent.
In 2021, PwC increased its lifetime maximum for transgender-related healthcare coverage and procedures for staff members from $25,000 to $75,000. The company has received a 100% rating on the CEI since 2006.
2. The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.
The Hartford Financial Services Group, or The Hartford, provides insurance and investing services like casualty insurance and group benefits. The company gets its name from Hartford, Connecticut, where it is headquartered.
Hartford employees actively work to create an inclusive environment by tackling sensitive topics in Courageous Conversations Circles. Employees are also assessed annually on how inclusive their actions are. Hartford rewards the employees who best embody
The Hartford Behaviors. The organization was recently awarded the 2023 Catalyst Award for its ongoing efforts to support diversity, equity, and inclusion.
3. Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente, based in Oakland, California, is a nonprofit provider of both healthcare and health insurance plans. The organization serves nearly 13 million Americans with the guiding principle that people should have the opportunity to live healthy lives.
They adopted three equity principles to support a more inclusive environment, including
I advocate for equity and inclusion for all people and amplify the voices of the most impacted and unheard. Their principles are also incorporated into educational materials and resources, like Belong@KP.
4. Lyft Inc.
Lyft is one of the most popular and recognizable rideshare companies in the world. The Bay Area-based company donates all funds rounded up through the Lyft Up program to organizations like the Human Rights Campaign. So far, Lyft has donated more than $4 million dollars to the HRC's initiatives.
Lyft promotes rider safety by providing free rides to the transgender community. They also allow transgender drivers to easily change their pronouns in the Lyft app. In fact, Lyft was the first rideshare company to include pronoun options for drivers in the U.S. and Canada.
5. Ally Financial
Ally Financial is a bank based in Detroit, Michigan, that also offers home, auto, and personal loans. Their Pride Allys employee resource group, which boasts nearly 1,000 members, held 19 events in 2020 alone. One of the group's initiatives was to create a video series that highlighted the experiences of transgender and nonbinary employees.
Ally also supported LGBTQ+ businesses by creating the changemakers campaign in 2021 to share stories of Black LGBTQ+ business owners that are doing critical work in their communities.
6. Airbnb Inc.
Airbnb is one of the world's top rental websites for vacation homes and condos. It offers about 6 million listings in over 220 countries worldwide, rivaling traditional hotel options. Its competitive tech apprenticeship program helps students and recent graduates work their way into their coveted entry-level openings. In 2021, employee resource groups compiled and distributed a guide to LGBTQ+ allyship.
As of August 2021, 13.5% of their U.S. supply chain are minority-owned businesses, including those operated by members of the LGBTQ+ community. Airbnb has earned a perfect score on the CEI for seven years in a row.
7. GameStop Corp.
GameStop Corporation, commonly known as GameStop, is one of the largest and most successful retailers of video games and electronics in the world. GameStop operates more than 4,000 stores globally, with more than half located in the United States, including its headquarters in Grapevine, Texas.
One way the gaming corporation supports LGBTQ+ individuals is by providing comprehensive insurance coverage for their transgender employees that includes medically necessary care like hormone therapies and reconstructive surgeries.
8. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co — based in New York, New York — appears on the CEI with a top ranking for the 20th year in a row. The company is known for championing historically excluded groups. It has been honored by the National Autistic Society in the UK and the Hispanic IT Executive Council in recent years, among other accolades.
They instituted a PRIDE business resource group as early as 1996, and their Office of LGBTQ+ Affairs is a global initiative for advancing equity and inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community. They also offer lucrative apprenticeships and internships for students and recent graduates.
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9. Xerox Corp
Norwalk, Connecticut, is home to the Xerox Corporation, another CEI 20-time high score recipient. Xerox has been in operation since 1906, selling digital and print document products and services in over 160 countries.
Diversity and inclusion are highly encouraged as an essential facet of Xerox culture. The Wilson Rule was enacted to increase opportunities for minority groups in management roles. The GALAXe Employee Resource Group was created to support and increase the visibility of LGBTQ+ community members within the company.
Xerox provides internships and co-op programs to prepare students and recent graduates for employment.
San Francisco-based software company Salesforce is the number one customer relationship management platform in the world. The company hosts quarterly allyship leadership workshops and yearly conventions that focus on inclusivity and expansion.
Salesforce openly supports and champions its LGBTQ+ employees and the community at large. They have many company equality groups to get involved with, including their Outforce program, which celebrates the LGBTQ+ community specifically. Outforce is responsible for the LGBTQ+ Workplace Equality Handbook that new hires must read.
Salesforce has partnered with Pink Fest to create opportunities like the Inclusive Careers Lab. They use their Futureforce University Recruiting program to hire and support new college graduates, and 90% of employees are pleased with their work environment.