For 14th Year In A Row, Apple Achieves Perfect HRC LGBT Score

If one company can achieve a perfect ranking for 14 years in a row, shouldn't we take note?  Shouldn't other companies take note as well and start following suit? 

Roger Fingas from appleinsider.com helps the Fortune 500 company toot its namesake's horn and we don't mind one bit.  Here's an excerpt from the insider's website.

Apple and 20 other tech companies achieved perfect scores on this year's Corporate Equality Index, a Human Rights Campaign project ranking US companies on their treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered workers.

To achieve a perfect score companies must not only ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, but offer domestic benefits to LGBT couples plus equal health coverage for transgendered people, which can include transitioning procedures. According to the HRC report, some other tech businesses on par with Apple included Facebook, Intel, Microsoft, Tesla, and Twitter.

In all just under half of the 851 companies surveyed by the HRC achieved perfect scores, though tech companies did better as a rule. This is likely because many of them are young and have been able to write LGBT support into their policies from the start, rather than having to go back and fix things like benefits packages, the Wall Street Journal noted.

This year marks the 14th in a row Apple has achieved a 100 percent score on the Corporate Equality Index. The company has long backed LGBT causes, having been one of the first in the U.S. to offer equal benefits to same-sex partners. It also regularly participates in the San Francisco Pride Parade, and CEO Tim Cook has not only come out as gay but thrown his weight behind U.S. legislation protecting gay rights, such as the long-debated Equality Act. In October HRC gave Cook its Visibility Award.

The company has taken some flak from critics who note that the company continues to do business in countries where LGBT people can be legally imprisoned or even executed, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia. – appleinsider.com

To Apple we say BRAVO!  With such an internationally recognized company making strides to protect its LGBT employees makes us proud.  I doubt this is why people buy Apple products, but it is good to know the company we monetarily support so much by buying its products protects the rights of our "family" members.

Of course that report was from the appleinsider.com.  What does the Wall Street Journal have to say about Apple and other tech companies' ratings?

Finally a diversity score tech execs can celebrate: tech companies lead corporate America with policies that include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees, according to a new study. But gay rights activists say the on-the-job realities aren’t so rosy.

The tech industry passed the study from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation with flying colors–all the colors of the rainbow, one might say. The study, known as the Corporate Equality Index and released last month, gave perfect scores to 21 tech companies including Facebook Inc.FB +1.72%, Google parent Alphabet Inc.GOOGL +1.43%, Microsoft Corp.MSFT +3.15% and Apple Inc.

In 1993, Microsoft became one of the first companies in the world to offer employee benefits to same-sex domestic partners. The Corporate Equality Index has included Microsoft Corp. in its scoring of firms since Human Rights Campaign Foundation started publishing it in 2002, and Microsoft achieved a perfect score in 2005.

Google and Facebook both have groups representing LGBT workers (at Google, they call themselves “Gayglers”). In 2011, Google started offering benefits to cover transitioning and necessary gender reassignment surgical procedures for transgender Googlers. Facebook has flown a rainbow flag on the campus’ central “Hacker Square” courtyard and has formalized guidelines about accepting gender transitioning.

However, it is difficult to gauge the success of these policies and initiatives. While companies are required by law to report their numbers of female employees and other minority groups, there is no mandate for companies to collect data on LGBT employees because there are no federal employment non-discrimination protections for sexual orientation or gender identity, according to HRC’s legal director Sarah Warbelow.

Some tech companies are starting to collect this data internally, but often the data is confidential even to those within human resources departments.

“Until more companies start tracking workers who self identify as LGBT, we are not going to even know how many LGBT people were promoted or left the company. Often that’s a reflection of the company’s culture,” says Selisse Berry, CEO of Out & Equal, a nonprofit dedicated to equality in the workplace.

The dearth of openly LGBT people at the top of tech companies suggests some LGBT workers are being passed over for promotions. And gay rights activists say that an accepting boss is as important as company-wide LGBT policies.

“If the people you interact with most are giving you the cold shoulder, that will impact you more than company policies,” says Deena Fidas, director of the HRC’s workplace equality program and co-author of the Corporate Equality Index. – WSJ.com

I am not sure if there is a lack of LGBT-ers at the top of tech companies due to employees being passed over because of their LGBT-ness.  Does anyone have any insight on this?

Thanks Apple Insider and Wall Street Journal for helping to point out how good these companies are for us to work at. 

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