American Express and Apple among America’s LGBT-Friendly Companies

Despite the growing number of companies that support LGBT, millions of Americans still go to work with the fear of being fired or discriminated due to who they choose to love or their sexual orientation. About 40% of gays, lesbians, and bisexual have experienced discrimination or maltreatment, according to a recent survey by Glaad. There’s no federal law supporting them. While that is bad for the LGBT community, it is also bad for business. A new LGBT 2020 research shows that about $9 billion could be saved by the U.S. yearly if LGBT-friendly companies are more dominant in the nation’s corporate pool.

This article will discuss five gay-friendly companies from numerous others in corporate America that has steadily shown support for LGBT community, providing equal opportunity to all staff irrespective of their sexual orientation, thereby making their work environments both straight and gay-friendly, safe and tolerant to all staff with diverse sexual orientation.

These LGBT-friendly companies have shown great commitment towards ensuring; non-discrimination policies amongst staff and in their products, Equitable benefits for LGBTQ workers and their families, internal education and accountability metrics to promote LGBTQ inclusion competency and Public commitment to LGBTQ equality.

American Express

American Express is one of the first big companies to target the LGBT consumers. In 1994, the New York Times wrote: “The American Express Company has become one of the biggest mainstream marketers to run advertising in magazines aimed at gay consumers, even tailoring some general-market advertisements to those publications.” Jean Tamborino, senior public relations consultant for American Express Financial Advisor had said diversity is more important to the company, “it’s a priority for us at American Express to reach out to many different communities. One of our focuses has been with the gay and lesbian market.”

In 2011 a political statement was established by American Express in an effort to support the legalization of gay marriage in New York, American Express without delay sponsored wedding packages for gays, with NYCGo as the coordinating website for the package. Five years later, American Express celebrated one year anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court of the United States verdict with a couple of full-page print advertisements in newspapers such as the New York Times as part of a larger Pride campaign #ExpressLove, showing the company’s support for gay marriage. The company had featured real couples in the print work who were real American Express card member as they continue to remain one of the top companies that support LGBT community.


Google has continued being one of the gay-friendly companies by helping people to celebrate their identities. In a very remarkable gesture in 2011, Google covered the cost of gender reassignment surgery for transgender employees, making it one of the first companies to do so. Google also offers its employees 12 weeks of parental leave, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Google LGBT employees receive support by the gay-friendly company in other ways such as in taking a stand on matters of policy, putting programs in place that support Gayglers and their families, and hosting events around the world to continue the discussion on equality.

Gayglers is a group for LGBT employees at Google, which participates in Pride marches, helps to brainstorm and inform workplace policies and ultimately moves Google closer toward its goal of addressing unconscious discrimination and building a more inclusive community. Gayglers’s influence has won accolades for immense contributions towards the LGBT community.


After facing boycott protests due to the bathroom policies of the company which was collectively offensive to the LGBT community, Target officially began rooting for the LGBT community.

Target stores are promoting a gay pride line of merchandise tagged “Take Pride” despite facing huge losses from a boycott against the company’s transgender bathroom policy. Target retails some merchandise to promote the LGBT agenda, such as rainbow-adorned shirts, pants, shorts, swim trunks, iPhone cases, and other items in efforts to honor Gay “Pride Month” in June. This gay-promo merchandise has a promotional flyer attached with the promise: “For each PRIDE item sold, Target will donate 50 percent of the purchase price to GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network).


Unilever implements LGBT-friendly policies also and in series of online videos by one of its brand, Dove which featured gender-nonconforming model Rain Dove discussing beauty on her terms. As one of the top LGBT-friendly companies, Unilever also through another sub-brand of its, Axe made a bold gay supportive statement by making a mainstream TV commercial, “Find Your Magic” which shows viewers various vignettes of young men expressing their individuality featuring Bob the Drag Queen and Alaska of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Unilever as one of the gay-friendly companies creates an inclusive workplace where beliefs are upheld that everyone should be treated equally and can feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work each day.

Unilever heavily supports the LGBT community through its PRIDE Group (People Respecting Individuality, Diversity, and Equality). An LGBT Business Resource Group open to all Unilever employees that share a common goal of endorsing respect, individuality, diversity, and equality throughout the organization. The company also has inclusion initiatives which include the Ad Council’s “Love Has No Labels” campaign.


Apple continues to be a leader in corporate America’s efforts for LGBT equality. The gay-friendly tech giant began offering health insurance benefits to same-sex domestic partners more than two decades ago, making it one of the earliest companies that support LGBT community at a time when the political and social climate was largely against gay rights.

Apple has long offered equal benefits to same-sex partners of employees, including six weeks of parental leave after the delivery of a new child.

Diana Coker
Diana Coker is a staff writer at The HR Digest, based in New York. She also reports for brands like Technowize. Diana covers HR news, corporate culture, employee benefits, compensation, and leadership. She loves writing HR success stories of individuals who inspire the world. She’s keen on political science and entertains her readers by covering usual workplace tactics.

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