'Our national security deserves the nation's best defense experts, regardless of who they are,' said HRC's Joe Solmonese.
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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