Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Leading the Way to Inclusion in B2B

We continue Inclusion Awareness Month, by sharing the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, and an example from Citrix.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation has produced the Corporate Equality Index since 2002, encouraging businesses to include inclusive language in their corporate practices and policies.

“The nation’s largest employers have demonstrated through their actions that LGBTQ people are not just tolerated, but welcomed in their workplaces and communities. Even with all of this progress, we know that policies and benefits make up the crucial foundation, but not the totality, of what’s needed to ensure that LGBTQ workers can thrive from the plant floor to the corner office.”

– Chad Griffin, President, Human Rights Campaign Foundation

The CEI is based on a set of criteria on which companies are rated. The more of the following criteria companies meet, the higher their score:

  • Equality employment opportunity policy including sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.
  • Equivalent spousal and partner benefits, accompanied by transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage.
  • Competency training and resources with an employee group or diversity council.
  • Demonstrated public commitment to inclusive engagement, through recruiting efforts, supplier diversity programs, philanthropic support of inclusive organizations/events

Points are also deducted from company ratings for any official or public anti-inclusive “blemishes”.

The 2017 CEI shows significant progress in adoption of transgender inclusive initiatives:

  • A full 82% of the Fortune 500 have gender identity protections enumerated in their non-discrimination policies and 96% of the CEI-rated companies offer explicit gender identity non-discrimination protections in the U.S.
  • 50% of the Fortune 500 and nearly three-fourths (73%) of the surveyed businesses offer transgender-inclusive health care coverage, up from 0 when the CEI start in 2002
  • 86% of CEI-rated companies offer education and training programs that specifically include definitions and/ or scenarios on gender identity in the workplace; and,
  • Nearly four-hundred (387) major businesses have adopted gender transition guidelines for employees and their teams to establish best practices in transgender inclusion.[1]


Diversity and Inclusion in Action at Citrix

What does a CEI perfect score company look like? Citrix.

This is how they do it – Citrix holds itself accountable, by committing to its people, and the people around them.


Inclusive Policies

The first chapter of their Code of Business Conduct is about acting ethically, which includes these inclusive paragraphs:

We will not tolerate in any aspect of the employment relationship any discrimination or harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, disability, age, marital status, medical condition, veteran status, citizenship, sexual orientation, genetic information, any other basis protected by federal, state, or local law, ordinance or regulation, or any other factors that are not related to a person’s job-related qualifications and the legitimate business interest of Citrix.

As part of our commitment to a positive work environment, we expect all employees to adhere to our core values, which includes treating everyone with respect. We prohibit any conduct that creates an intimidating, offensive or hostile working environment, or that interferes with work performance.[2]


Employee Training and Resources

It’s not just a CEI requirement, but an example of how to include different ethnicities, religions, and the LGBT into one work family. The Citrix company community includes these groups:

Jagriti – This is an organization to promote Women in Technology, and youth education

Women’s Inspiration Network (WIN) – A group designed to inspire and empower women to learn from one another

LGBT Alliance – Focused on providing resources and support for employees and families, promoting career development, and personal development at work


Public Commitment and Sustainability

Their message of inclusion is not limited to their own staff and recruiting efforts, but extends to their supplier network as well.


Citrix benefits, as can you, by opening up to new perspectives, and global experiences.


Important Links to Resources:

Complete HRC Corporate Equality Index

Citrix Diversity and Inclusion

Part 1 of this series, The Shifting Landscape of Inclusion in the B2B Workplace


[1] Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Corporate Equality Index 2017 (Washington, 2016), p. 4.

[2] Citrix, Code of Business Conduct (USA, 2016), p. 6.


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