It’s rare to see Apple’s chief executive speak publicly outside of press conferences, earnings calls and the occasional industry conference, but Tim Cook on Sunday published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal urging congress to approve the Employment Nondiscrimination Act. The proposed bill now being reviewed by congress would protect workers from discrimination as a result of their sexual orientation or gender identity. “At Apple, we try to make sure people understand that they don’t have to check their identity at the door,” Cook wrote. “We’re committed to creating a safe and welcoming workplace for all employees, regardless of their race, gender, nationality or sexual orientation.”
He continued, “As we see it, embracing people’s individuality is a matter of basic human dignity and civil rights. It also turns out to be great for the creativity that drives our business. We’ve found that when people feel valued for who they are, they have the comfort and confidence to do the best work of their lives.”
The good news for supporters of the bill, of course, is that the weight of one of America’s largest companies should certainly apply pressure on legislators as they consider the bill.
“We urge senators to support the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, and we challenge the House of Representatives to bring it to the floor for a vote,” Cook wrote. “Protections that promote equality and diversity should not be conditional on someone’s sexual orientation. For too long, too many people have had to hide that part of their identity in the workplace.”