Karen Ocamb

Apple Is Now the Largest US Publicly Traded Company

Filed By Karen Ocamb | August 10, 2011 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Gay Geeks, Living
Tags: Apple, ExxonMobile, Human Rights Campaign, marketing, progressive corporation

RainbowApple.jpegREUTERSFLASH tweeted and CNBC confirmed that Apple Inc just surpassed Exxon Mobil's market cap, becoming the largest U.S. publicly traded company. Reuters reported Apple's market capitalization about $341.4 bln." The Huffington Post asks: Could Apple become the first $1 Trillion dollars company.

Why should LGBTs care about this development in the otherwise pre-occupied financial markets? Well, maybe - just maybe - this is a "sign" of positive developments ahead for LGBT people. Consider that Apple is an extraordinarily progressive company that welcomes innovation from their LGBT employees. Apple Computer was fourth behind Lotus, Microsoft, Levi Strauss in providing domestic partnership benefits to lesbian and gay employees.

In July 1992, Apple Computer Corporation extended to its employees some domestic partner benefits. In July 1993, expanded this coverage to include all the benefits available to legally married spouses. Apple chairman John Scully described this expansion as consistent with the company's commitment to diversity and as a model of social responsibility. Apple's benefits program is one of the most extensive programs available, including support for parents seeking to adopt children, child care and family leave, life insurance, and relocation reimbursement.

ExxonMobile, on the other hand, has been antigay for a long time, a point the Human Rights Campaign notes:

ExxonMobil is the only U.S. employer that has ever rescinded both a non-discrimination policy covering sexual orientation and domestic partner benefits, and is the only Fortune 10 company that does not have a non-discrimination policy covering sexual orientation.

Disclaimer: I work on an Apple MacBook Pro. But that has nothing to do with my intense desire to GLOAT over Apple overtaking Exxon.

(Cross-posted at LGBT POV)

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All the newer tech companies, having been started from scratch by young "turks" that are baby-boomer age or younger, tend to be gay-friendly at a minimum. Once again, it is a generational thing. Exxon-Mobil, OTOH, is a descendant of an older age; I expect the culture at Exxon-Mobil can be traced all the way back to the Standard Oil of the late 19th Century. They not only sell the stuff left over after the herbivorous dinosaurs had their fill, they are the stuff of dinosaurs.

Thanks for this info, Karen. Although I knew Exxon-Mobil was Old School, I didn't realize how clearly and actively LGBT-deficient their corporate policies were. Short of running out of gas and having to push my car the next 100 miles, this might put an end to my nonchalantly driving into an Exxon-Mobil station for a fill-up.

P.S. This invites thoughts also about how being environmentally green is indirectly an LGBT issue; progressive industries and progressive companies tend to bring progressive social ideas into the world with them. The more and faster America can switch to wind, solar, and bio-fuels, the faster dinosaur-thinking companies such as Exxon-Mobil lose their monopolistic powers in our world.

"Thanks for this info, Karen. Although I knew Exxon-Mobil was Old School, I didn't realize how clearly and actively LGBT-deficient their corporate policies were. Short of running out of gas and having to push my car the next 100 miles, this might put an end to my nonchalantly driving into an Exxon-Mobil station for a fill-up."

FFS, not this mentality again. People, listen, if you think you're 'voting with your dollar' by choosing which brand name on the gas station you'll use, you're deluded. The only way you can make a difference is to stop using all oil based products completely. That's pretty much impossible anyways. I'm not trying to poo-poo activism here, I'm just being realistic. Don't pat yourself on the back because you chose so and so gas station over an Exxon-Mobil, because it doesn't make a difference, it just distracts us from the real issues: capitalism and our constant need for more. We can blame the lack of LGBT equality on the bible but the problem really just boils down to capitalism. Why else would a corporation not extend benefits to domestic partners? Because it's cheaper.