Corp. giant FedEx leads while Capitol Hill drags its feet.
News release from NorthStar Asset Management:
FedEx Delivers to the Transgender Community
NorthStar Asset Management, Inc., a portfolio management company in Boston, is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with FedEx Corporation, a provider of transportation and business solutions, for the creation of an official FedEx policy that is inclusive of gender identity.
“We filed a resolution seeking protection against any form of job discrimination based on gender identity, and FedEx responded with a desire to understand and incorporate such a policy,” said Julie Goodridge, CEO of NorthStar Asset Management, Inc.
According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, transgender people face disproportionate amounts of discrimination in virtually all areas of life, especially in employment and health care. Congress and the Obama Administration have been slow to act on passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (a proposed bill that would prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity) and because of this; an increasing number of companies – often after being confronted with shareholder resolutions regarding gender identity – are adding appropriate protections. According to the Human Rights Campaign’s State of the Workplace 2008 report, currently 35% of Fortune 500 companies, and over 60% of the top 100 Fortune-ranked businesses, have inclusive employment policies, and have added gender identity to their diversity and sensitivity programs.
“Transgender people suffer the greatest amount of discrimination in the workforce and have little recourse due to the lack of protection under state and federal law,” Goodridge noted. “While it is unfortunate that the Federal government has yet to pass an inclusive Non-Discrimination Act that includes all people, thankfully there are U.S. corporations like FedEx who are determined to protect and value all of their workers…they are leading the way potentially years ahead of Capitol Hill.”
Marisa Richmond, Ph.D., President of the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition – located in the state where the corporate headquarters of FedEx resides – said “We are pleased that FedEx is expanding its non-discrimination policy to include gender identity. By recognizing the value and contributions of transgender workers, we believe the company will benefit from those contributions, and that this will allow their current and future employees the opportunity to help the company move forward.”
Forbes Magazine recognized FedEx in March 2009 as one of the most admired companies in the world; NorthStar applauds this most recent step that shows the company’s continuing desire to create a safe working environment.
NorthStar Asset Management, Inc. is a wealth management firm based in Boston, specializing in socially responsible investing.