Today was a beautiful day, and I decided to head to Long Island’s yearly Pride Parade and PrideFest in Huntington, New York. Among the booths of supporters and local businesses were a collection of Microsoft employees from the local Microsoft Store in Huntington Station.
Microsoft has always been one of the forefront leaders of workplace equality for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, and Transgender) employees. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) scores Microsoft a 100 out of 100, for implementing anti-discrimination protection and other benefits to its team members. In addition, the Redmond Company is a strong supporter of the HRC and is continuously labeled as a “Platinum Partner”.
Microsoft has an internal group for LGBT employees known as GLEAM (Gay and Lesbian Employees at Microsoft); the organization started as a private mailing list during the 1980s. The company eventually added sexual orientation to the company’s anti-discrimination policy in 1989. In addition, GLEAM was able to influence Microsoft to add gender identity and expression to the policy in 2005 and 2006.
The group of employees at Long Island’s PrideFest were around to show support for the local gay community and (of course) to advertise the local Microsoft Store; 10% coupons were being given out along with Microsoft luggage tags. The group was handing out flyers with the company’s equality rights slogan, “empower everyone”.
“Microsoft is committed to diversity and inclusion in everything we do. Diversity enriches our performance and products, the communities where we live and work, and the culture and lives of us all. Come see what’s new at Microsoft.”
As Windows Phone Central’s Microsoft News Editor and as a huge Microsoft fan, it warmed my heart to see the company I love supporting human rights and equality for all.
Have you had a chance to stop by your local Microsoft Store yet?