DALLAS, Feb. 22, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) is proud to announce its score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's 2023-2024 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the nation's foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality.  

It's the airline's ninth consecutive year to earn a top score on the CEI—underscoring the Company's dedication to LGBTQ+ equality. Southwest Airlines® joins 545 major U.S. businesses that earned top marks this year. 

"Southwest has a long history of putting our People first, and this recognition highlights our continued commitment to creating an inclusive and equitable environment for our LGBTQ+ Employees," said Juan Suarez, Vice President Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at Southwest Airlines.

The 2023-2024 CEI results showcase how U.S.-based companies promote LGBTQ+-friendly workplace policies in the U.S. and abroad. In its first year, the CEI included 319 participants and the latest results included 1,384 participants, demonstrating the tremendous trajectory and increasing breadth of the CEI. A record-breaking 1,340 businesses have non-discrimination protections specific to gender identity, up from just 17 in 2002. These critical non-discrimination protections cover 21 million employees in the U.S. and around the globe. Southwest's efforts in satisfying all the CEI's criteria earned a score of 100 and the designation as recipient of the Equality 100 Award: Leader in LGBTQ+ Workplace Inclusion

"For over two decades, businesses have played an important role in furthering LGBTQ+ equality by centering employee needs and voices around workplace inclusion. While there's much more work to do, year-over-year growth in CEI participation is evidence of a business community recognizing the responsibility and value in upholding equity and inclusion," said RaShawn "Shawnie" Hawkins, Human Rights Campaign Sr Director of Workplace Equality. "Our goal at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation is to work in a spirit of partnership with companies, providing educational resources and leading benchmarking, and collaborating on ways for businesses to support the LGBTQ+ community at a time when we face unprecedented legislative attacks, heightened anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and physical violence. The CEI is an ever-evolving tool—a blueprint that companies can use to show up more effectively in supporting their LGBTQ+ employees and their families."   

The CEI rates employers providing these crucial protections to over 20 million U.S. workers. An additional 18 million employees at companies outside the U.S. rated in the CEI include Fortune magazine's 500 largest publicly traded businesses, American Lawyer magazine's top 200 revenue-grossing law firms (AmLaw 200), and hundreds of publicly and privately held mid- to large-sized businesses. 

Companies are rated on detailed criteria falling under four central pillars to achieve the CEI distinction: 

  • Non-discrimination policies across business entities; 
  • Equitable benefits for LGBTQ+ workers and their families; 
  • Supporting an inclusive culture; and 
  • Corporate social responsibility. 

The full report is available online at www.hrc.org/cei.

ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO. 
Southwest Airlines Co. operates one of the world's most admired and awarded airlines, offering its one-of-a-kind value and Hospitality at 121 airports across 11 countries. Southwest took flight in 1971 to democratize the sky through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel and now carries more air travelers flying nonstop within the United States than any other airline1. Based in Dallas and famous for an Employee-first corporate Culture, Southwest maintains an unprecedented record of no involuntary furloughs or layoffs in its history. By empowering its nearly 75,0002 People to deliver unparalleled Hospitality, the maverick airline cherishes a passionate loyalty among more than 137 million Customers carried in 2023. That formula for success brought industry-leading prosperity and 47 consecutive years3 of profitability for Southwest Shareholders (NYSE: LUV). Southwest leverages a unique legacy and mission to serve communities around the world including harnessing the power of its People and Purpose to put communities at the Heart of its success. Learn more by visiting Southwest.com/citizenship. As the airline with Heart, Southwest has set a goal to work toward achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Southwest has also set near-term targets and a three-pillar strategy to achieve its environmental goals. Learn more by visiting Southwest.com/planet.

1 Based on U.S. Dept. of Transportation quarterly Airline Origin & Destination Survey since Q1 2021
2 Fulltime-equivalent active Employees
3 1973-2019 annual profitability

ABOUT THE HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN FOUNDATION
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people. Through its programs, the HRC Foundation seeks to make transformational change in the everyday lives of LGBTQ+ people, shedding light on inequity and deepening the public's understanding of LGBTQ+ issues, with a clear focus on advancing transgender and racial justice. Its work has transformed the landscape for more than 15 million workers, 11 million students, 1 million clients in the adoption and foster care system and so much more. The HRC Foundation provides direct consultation and technical assistance to institutions and communities, driving the advancement of inclusive policies and practices; it builds the capacity of future leaders and allies through fellowship and training programs; and, with the firm belief that we are stronger working together, it forges partnerships with advocates in the U.S. and around the globe to increase our impact and shape the future of our work. 

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SOURCE Southwest Airlines Co.

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