Responding to a rising tide of legislative and administrative attempts to marginalize transgender, gender non-conforming and intersex people — including a recent report by the New York Times on administrative efforts to erase transgender non-discrimination protections through reinterpretation of existing law — 56 major companies issued a business statement in support of transgender equality on Nov. 1.
“Equality is not a right for some, but for all," said Elizabeth Wood, chief human resources officer, Levi Strauss & Co. "Executive actions and laws that allow discrimination erode our ability to foster vibrant, competitive workforces, which halts growth, creativity, and innovation. Our workplaces and communities must be diverse and welcoming for all people, regardless of race, sex, national origin, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The companies signing the statement as part of its launch represent nearly 4.8 million employees, have a collective annual revenue of more than $2.4 trillion, and are drawn from a broad range of industries including financial services, consumer products, and technology. Additional corporate signatories are expected to join the letter in the coming days.
“Treating all people fairly, equally and with respect is the very core of IBM’s values,” said Tia Silas, vice president, Global Chief Diversity & Inclusion officer, IBM Corp.” We believe no one should be discriminated against for being who they are. That’s why we’re proud to stand in support of the transgender and entire LGBT+ communities, and it’s why we will continue advocating for Congress to pass the Equality Act and ensure transgender individuals are treated equally under the law.”
Below is the text of the letter and the companies who have signed it.
We, the undersigned businesses, stand with the millions of people in America who identify as transgender, gender non-binary, or intersex, and call for all such people to be treated with the respect and dignity everyone deserves.
We oppose any administrative and legislative efforts to erase transgender protections through reinterpretation of existing laws and regulations. We also fundamentally oppose any policy or regulation that violates the privacy rights of those that identify as transgender, gender non-binary, or intersex.
In the last two decades, dozens of federal courts have affirmed the rights and identities of transgender people. Cognizant of growing medical and scientific consensus, courts have recognized that policies that force people into a binary gender definition determined by birth anatomy fail to reflect the complex realities of gender identity and human biology.
Recognizing that diversity and inclusion are good for business, and that discrimination imposes enormous productivity costs (and exerts undue burdens), hundreds of companies, including the undersigned, have continued to expand inclusion for transgender people across corporate America. Currently, more than 80 percent of the Fortune 500 have clear gender identity protections; two-thirds have transgender-inclusive healthcare coverage; hundreds have LGBTQ+ and Allies business resource groups and internal training efforts.
Transgender people are our beloved family members and friends, and our valued team members. What harms transgender people harms our companies.
We call for respect and transparency in policy-making, and for equality under the law for transgender people.
Adobe Systems Inc.
Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP)
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Ben & Jerry's Homemade
Cisco Systems Inc.
Corteva Agriscience™, the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont
E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company
Hogan Lovells International LLP
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Levi Strauss & Co.
Lush Handmade Cosmetics
MGM Resorts International
Ropes & Gray
Royal Bank of Canada
State Street Corporation
The Coca-Cola Company
The Dow Chemical Company
Trillium Asset Management