Apple scores 100% in Best Places to Work for LGBT employees

The nation’s top companies and law firms are increasingly setting the standard for transgender inclusion in the workplace, according to a report issued today by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization.

A record 366 businesses earned the Corporate Equality Index’s top score of 100 percent this year. Those earning a perfect score include newcomers like Facebook and Yelp, as well as stalwarts such as Apple, Xerox, and other companies that have been leaders in LGBT equality in the workplace since the survey began in 2002.

“When it comes to LGBT equality, Corporate America is a leader, not a follower,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “At every turn, from advocating for marriage equality to providing vital support for transgender employees, this country’s leading companies have asked, ‘what more can we do?,’ and they’ve worked tirelessly to achieve new progress. That kind of leadership changes countless lives around this country, and sets an important example to other companies around the globe.”

Griffin cautions, however, that despite steady progress, LGBT workers still face major obstacles.

“Too many companies still don’t guarantee these vital workplace protections, and too many LGBT people–transgender people in particular–face high rates of unemployment and discrimination in hiring, keeping them from ever getting a foot in the door in the first place,” he said.

Through the Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which measures LGBT workplace inclusion, HRC has successfully propelled important progress by implementing increasingly stringent criteria for companies to follow. Many companies have consistently met that challenge, and the commitment from America’s top companies and law firms to provide an equal and inclusive workplace for transgender employees is reflected in the results of this year’s survey:

• 418 companies participating in this year’s CEI now offer transgender workers at least one health care plan that has transgender-inclusive coverage. That’s a 22 percent increase since 2012, when the CEI criteria first included trans-inclusive health care as a requisite for companies to receive a perfect score;
• One third of Fortune 500 companies now offer trans-inclusive health care, up from zero in 2002 when the CEI was first published;
• Gender identity is now part of non-discrimination policies at 66 percent of Fortune 500 companies, up from just 3 percent in 2002;
• And more than 290 major employers have adopted supportive inclusion guidelines for transgender workers who are transitioning.

Just as the CEI has successfully steered the country’s top corporations, law firms and their influential leaders toward breaking new ground in workplace equality — from enacting LGBT non-discrimination policies to extending same-sex partner benefits — it has also helped companies move toward full inclusion for their transgender employees.

“The results from this year’s Corporate Equality Index demonstrate that the nation’s leading companies see full LGBT inclusion as the standard for workplace equality,” said Deena Fidas, director of the HRC Foundation’s Workplace Equality Program, in a statement. “As we celebrate these results, we should not lose sight of the work ahead needed to ensure that these policies and benefits support a true culture of inclusion for LGBT employees–from the hiring process to every aspect of their workday lives. The goal won’t be achieved until companies turn inclusive policies into everyday practice across their organizations.”

Progress is being felt far beyond the ranks of the Fortune 500. The purpose of the CEI, which this year had 781 companies actively participating, is also to encourage small- and medium-sized companies, as well as state and municipal governments, to increase workplace acceptance by extending similar inclusive benefits and protections to LGBT employees.

The CEI rates companies and top law firms on detailed criteria falling under five broad categories:

1. Non-discrimination policies
2. Employment benefits
3. Demonstrated organizational competency and accountability around LGBT diversity and inclusion
4. Public commitment to LGBT equality
5. Responsible citizenship

The full report is available online at

Source: Human Rights Campaign


  1. “Transgender?” Let’s just call it what it is: Mental illness.

    41% of “transgenders” surveyed report they have attempted suicide and that those who have “medically transitioned” and “surgically transitioned” have higher rates of attempted suicide than the general population. “Transgenders” have higher rate of HIV infections. They are more prone to heavy drinking and the use of drugs. They have high rates of homelessness, unemployment and extreme poverty, even more so in the more difficult economic times of the last 5 years.

    Obviously, surgery or not, sexually confused individuals have a cross to bear. But they very well might be happier if they consider the counsel of former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital Dr. Paul McHugh. “‘Sex change’ is biologically impossible,” he says. “People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women.” And that’s why he concluded long ago, “We psychiatrists … would do better to concentrate on trying to fix their minds and not their genitalia.”

  2. It’s kind of a stretch to say that one particular gender identity is a mental illness and another is not. The definition of acceptable and unacceptable types is socially determined. It’s a complex biological phenomena, and you can just say that person is ok and someone who is different is “mentally ill.”

