Kate Spade New York is among the corporations that made trans actress Dylan Mulvaney a brand ambassador. Getty Images
Executives at companies like Nike, Anheuser-Busch and Kate Spade, whose brand endorsements have turned controversial trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney into today’s woke “It girl,” aren’t just virtue signaling.
They’re handing out lucrative deals to what were once considered fringe celebrities because they have to — or risk failing an all-important social credit score that could make or break their businesses.
At stake is their Corporate Equality Index — or CEI — score, which is overseen by the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ+ political lobbying group in the world.
HRC, which has received millions from George Soros’ Open Society Foundation among others, issues report cards for America’s biggest corporations via the CEI: awarding or subtracting points for how well companies adhere to what HRC calls its “rating criteria.”
Businesses that attain the maximum 100 total points earn the coveted title “Best Place To Work For LGBTQ Equality.” Fifteen of the top 20 Fortune-ranked companies received 100% ratings last year, according to HRC data.
More than 840 US companies racked up high CEI scores, according to the latest report.
The HRC, which was formed in 1980 and started the CEI in 2002, is led by Kelley Robinson who was named as president in 2022 and worked as a political organizer for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
The HRC lists five major rating criteria, each with its own lengthy subsets, for companies to gain — or lose — CEI points.
The main categories are: “Workforce Protections,” “Inclusive Benefits,” “Supporting an Inclusive Culture,” “Corporate Social Responsibility and Responsible Citizenship.”
A company can lose CEI points if it doesn’t fulfill HRC’s demand for “integration of intersectionality in professional development, skills-based or other training” or if it doesn’t use a “supplier diversity program with a demonstrated effort to include certified LGBTQ+ suppliers.”
James Lindsay, a political podcaster who runs a site called New Discourses, told The Post that the Human Rights Campaign administers the CEI ranking “like an extortion racket, like the Mafia.
It doesn’t just sit back passively either. HRC sends representatives to corporations every year telling them what kind of stuff they have to make visible at the company. They give them a list of demands and if they don’t follow through there’s a threat that you won’t keep your CEI score.”
The CEI is a lesser-known part of the burgeoning ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) “ethical investing” movement increasingly pushed by the country’s top three investment firms. ESG funds invest in companies that oppose fossil fuels, push for unionization, and stress racial and gender equity over merit in hiring and board selection.
As a result, some American CEOs are more concerned about pleasing BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street Bank — who are among the top shareholders of most American publicly-traded corporations (including Nike, Anheuser-Busch and Kate Spade) — than they are about irritating conservatives, numerous sources told The Post.