By Tim Levy
Sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace can be hard to detect. Hiring biases are acted upon every day without human resources themselves sometimes even noticing that their companies are not diverse and the people they onboard all tend to be the same. The good news is that there are companies that enthusiastically have LGBTQ employees, and these companies make it part of their corporate vision to employ people of all gender identities. The following are just five of many other companies that embrace LGBTQ equality in the workplace as well as beyond it.
Apple’s been defending gender rights for some time. It’s not just jumping on a politically correct bandwagon. It put up $100,000 in 2008 to fund the battle against the Proposition 8 effort to make same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Apple’s dedication to the LGBTQ community hasn’t weakened since then. Apple CEO, Tim Cook, is an openly gay man who marched alongside 8,000 members of the Apple team in the 43rd Annual Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco.
In addition to developing technology that will change how we live our everyday lives, Amazon is perceived positively by LGBTQ people, according to BrandIndex, a company that tracks how the public feels about top brands. It stands out for offering benefits to the same-sex partners of its workers. Its health insurance plan covers transgender hospital procedures. The CEO, Jeff Bezos, is known for generously contributing to LGBTQ causes. He donated $2.5 million dollars to Washington United for Marriage, an organization that protects the rights of Washington state citizens to marry partners of the same sex. It may very well be the most generous contribution made by an individual in the fight to protect gay marriage.
Google is one of the first companies in the U.S to pay for the gender reassignment procedures of its employees. The company refers to its gay staff as “Gayglers” and is proud of their contribution to the success of the company. It has also shown a strong commitment to offering benefits such as 12 weeks of parental leave to all their employees in spite of their gender orientation. This includes those who are the heads of LGBTQ families.
Workplace Pride Foundation in Amsterdam has included IBM on their list of gay-inclusive businesses. It’s one of 60 companies involved in the Human Rights Campaign’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act, which fights for workplace inclusivity for LGBTQ people. As far back as 1995, however, then IBM President Louis Gerstner established task forces to ensure the company embraced diversity, an effort that included people who identified themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s was offering benefits to the partners of gay employees way back in 1989. Getting behind the LGBTQ community is hardly something new for them. A Vermont-based company, it celebrated the state’s legalization of same-sex marriage by changing its popular ice cream flavor “Chubby Hubby” to “Hubby Hubby”. The company also renamed “Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough” to “I dough, I dough” to celebrate the Supreme Court’s 2015 legalization of gay marriage across all 50 states, but the eclectic ice cream brand has participated in numerous LGBTQ events that include the Tokyo Rainbow Pride parade in 2014.
Scott Levy hails from New York City where he works as a PR consultant and freelances as a writer. His passions include music, cooking, and meeting new people. He considers himself tech-savvy and is always interested in what is coming next when it comes to technology. He also enjoys binging on television shows and tries his best to follow the NBA. He can be reached at here.