By Mike Hofman
Originally published on Advocate.com September 10 2008 12:00 AM 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.
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.
Estée Lauder New York CityFinancial snapshot: The cosmetics company ended its
2008 fiscal year in August with $7.91 billion in net
sales, an increase of 12% over 2007.
company in a gay-friendly industry, Estée
Lauder’s stock surged in August thanks to
strong international sales. As the dollar regains
ground against the euro, sales could stall. But for now the
company that owns Aveda, Clinique, and M.A.C. is in a strong
Kimpton Hotels San FranciscoFinancial snapshot: The hotel group is on track to
gross $600 million again this year.
beneficiary of the strong euro, the boutique hotel company
plans to open 15 additional hotels in major
metropolitan areas in 2009, on top of the 42
properties it operates at present. And unlike some of the
employers on this list, Kimpton typically has positions
available for workers at all levels in terms of skills
Intel Santa Clara, Calif.Financial snapshot: In July the computer chip maker
announced second-quarter revenue of $9.5 billion, up
9% from the second quarter of 2007.
After a few bad
years in which its sales and stock price dipped, Intel
has been rebounding of late, thanks to strong growth in
demand for tiny microprocessors for notebook computers
and for mobile devices.
TJX Cos. Framingham, Mass.Financial snapshot: In August the retailer announced
that its sales in the second quarter reached $4.6
billion, up 7% from the second quarter of 2007.
At a time when a
number of major retailers are retrenching or even
fending off bankruptcy, this Massachusetts-based
merchandiser, known for its bargain pricing, has kept
its finances in order. The company, which is parent to
department stores T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s, among
others, recently sold its Bob’s Stores unit to
private equity firms, raising some eyebrows. (Why sell
an asset in a down market?) Still, its stock is up,
and analysts believe that the company is well-positioned to
add customers as long as consumers remain
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Taylorsville, N.C.Financial snapshot: The privately held furniture
company has $100 million in annual sales. Though it
does not disclose income, a spokesperson says the
business remains profitable despite the current
furniture retailer is smaller than the other businesses on
this list, and it’s in an industry that’s
struggling. Still, corporate and retail job openings
are listed on its website. And the company boasts a
credential of particular interest to LGBT job seekers: two
out gay co-owners, a former couple (in a red state, no
less) who have run the business for nearly 20 years.
Covington & Burling Washington, D.C.Financial snapshot: This law firm is private and does
not disclose gross billings.
A number of
white-shoe law firms have received a 100 score on the HRC
Corporate Equality Index. These elite firms are usually
impervious to economic conditions, and many of them
actively recruit gay law students. But just because
they treat you fairly doesn’t mean they won’t
ask you to sleep on the floor behind your desk once a
week. If you have a choice, consider Covington. The
firm has clients like Procter & Gamble and IBM,
and it got a major lift this summer when Barack Obama tapped
partner Eric Holder Jr. to help assemble his vice
presidential short list from a suite of offices in
Covington’s headquarters at 1201 Pennsylvania Ave.