Americas / Asia / Europe

Study urges multi-nationals to boost LGBT rights

Multi-national corporations could and should, but often don’t, help improve the lives of LGBT people in countries with anti-LGBT laws, according to a study by the Center for Talent Innovation.

Chart from the Center for Talent Innovation demonstrates the economic reasons for companies to support LGBT rights.

Chart from the Center for Talent Innovation demonstrates the economic reasons for companies to support LGBT rights.

In a press release, the organization stated:

Study Maps Challenges and Opportunities for Pro-LGBT Companies Operating in Anti-LGBT Markets

Study shows multi-national corporations how to promote LGBT equality and strengthen growth

Fifty-eight percent of LGBT employees at multi-national corporations (MNCs) say their company has a nondiscrimination policy based on sexual orientation and transgender identity. However, LGBT-supportive MNCs struggle to extend that protection beyond their walls in anti-LGBT jurisdictions, given that seventy-five countries still criminalize same-sex sexual conduct.

The Center for Talent Innovation’s 10-market study (including Brazil, China, Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, and the US), “Out in the World: Securing LGBT Rights in the Global Marketplace,” shows LGBT-supportive MNCs how to foster an inclusive and safe environment for employees both on and off corporate campuses in anti-LGBT geographies.

Co-authored by legal scholar Kenji Yoshino and CTI Founder and President Sylvia Ann Hewlett, the study of 1,964 LGBT professionals and 10,242 non-LGBT professionals maps the world into three categories:

  • Countries with LGBT-hostile laws (India, Russia, and Singapore);
  • Geographies with LGBT-unfriendly laws (China, Hong Kong, and Turkey); and
  • Countries with LGBT-friendly laws (Brazil, South Africa, the UK, and the US).

The report highlights ways in which MNCs operating in LGBT-unfriendly and hostile jurisdictions might move markets and mores toward greater LGBT equality.

Tactics fall within three models of engagement:

  • The “When in Rome” model, in which companies adhere to the norms and local laws of the jurisdiction, but allow employees to opt-out of placement there.
  • The “Embassy” model, in which companies enforce pro-LGBT policies in the workplace but do not seek to effect change outside their walls.
  • The “Advocate” model, in which companies seek to change cultural attitudes outside the workplace.

The study reveals talent and consumer market pressures for advancing global LGBT equality. A pro-LGBT stance improves a company’s ability to recruit talent and attract consumers, even outside of the LGBT pool: 72 percent of respondents who self-identify as LGBT allies say they are more likely to accept a job at a company that supports equal opportunities for LGBT employees. Eighty-two percent of ally respondents and 71 percent of LGBT individuals say they are more likely to purchase a good or service from a company that supports LGBT equality.

LGBT employee engagement is higher, too: 84 percent of LGBT employees at supportive companies say they are proud to work for their employer (compared to 68 percent at unsupportive companies).

Surveys for the Center for Talent Innovation showed that about 25 percent of LGBT employees of multinational companies have been physically attacked for being LGBT, while a similar percentage faced arrest, prosecution or government harassment in countries with anti-LGBT laws. In less homophobic countries, arrests and official harassment remain a problem, but was somewhat less frequent.

Surveys for the Center for Talent Innovation showed that 22 to 27 percent of LGBT employees of multinational companies have been physically attacked, or knew someone who had been. In countries with anti-LGBT laws, a similar percentage faced arrest, prosecution or government harassment, or knew of someone who had endured such treatment. In less homophobic countries, arrests and official harassment remained a problem, but were somewhat less frequent.

 

 

The center also stated:

Many LGBT employees remain in the closet at work, especially in anti-LGBT societies: “Fully 80 percent in Russia; 78 percent in Hong Kong; 61 percent in Brazil; and 46 percent in the US remain closeted in their professional lives. And of those who are out, many – fully 75 percent in China, 65 percent in Singapore, and 49 percent in Brazil – cover, or downplay, their LGBT identity.”

Some companies advocate for recognition of the human rights of LGBT people: “The report showcases initiatives from MNCs including American Express and Ernst & Young LLP that are supporting and advocating for LGBT employees and their rights worldwide.”

For more information:

 

2 thoughts on “Study urges multi-nationals to boost LGBT rights

  1. Pingback: 敌视LGBT对新加坡商业有害无利 | 新国志

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