Apple and 20 other tech companies achieved perfect scores on this year's Corporate Equality Index, a Human Rights Campaign project ranking US companies on their treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered workers.
To achieve a perfect score companies must not only ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, but offer domestic benefits to LGBT couples plus equal health coverage for transgendered people, which can include transitioning procedures. According to the HRC report, some other tech businesses on par with Apple included Facebook, Intel, Microsoft, Tesla, and Twitter.
In all just under half of the 851 companies surveyed by the HRC achieved perfect scores, though tech companies did better as a rule. This is likely because many of them are young and have been able to write LGBT support into their policies from the start, rather than having to go back and fix things like benefits packages, the Wall Street Journal noted.
This year marks the 14th in a row Apple has achieved a 100 percent score on the Corporate Equality Index. The company has long backed LGBT causes, having been one of the first in the U.S. to offer equal benefits to same-sex partners. It also regularly participates in the San Francisco Pride Parade, and CEO Tim Cook has not only come out as gay but thrown his weight behind U.S. legislation protecting gay rights, such as the long-debated Equality Act. In October HRC gave Cook its Visibility Award.
The company has taken some flak from critics who note that the company continues to do business in countries where LGBT people can be legally imprisoned or even executed, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia.