Human Rights Campaign (Holiday) Shopping Guide

SophiaKellyTechnologyTailoringPeople often ask me for advice on what brands of computers and other equipment to buy. During the holiday season, a lot of people buy gadgets and gifts. In general I usually recommend good solid brands I’ve had direct experience with like Hewlett Packard or Dell.

Recently, I also came across a social evaluation of these products that I found helpful. The Human Rights Campaign, a non-profit in the US, has evaluated a large number of US companies on their level of respect for gay and lesbian people’s human rights in the workplace. They classify the companies in three groups, basically ones that are doing a good job, ones that are getting better and ones that are awful. Here’s a link to their technology section. You can click on other categories from that page to see the ratings of other items, including cars, food, hotels and more. If you click on a company’s scores you will see why they scored as they did.  There’s also a printable pdf version you can take shopping with you.

I was pleased to see that my old standby recommendations (HP and Dell) had a 100 pt rating.  However, other products I’ve purchased such from Polaroid, McAfee and Nokia were rated a lot lower. McAfee wouldn’t be my first choice to recommend in antivirus software anyhow. Only Norton has been worse in my experience in conflicts with other software. Lexmark also has 100 pts, but I can’t recommend their printers, whose driver software I’ve found to be buggy and intrusive, and whose ink is quite expensive.