    McHugh is a respected psychiatrist and a critical thinker about these issues. However, not all psychiatrists agree with his concept. There’s no empirical evidence that he has identified some fundamental truth about humankind.

  3. Tim Cook,

    Less LGBT, more Wi-Fi that actually works, dummy.

    Alienating large portions of our potential customer pool is simply not smart business. Apple is not your activist plaything, Mr. Cook. Not for gays. Not for tree-huggers. Not for anything you personally deem to be important. May I remind you, Mr. Cook:

    I shouldn’t get involved politically because probably half our customers are Republicans… But I do point out that there are more Democrats than Mac users so I’m going to just stay away from all that political stuff because that was just a personal thing.Steve Jobs, August 2004

    1. Totally agree. We need apple innovating, not spending money trying to figure out how to create a more degenerate workforce. It’s one thing to be equal opportunity towards all people, it’s even good to offer benefits to employee partners, but it’s quite another thing to be activist and start upsetting both your customer base and prospective employees.

  4. Who cares? As long as they do not try to force their sexuality on me, I could care less who they sleep with. This is ‘Murica, where you can (or should be able to) have it anyway you want it, as long as you are not hurting anybody. And for those states that still do not support that, they need to get in line pronto. There is no turning the clock back. Cat’s outta the bag.

  5. I believe that customers buy Apple products because they are great products that they want to own. I doubt that any significant portion of Apple’s customer base is even aware of Apple’s policy toward transgenders nor do they care.

    What they do very much care about is the innovation and quality of the product and to be the best absolutely requires that you have the best people. The competition to hire the best people is particularly intense in the technology industry. You are shooting yourself in the foot (or worse) if your hiring, compensation, and benefits discriminate against any group based on age, sex, race, orientation, or anything other than their job skills. Do transgender people have mental issues? I have no idea, but if they’re good at developing technology, i certainly wouldn’t want to push them away over an issue like medical coverage. THAT would simply not be smart business.

  6. Lots of unregistered posters on this page.

    I am not only an Apple customer- I am a shareholder and am glad that Apple long ago took a position of leadership in having a welcoming and accepting workplace regarding sexual identity and orientation. Why should Apple lose out on quality staffers over what is a personal matter that is not harmful to anyone?

    As to the 1st poster: The closet is a bitch and causes all kinds of wounds that can last a lifetime. I have lived with 2 gay men in my life- one as a Freshman roommate in College and one as a roommate in the Army and saw things from a very different perspective than if I only knew them as friends. Got to meet lots of GLBT people I would have not otherwise have met and they are just people for the most part. Transgender people have a tough road to walk and a far tougher time gaining acceptance as transitioning is slow unlike coming out which is over in an instant.

  7. It’s really a non-issue. The LGBT community consists of less than 1% of the people in the US.
    And no one really cares about people’s sexual orientation anyway.
    I concur, more focus on The company’s core business and less on genitalia.

    1. By that logic all marriage and family life are only about “genitalia”. Can we ban all discussion of social or family life then? No discussion of anything that might mention families, friends etc? Not even saying that you went to a football game with your other half? Perhaps everyone should be mandated to work in silence, like robotic drones. Would that make you happy?

      1. That is one twisted interpretation of what ckh wrote!

        As an investor, i am confident that Cook’s openness about sexual orientation and extensive pro-LGBT lobbying have done nothing to improve sales or profits. Apple makes computing devices and sells digital services. The people who feel it is important to drive all that into a discussion about sexual orientation are an insignificant number of customers. Most customers, gay or straight or other, really just want Apple products to work well. Period. Note that in the last few years, Apple has screwed up more than once in removing legibility, features, support, or user configurability from its products. I think that is because Apple is taking its eye off the ball. Whatever the cause — too many pride rallies or too much executive attention on the massive Cupertino donut building or just coasting while app sales pad the profts, it doesn’t matter. Apple needs to do a far better job listening to its COMPUTING customers and less time on non-core activities.

        1. You’re not understanding why this is important Paul. It’s not about the customers, it’s about the employees. By promoting its workplace as somewhere that values these things Apple is attracting more open-minded people, those more likely to think outside the box and be able to keep the business in its current position.

          As a customer you benefit from this in an indirect way.

  8. This is not new for Apple.
    Apple’s corporate policy has long had a liberal attitude to its social contract. Well before Tim’s coming out.
    It is another important thing to celebrate about a company that attempts to think different.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.