Sunday, October 02, 2016

We Are Not Alone

When we fight for our rights we have a number of allies, some of them are large corporations such as PayPal, NBA, and the NCAA.
Inside corporate America's stand against transgender discrimination
PayPal, the NBA and others are protesting against a North Carolina law that bans transgender people from bathrooms that match their gender identity
The Guardian
By Marisa Taylor
Saturday 1 October 2016

he passage of North Carolina’s House Bill 2, a law that bans transgender people from using the public bathrooms that match their gender identities, has inspired an unusually vocal protest from private businesses, many of which have been silent on other divisive national debates on gender and civil rights.

The latest public rebuke came from nearly five dozen private and public investment groups, including Morgan Stanley and New York State’s pension fund, who released a signed letter Monday warning that the law “is making it difficult for our portfolio companies to provide the safe, open, and inclusive environment necessary for a successful workplace”.

“Not only does HB2 make hiring top talent difficult, but it also has negative financial implications that reverberate across North Carolina,” the letter said.
But North Carolina’s legislation appears to have drawn a much more fierce response from a wide range of businesses. The same can’t be said for other divisive issues such as the right to vote and abortion. Since when have so many companies been such vocal supporters of transgender rights? How did the private sector become so activist?

Deena Fidas, director of the workplace equality program at the Human Rights Campaign, said the transgender issue is benefiting from a long held recognition by businesses that protecting their gay, lesbian and bisexual employees from discrimination directly affects their ability to attract talent and make money.
It’s the money stupid. Companies are now realizing that diverse workforce means diversity in the way problems are solved. I like to use IBM as an example back in the fifties and sixties you could always tell an IBM man. They were the ones with the blue sports jackets, white shirts, thin blue ties, and a flattop haircut. No beards, no long hair. When along comes these two hippies with an idea of a small desk top computer to do away with the room size main frames, and all you have to do is compare where IBM and Apple are today to see the results of corporate think.

Businesses today recognize that having a gender diverse, culture and ethnically diverse, and LGBT diverse workforce adds to their bottom line. While states like North Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama that cline to the old Jim Crow laws and discriminate against LGBT are making them harder to do business in those states.

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