New study finds 50% increase in number of U.S. companies that adopt gender identity non-discrimination policies


May 6, 2013 /LGBT News/ Over ninety percent of the country’s largest companies now prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and nearly 80% prohibit discrimination based on gender identity, according to a new study from UCLA’s Williams Institute.  The study finds that 94% of 100 top companies in the U.S.—the top 50 federal contractors and the top 50 Fortune 500 companies—have policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, and 78% of the companies have policies prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity.

“The percentage of top companies with both sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination policies has increased steadily in the recent years,” said Christy Mallory, Reid Rasmussen Fellow of Law & Policy at the Williams Institute, “but the bigger increase has been in companies adopting gender identity non-discrimination policies.”

A 2011 Williams Institute study, based on 2010 data, found that 44% of the top 50 federal contractors and 70% of the top 50 Fortune 500 companies prohibited discrimination based on gender identity.  Now, 67% of the top 50 federal contractors and 88% of the top 50 Fortune 500 companies do.  The 2011 study found that 81% of the top 50 federal contractors and 96% of the top 50 Fortune 500 companies prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation.  Those percentages have increased to 93% and 98%, respectively.

“Comparing the 2011 study to the current study, we see a 50% increase in the number of top federal contractors with gender identity non-discrimination policies” explained Brad Sears, Executive Director and Roberta A. Conroy Scholar of Law & Policy at the Williams Institute, “there has also been a 26% increase in the number of top Fortune 500 companies with gender identity non-discrimination policies.”

Notably, nine contractors that rank among the top 50—L-3, BAE, McKesson, Humana, General Electric, KBR, Lawrence Livermore National Security, AmerisourceBergen, and Navistar—have added gender identity to their non-discrimination policies since fiscal year 2010.  Two contractors, KBR and Babcock & Wilcox, have since added sexual orientation.   Similarly, eight of the top 50 Fortune 500 companies—Wal-Mart, General Electric, Verizon, CVS, Kroger, AmerisourceBergen, Medco, and Lowe’s—have added gender identity to their non-discrimination policies since 2010.



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