Living in Washington, I’m amazed (and dismayed) by how slowly the federal government moves. As a Fortune writer, I’m often surprised (and impressed) by how fast corporate America can move. One example? Gay rights.
I’ve written before about how and why big business has become gay-friendly over the last decade or so. Today’s CNNMoney.com column looks at a new workplace trend–the growing number of American companies that are learning about, and accommodating, transgender people.
I suspect the actual number of people affected by transgender policies (the ‘T’ in GLBT) is quite small. But the impact that a GLBT-friendly workplace can have on any one of them is enormous. That’s why 125 of the FORTUNE 500 now explicity ban discrimination against transgender people, and about 70 offer comprehensive transgender health benefits. Virtually all of this has happened in the last five years.
Here’s how the column begins:
When David Rosen became Donna Rose, the people in charge of the human resources department at her company didn’t know what to think. Nor did her colleagues.
David was a former wrestler, a husband and a dad. Donna was on her way to becoming a post-operative transsexual woman. This was 1999, and her employer, PCS Health Systems of Scottsdale, Arizona (now a unit of CVS/Caremark) had never dealt with a transgender person.
You can read the rest here. The column grew out of a 2007 State of the Workplace report published by the Human Rights Campaign, which explores a number of other GLBT/workplace issues as well.