Record turnout for tech companies at Pride parade expected

Big tech marches for gay pride

A record number of tech firms are expected to publicly show support for the LGBT community this weekend at San Francisco's annual gay pride parade.

Google says more than 1,000 of its employees are slated to participate, Apple recently sent a memo encouraging all of its employees to partake in the event, and Facebook told CNBC that it expects over 800 employees to attend.

Former congressman Barney Frank, one of the parade's guests of honor, told CNBC that tech companies are smart to support the gay pride parade in today's competitive business environment. Frank said, "If you get a reputation for not being supportive of fair treatment, it is a handicap in your recruitment."

Jonathan Lovitz, the director of communications for StartOut, a non-profit supporting aspiring LGBT entrepreneurs, said participating in the parade is great "for retaining and finding the best talent; for finding the best partnerships domestically and globally; and also encouraging the people within their organizations to step up and become the first generation of openly gay CEOs in the tech industry."

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Google shows its pride

"We know that our community is capable of producing openly gay actors, politicians and athletes, but now is the time for tech to continue creating opportunities for openly LGBT business leaders," he said.

The LGBT community and tech have had a long-standing relationship in advancing their success.

"Look at what social media has done specially to help us advance our causes, so I think there's no surprise here that major organizations like Facebook and Twitter and Google, have been such allies of the community," he said.

Last year's parade, the largest in North America and the second largest in the world, attracted more than 1.5 million people and another 400,000 viewers through a webcast. At least 15 Silicon Valley tech companies are expected to participate.

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