Monday, July 13, 2009

FedEx Delivers to the Transgender Community

A few months ago, I was asked by a transgender activist in Tennesee to look into FedEx's policy regarding gender identity. I did, and I went to the one place I knew would do something about it- NorthStar Asset Management, Inc. What began as a very basic shareholder resolution has now turned into a fascinating story. Before the ink was dry on the press release, a Christian website, OneNewsnow, had called Julie Goodridge for an interview. How they found out is unknown at this time. As often is the case on the internet, it's gone wild and the RightWingNuts have decided to give it their own little twist- last I read Huffington Post requested that FedEx change it’s policy- nothing could be further from the truth.

The truth is in the press release that follows. I did work with NorthStar Asset Management to change the policy at FedEx- more companies to follow. That was not information given in the interview but... it's fine. It's true.

But like a game of telephone, the facts are being quickly distorted. Let the following set the record straight, so to speak, and please write FedEx a letter or email of support- they are getting hammered for doing this very basic act of decency.

CONTACT: Julie Goodridge
NorthStar Asset Management, Inc.
PO Box 301840
Boston, MA 02130

FedEx Delivers to the Transgender Community

NorthStar Asset Management, Inc., a portfolio management company in Boston, is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with FedEx Corporation, a provider of transportation and business solutions, for the creation of an official FedEx policy that is inclusive of gender identity.

“We filed a resolution seeking protection against any form of job discrimination based on gender identity, and FedEx responded with a desire to understand and incorporate such a policy,” said Julie Goodridge, CEO of NorthStar Asset Management, Inc.

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, transgender people face disproportionate amounts of discrimination in virtually all areas of life, especially in employment and health care. Congress and the Obama Administration have been slow to act on passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (a proposed bill that would prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity) and because of this; an increasing number of companies – often after being confronted with shareholder resolutions regarding gender identity – are adding appropriate protections. According to the Human Rights Campaign’s State of the Workplace 2008 report, currently 35% of Fortune 500 companies, and over 60% of the top 100 Fortune-ranked businesses, have inclusive employment policies, and have added gender identity to their diversity and sensitivity programs.

“Transgender people suffer the greatest amount of discrimination in the workforce and have little recourse due to the lack of protection under state and federal law,” Goodridge noted. “While it is unfortunate that the Federal government has yet to pass an inclusive Non-Discrimination Act that includes all people, thankfully there are U.S. corporations like FedEx who are determined to protect and value all of their workers…they are leading the way potentially years ahead of Capitol Hill.”

Marisa Richmond, Ph.D., President of the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition – located in the state where the corporate headquarters of FedEx resides – said “We are pleased that FedEx is expanding its non-discrimination policy to include gender identity. By recognizing the value and contributions of transgender workers, we believe the company will benefit from those contributions, and that this will allow their current and future employees the opportunity to help the company move forward.”

Forbes Magazine recognized FedEx in March 2009 as one of the most admired companies in the world; NorthStar applauds this most recent step that shows the company’s continuing desire to create a safe working environment.

NorthStar Asset Management, Inc. is a wealth management firm based in Boston, specializing in socially responsible investing.


Anonymous donald said...

thanks for all your hard work on this issue. we need to make sure that we don't leave our transgendered brothers and sisters behind!

9:31 PM  
Blogger Lori D said...

If you had anything to do with getting this into motion, thank you! When large companies like Fed Ex stand up for basic equality like this, others will eventually follow behind.

10:33 PM  
Blogger Sue J said...

Well done!

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Kori said...

I am just standing here in awe and amazement; WELL DONE!

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Heidi said...

Hey Sara...
This is super! I will write to Fed Ex and tell others.
Does NorthStar work with little guys like me?
Any update on the MA bill discussions today?

4:15 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

I am waiting for my update about the trans bill today, too! haven't heard anything yet.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Seda said...

You rock! Thank you!

11:28 PM  
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