The HRC Foundation has released its Corporate Equality Index 2008 report and as was the case last year, more companies than ever before have scored a perfect 100. Corporate America, in response to competition, is adopting and promoting LGBT-positive policies and practices because it is good for business to attract and retain top talent, regardless of orientation or gender identity. (HRC):

An unprecedented 195 companies received the top score of 100 percent. Collectively, these companies employ more than 8 million workers and that validates the work of the HRC Foundation in “changing the air” in which GLBT issues are discussed. Because, even our straight colleagues at these companies get a message from their leadership everyday that GLBT Americans should be given equal treatment and equal respect at work.  But, the Corporate Equality Index does more than just track the changes that are occurring in corporate America, along with the work of GLBT employees, it drives the issue forward. It's about one word: competition. Successfully vying for the best and brightest talent and the economic clout of GLBT consumers means one thing to these fair-minded companies: implement the policies on the Corporate Equality Index and reach the coveted 100 percent. That means providing equal benefits to domestic partners and transgender employees, banning anti-GLBT discrimination and giving back to GLBT community organizations.

For perspective, when the Index was first released in 2002 only 13 companies scored 100. That's a sea change in only a few years, despite non-stop flogging on companies by the bible beating culture warriors.  One company that was eager to share news about its perfect score was United Parcel Service (UPS). Its main competition, FedEx, only managed a paltry 55 and does not provide benefits for domestic partners firm-wide — even to married same-sex couples in Massachusetts.

“We understand that policies that support inclusion and diversity are critical for us to be successful and we are honored to be recognized with a perfect score on the HRC's Corporate Equality Index,” said Mike Eskew, UPS chairman and CEO.

There are 57 companies new to the 100 list, including Allstate Insurance, Electronic Arts Inc., Esurance Inc., J.C. Penney, Marriott International Inc. (Mitt!), Mastercard, and Yahoo!. 

Related reports:

* Best Places to Work
* Buying for Equality 

H/t, HRC Back Story.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding