Changing Corporate America from Inside Out: Lesbian and Gay Workplace Rights

Synopsis

Despite the backlash against lesbian and gay rights occurring in cities and states across the country, a growing number of corporations are actually expanding protections and benefits for their gay and lesbian employees. Why this should be, and why some corporations are increasingly open to inclusive policies while others are determinedly not, is what Nicole C. Raeburn seeks to explain in Changing Corporate America from Inside Out.

A long-overdue study of the workplace movement, Raeburn's analysis focuses on the mobilization of lesbian, gay, and bisexual employee networks over the past fifteen years to win domestic partner benefits in Fortune 1000 companies. Drawing on surveys of nearly one hundred corporations with and without gay networks, intensive interviews with human resources executives and gay employee activists, as well as a number of case studies, Raeburn reveals the impact of the larger social and political environment on corporations' openness to gay-inclusive policies, the effects of industry,and corporate characteristics on companies' willingness to adopt such policies, and what strategies have been most effective in transforming corporate policies and practices to support equitable benefits for all workers.

Nicole C. Raeburn is assistant professor and chair of sociology at the University of San Francisco.