Harvard University, the oldest institution of higher
learning in the nation, announced April 11 that it would be adding
gender identity to its non-discrimination policy, safeguarding
transgender students and faculty.
"Harvard's step forward will ensure that its students and staff continue
to represent some of the best this country has to offer," said Human
Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "Colleges and universities are
increasingly aware that to attract the best and the brightest, they need
to ensure equal treatment regardless of gender identity or sexual
orientation. By ensuring protection for all students and staff, Harvard
is continuing its centuries-long tradition of advancing understanding
and nurturing national leaders."
On U.S. News and World Report's "America's Best Colleges 2006," Harvard
ranks first. Harvard's inclusion of gender identity means that half of
the Ivy League schools now have gender identity in their
non-discrimination policies, which includes Brown, Cornell University
and University of Pennsylvania.
"Not only does this send a signal to students and staff, but it also
aligns the university with the workplaces many of these students will
join after graduation," added Solmonese. "Just 15 minutes away,
Raytheon's employees have had the same protections for the last year
that Harvard's students and staff secured this week. Corporate America
is leading the way when it comes to gender identity protections and
institutions of higher learning are smart to keep up."
In July 2005, Raytheon, a Massachusetts-based Fortune 500 company,
became the first aerospace and defense giant to add gender identity to
its equal employment policy. In 1997 only one Fortune 500 company
protected transgender employees. Today, 82 ensure equal protection on
the job. For a list, visit http://www.hrc.org/workplace/ndgisearch.
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