Yes, she's strange and different...but not THAT different.

13 September 2007

Times are a-changin'

From GenderPAC comes the following press release
Corporate America Continues to Change Workplace Culture for the Better

~ 230th Major Corporation Adds Gender Identity/Expression to Non-Discrimination Policy ~


WASHINGTON (September 13, 2007) – The Gender Public Advocacy Coalition (GenderPAC) today reported that the number of major corporations that have added gender identity and expression to their non-discrimination policies has surpassed 200.

In 2007, 53 major corporations -- including household names like Starbucks, Hallmark Cards, Mastercard, Campbell Soup and J.C. Penney -- have expanded their non-discrimination policies to include the gender-based protections. The total number of these corporations now stands at 230.

"This is an important milestone," said Cynthia Neff, former head of Global HR Public Policy for IBM and officer of the GenderPAC Board.

"Diversity leaders like IBM, Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase realize that gender identity and expression is the new front line of workplace fairness and diversity, and that is a reason to celebrate."

Continued Neff, " No one should be fired, harassed, or denied promotion simply because they don't fit stereotypes for masculinity or femininity. These new policies help ensure that millions of American employees are judged on the quality of their work and given and equal chance to succeed."


Changing Workplace Culture

Gender identity refers to an individual’s sense of being male or female, and gender expression describes how people manifest feeling masculine or feminine through their appearance, behavior, or dress.

Policies that include "gender identity and expression" are designed to protect all employees: transgender and gay individuals as well as those who are simply gender non-conforming, such as a heterosexual male who is perceived to be effeminate or unmanly.

In fact, reported male-on-male workplace harassment is on the rise. A record-breaking 15.4% of the sexual harassment cases filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2006 were filed by men.

Male employees who are the target of locker-room-type bullying because they are seen as not masculine enough, women who are viewed as "too aggressive" or simply "unfeminine", and new fathers who have taken paternity leave and feel that management has put them on a "Daddy Track" will all benefit from the more inclusive EEO policies, according to Riki Wilchins, GenderPAC Executive Director.

“A man who decides to change his last name upon marrying, or a woman who chooses not to wear make-up to work should not be subjected to a hostile working environment, but unfortunately it happens. It comes from the same intolerance that penalizes employees who announce that they are transitioning. That’s why so many companies are not only expanding their non-discrimination policies, but also educating and training their employees, managers, and human resource professionals about gender-based discrimination and harassment,” said Wilchins.


Larger Trend in GIE Policies

In 1997, Lucent Technologies became the first large corporation to include gender identity in its non-discrimination policies. The adoption rate of such policies has increased dramatically over the past few years. More than 150 corporations have expanded their policies from 2005.

Corporate America is not the only place where things are shifting. According to the 2007 GENIUS Index (Gender Equality National Index for Universities & Schools), 149 colleges and universities have added the gender-based protections to their non-discrimination policies to prevent unfair treatment and harassment of students who don't fit traditional expectations of masculinity or femininity. The Index showed a fourteen percent increase of institutions of higher education with the expanded non-discrimination policies in 2007.

For a complete listing of major companies that have gender identity and/or expression protections, visit www.gpac.org/workplace.


The Gender Public Advocacy Coalition works to ensure that classrooms, communities, and workplaces are safe for everyone to learn, grow, and succeed - whether or not they meet expectations for masculinity and femininity. To learn more about GenderPAC, visit www.gpac.org.

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GenderPAC | 1731 Connecticut Ave, NW | 4th Floor | Washington | DC | 20009

  • On 9/14/2007 11:47 AM, Blogger Jen said…

    It's great to see some GOOD news for a change. Now it just has to be ALL companies and businesses and ALL universities and ALL local, state and national governmental positions, etc., etc.

     

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