The Boston Globe reports that Hayward Bell, chief diversity officer at Raytheon, said the company has also given out information kits on gender identity and gender expression to its managers and human resource professionals.
”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 push to include gender identity and expression in Raytheon’s policy started five years ago after employee Amanda Simpson had a sex change operation and became a woman. Simpson told the Globe 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. She told the Globe that the idea to expand the policy gained momentum when Bell was appointed to his position in January.
Simpson told the Globe that making the policy expansion a priority “…says a lot for Raytheon. It says it really embraces diversity.”
Employers are increasingly open to domestic partner benefits and employment policies that include gay workers, but these policies focus on sexual orientation and not transgender and transsexual individuals, a specialist group pointed out to the Globe. According to the Globe, 71 Fortune 500 companies currently include gender identity and expression in their employment policies. This is an increase of the 51 reported for 2004 (See Advocacy Group Survey: Domestic Partner Benefits Up 13% in 2004 ).