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For Immediate Release:
Friday, July 28, 2005
DEFENSE GIANT RAYTHEON PROTECTS TRANSGENDER EMPLOYEES
‘Our national security deserves the nation’s best defense experts, regardless of who they are,’ said HRC’s Joe Solmonese. - Human Rights Campaign
WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign lauded Raytheon Co. for adding gender identity and expression to its equal opportunity policy. Raytheon becomes the first aerospace and defense giant to rank 100 percent in HRC’s Corporate Equality Index, which rates companies on how they treat lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and investors.
“Our national security deserves the nation’s best thinkers, regardless of who they are,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Raytheon employs some of the nation’s top security experts and wants them focused fully on their job. The threat of discrimination hurts job performance and Raytheon understands that. We’re proud to see Raytheon achieve a 100 percent rating from the Human Rights Campaign, showing its commitment to this issue of fundamental fairness.”
Hayward L. Bell, Raytheon’s chief diversity officer, explained, “For Raytheon, adding gender identity and expression to our policy was an example of matching the talk with the walk. We have historically supported employees facing transitions so this policy change makes our intention and beliefs regarding inclusion more explicit and it ensures consistency across the company. In addition, we have provided information kits on gender identity and expression to our leaders and human resources professionals to ensure they are more knowledgeable and thus better able to support Raytheon employees.”
“Knowing I’m going to be evaluated on how well I do my job and not my gender identity or expression is key to my productivity as an employee,” said Amanda Simpson, a Raytheon employee for 22 years. “As a transgender employee, who transitioned while at Raytheon, I am especially proud of my company for ensuring our EEO policy now covers bias against gender identity and expression.”
HRC’s Corporate Equality Index requires that a company prohibit gender identity-based discrimination in order to achieve a 100 percent ranking. At least 72 Fortune 500 companies, including Raytheon, prohibit gender identity-based discrimination.
Raytheon Co., with 2004 sales of $20.2 billion, is an industry leader in defense and government electronics, space, information technology, technical services and business and special mission aircraft. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 80,000 people worldwide.
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.
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Firm offers transgender protections
Diversity policy also expanded to cover transsexual workers
By Diane E. Lewis, Globe Staff | July 29, 2005 - Boston Globe
Raytheon Co. last week expanded its equal opportunity employment policy to include transgender and transsexual workers, becoming the first of the six big defense firms to do so.
Hayward L. Bell, chief diversity officer at the Waltham firm, said the company has also given out information kits on gender identity and expression to managers and human resource professionals ''to ensure they are more knowledgeable and better able to support Raytheon employees."
''This will allow people to be who they are, and not have to hide it," said Bell. ''It's also our way of saying that we recognize that these differences exist, and we are looking for your talent and what you can contribute."
The company, which employs 80,000 worldwide, said a previous policy did not formally include transgender or transsexual individuals, but focused instead on sexual orientation.
Currently, 71 of the Fortune 500 firms include gender identity and expression in their policies.
Of those, 40 have expanded their policies since January 2004, including Ford Motor Co., Pepsi Co., Wells Fargo, and Framingham-based Staples Inc., the only other Massachusetts company on the Fortune 500 list. It changed its policy in May, according to the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C., a national support group for gays, lesbians, bisexual, and transgender people.
A spokesman for Staples yesterday declined to comment on the company's policy.
The support group, which announced Raytheon's decision yesterday, gave the firm a 100 percent rating on its Corporate Equality Index. The index rates US firms with at least 500 employees on the treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender workers and investors based on information on domestic benefits, corporate policies, diversity training, and affinity groups.
Specialists said yesterday that some companies are reluctant to expand their policies because of confusion over the various definitions for different forms of sexuality, noting that many employers assume that sexual orientation will cover all groups when it refers only to relationships and attraction.
By contrast, gender expression and identity describe how people feel or express themselves.
''The expansion of gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgender rights has been incremental," said Kitty Krupat, associate director of worker education at the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies at the City University of New York. ''The recognition of the varieties of sexual identity has been slow in coming. People tend to think, well, you're gay, you're gay. For them, there is nothing in between and little variety within these categories."
At Raytheon, the push to include gender identity and expression in a company-wide policy began about five years ago with Amanda Simpson, a chief engineer and test pilot at Raytheon's Missile Systems Co., which employs 12,000 in Tucson. Simpson, 44, underwent a sex-change operation and became a woman about 6 1/2 years ago. She said in a phone interview that after her operation, she was surprised to learn the firm's policy did not include transgender or transsexual workers or people who either identify with the opposite sex, express their gender differently, or have had a medical and surgical sex change.
Simpson said about 18 other Raytheon employees are openly transsexual or transgender.
She said that in the past, US workers seeking to change their gender or form of expression quit their jobs and found new ones to avoid harassment.
''That's not the road I chose," Simpson said. ''The company offered to transfer me. It had supported other people in that way before, but I said, 'I like where I am, and I like the people I work with.' "
She said the decision to expand the policy took on new life after Bell's appointment in January.
''It might be that the out-going diversity person told him the policy needed to be changed and Bell made it a priority," Simpson said. ''That says a lot for Raytheon. It says it really embraces diversity."
Jeremy Bishop, acting director of Pride at Work, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, said more companies are starting to rethink their policies.
''More people are transitioning on the job, and they are more open about it," he said. ''There are also serious discrimination issues and companies are waking up to that . . . Some of it has to do with bathroom issues, people not feeling safe because of their identity. So we have been pushing for gender-neutral bathrooms . . . and we've been pushing companies to expand their policies."
Diane E. Lewis can be reached at email@example.com.
Giant Defense Contractor Protects Transgender Workers
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: July 29, 2005 1:00 pm ET
(Boston, Massachusetts) Raytheon has joined a growing number of companies to recognize the role played by the transgendered in the workplace.
The company has added gender identity and expression to its equal opportunity policy. The Waltham Massachusetts-based company has had protections for gay and lesbian workers for several years.
Currently, 71 of the Fortune 500 firms include gender identity and expression in their policies. Raytheon is the first defense contractor to provide the protections.
"For Raytheon, adding gender identity and expression to our policy was an example of matching the talk with the walk," said Hayward L. Bell, Raytheon's chief diversity officer.
"We have historically supported employees facing transitions so this policy change makes our intention and beliefs regarding inclusion more explicit and it ensures consistency across the company."
Bell said that the company has provided information kits on gender identity and expression to department managers and human resources officers.
The decision was welcome news for Amanda Simpson, a Raytheon employee for 22 years.
"Knowing I'm going to be evaluated on how well I do my job and not my gender identity or expression is key to my productivity as an employee," Simpson said. "As a transgender employee, who transitioned while at Raytheon, I am especially proud of my company."
The news was also hailed by Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.
"Our national security deserves the nation's best thinkers, regardless of who they are," said Solmonese in a statement.
"Raytheon employs some of the nation's top security experts and wants them focused fully on their job. The threat of discrimination hurts job performance and Raytheon understands that.
Raytheon employs 80,000 people worldwide.