It’s About the Bottom Line

The top 10 pro-gay -- and financially stable -- companies in the country

BY Mike Hofman

September 09 2008 11:00 PM ET

Google Mountain View, Calif.Financial snapshot: Second-quarter revenue for the Internet search engine giants stood at $5.4 billion, up 39% from the second quarter of 2007.

Following in the footsteps of Ford, IBM, and General Electric, Google has become America’s employer of choice, the firm against which every other boss and pay package is measured. The company’s generous perks are much-discussed in corporate America, as is its stock market performance. For the record, the company’s market capitalization—per-share stock price multiplied by number of shares outstanding—was $148.8 billion as of late August, with shares priced at $473. But Google’s ultimate weapon as an employer is its stability: Cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin—and their progressive workplace policies—should steer the company’s culture for many years to come.

Johnson & Johnson New Brunswick, N.J.Financial snapshot: In July, Johnson & Johnson reported that second-quarter revenue was $16.5 billion, up 8.7% from the comparable quarter in 2007.

Health care and pharmaceutical companies tend to be recession-proof simply by virtue of the business they’re in. Among the major pharma players, J&J has one of the healthiest share prices (it’s been trading between $61 and $71 in the past year), and it’s headquartered in a state with substantial workplace protections for gay people.

Chevron San Ramon, Calif.Financial snapshot: The oil giant reported $6 billion in profits in the second quarter of 2008, up 11% from the same period in 2007.

If working for a company that mints money is one of your objectives, then you should look no further than the industry that spawned the catchphrase windfall profits. Chevron enjoys all of the financial success of its peer group, yet stands virtually alone in terms of its gay-friendly workplace policies, in part because it is based in California, where the laws are on LGBT employees’ side.

Microsoft Redmond, Wash.Financial snapshot: The software maker ended its fiscal year in June, when it reported annual revenue of $60.4 billion, an 18% increase over fiscal 2007.

With considerable grace, Microsoft has made the transition from disruptive innovator to member in good standing of the corporate establishment. Over the past decade its LGBT policies have been tested (remember that Ralph Reed episode?) and have happily endured. A good sign that the company’s pro-gay policies will persist well into the post–Bill Gates era: A transgender executive has blogged openly and without sentimentality about her experiences in the office.

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