Written by: Roman Cohen
Navigating the job market is difficult enough as it is; for trans* people, it can be even more challenging due to discriminatory policies and invalidating work environments. It seems that the tide is starting to turn thanks to the Supreme Court ruling in favor of civil rights protections against discrimination for LGBTQ+ employees in June 2020. However, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality’s U.S. Transgender Survey, “nearly one-quarter (23%) of those who had a job in the past year reported other forms of mistreatment based on their gender identity or expression during that year, such as being forced to use a restroom that did not match their gender identity, being told to present in the wrong gender to keep their job, or having a boss or coworker share private information about their transgender status without their permission.” That’s why Trans Empowerment Project has put together this list of best places to work for trans* people. We hope this article can serve as a guide to make your job search a little less daunting.
Apple: Apple emphasizes diversity and inclusion, making them one of the most progressive companies out there. They have received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for the past 16 years. They also offer transgender health benefits.
AT&T: AT&T has a history of being ahead of the game when it comes to diversity and inclusion. They have partnered with several LGBTQ+ organizations, such as The Trevor Project, GLAAD, and the Human Rights Campaign. They also have an employee resource group for LGBTQ+ folks called LEAGUE. AT&T has offered transgender health benefits since 2006.
Arnold & Porter: Arnold & Porter actively recruits LGBT+ employees, has been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign and the National LGBT+ Bar and has a Pride affinity group for training and career advancement.
Baker McKenzie: The law firm is one of 14 companies to be named one of the Stonewall’s Top Global Employers. They have a zero-tolerance discrimination policy, offer pro bono work for LGBTQ+, and have sensitivity training for employees. They are one of the most proactive transgender-friendly employers.
Charles Schwab: Charles Schwab has received a 100% rating on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index since 2004. They have a strong understanding of diversity in the workplace, and many employees note that their culture is exceptionally inclusive.
Mastercard: Mastercard time and time again has set an exemplary standard of transgender acceptance for their customers, such as their TrueName initiative, which allows transgender people to have a payment card with their name whether or not they have legally changed it. This attitude exists in company culture as well, and their employee benefits for LGBTQ+ people are some of the most comprehensive out there. These benefits include transgender surgery coverage, gender equality initiatives, and an overall intersectional understanding of inclusion.
Gap Inc.: The Gap empire includes Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta, and Intermix. They have received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for 15 years. They have an internal LGBTQ+ networking group called GEAR. Gap Inc. is also the first and only global apparel retail company to sign the UN Human Rights LGBTI Corporate Standards of Conduct for Business.
Starbucks: Starbucks is well-known as a particularly trans-friendly workplace. They offer a benefits package with extensive coverage for trans employees. Benefits include gender reassignment surgery and lifetime coverage for services such as voice therapy and facial feminization, which are often categorized as “cosmetic,” and therefore not usually covered. Their coverage complies with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health standards.
Macy’s: Macy’s has a strong acceptance policy for customers and employees alike. They have specific diversity goals and have put their diversity values into action. Macy’s has partnered with The Trevor Project, a transgender advocacy organization, and the Human Rights Campaign. They also have an employee resource group, Pride, for LGBTQ+ employees. Macy’s full transgender policy is available here.
To find more of the best places to work for LGBTQ+ folks, please refer to the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index here. To learn about the Human Rights Campaign’s “Who’s Hiring” Web Seminar, click here. For advice on coming out at work, please refer to this Human Rights Campaign article. For tips about finding inclusive places to work, check out this Muse article. If you need help applying for a job, figuring out where to apply, or help networking, check out the Trans Employment Program. Best of luck on the job search!
Please note that this list was compiled based on copious amounts of research; however, workplaces may vary in their actual implementation of individual policies or company culture. For every positive policy in place, there may be a negative anecdote from an employee. Research is just that: research. It cannot fully account for the actual quotidian experiences of trans employees.