Kelley Drye Earns Top Marks in 2021 Corporate Equality Index

Firm earns 100 percent on Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s annual assessment of LGBTQ workplace equality

Kelley Drye and Warren LLP has announced that it received a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2021 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality. This marks the fifth consecutive year that Kelley Drye has achieved a perfect mark on the survey.

Having practiced law at Kelley Drye for well over a decade and now in my role overseeing the diversity function, I’ve seen firsthand the Firm’s commitment to recruiting, retaining, and promoting attorneys from the LGBTQ community,” said Denise Smith, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Kelley Drye. Our goal is to create a workplace where all members are safe, respected and valued, and allow our legal teams to benefit from the diversity of experiences and perspectives.”

Kelley Drye’s efforts in satisfying all of the CEI’s criteria earned a 100 percent ranking and the designation as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.

From the previously unimaginable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, to a long overdue reckoning with racial injustice, 2020 was an unprecedented year. Yet, many businesses across the nation stepped up and continued to prioritize and champion LGBTQ equality,” said Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President. This year has shown us that tools like the CEI are crucial in the work to increase equity and inclusion in the workplace, but also that companies must breathe life into these policies and practices in real and tangible ways. Thank you to the companies that understand protecting their LGBTQ employees and consumers from discrimination is not just the right thing to do—but the best business decision.”

The results of the 2021 CEI showcase how 1,142 U.S.-based companies are not only promoting LGBTQ-friendly workplace policies in the U.S., but also for the 57 percent of CEI-rated companies with global operations who are helping advance the cause of LGBTQ inclusion in workplaces abroad.

The CEI rates employers providing these crucial protections to over 18 million U.S. workers and an additional 17 million abroad. Companies 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.

The CEI rates companies and top law firms on detailed criteria falling under four central pillars:

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

Kelley Drye has a longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.  In 2015, the firm established the Kelley Drye LGBTQ Network,” an affinity group of friends, allies and members of the LGBTQ community.  Open to everyone, the group reflects the firm’s commitment to increasing understanding of, and involvement in, the unique issues facing the LGBTQ community.  Kelley Drye is a member of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce  (NGLCC) and supports a number of LGBTQ organizations including the Trevor Project, SAGE and Immigration Equality, as well as the National LGBT Bar Association, LAMBDA Legal and LeGaL.

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


The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.