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LGBTQ Corporate Equality Overview

LGBTQ corporate equality is the fair and equal treatment of LGBTQ employees by their employers. It can also be more broadly called LGBTQ workplace equality to be inclusive of all employer types. It is achieved when LGBTQ employees are able to access and enjoy the same rewards, resources, and opportunities without regard to sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Many studies around the world have clearly demonstrated the benefit of supporting LGBTQ corporate equality.  In summary, the studies demonstrate that championing LGBTQ workplace equality improves employee morale, increases productivity, improves LGBTQ employee and customer loyalty, employee engagement, increased creativity and problem solving and team/customer/client interaction all leading to a proven increase in the financial performance of the organization. Also, see “What is LGBTQ Corporate Equality“.

Most western countries worldwide have made significant progress towards LGBTQ equality in recent decades. However, not enough. For example, as the writing of this article, the United States is still a patchwork at the state level where half the state does not offer full legal protection for their LGBTQ citizens.  A study from the University of Surrey found that LGBT people less likely to be hired, paid less, and not promoted.

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LGBTQ Corporate Equality Indexes

The concept was spurred by several LGBTQ rights organizations seeing that government laws to protect LGBTQ persons at work and beyond were not moving at the desired pace. Led by the USA there are several others around the globe who model themselves after the US index. These organizations decided to focus on primarily large fortune 1000 level corporations to provide guidance and scoring index of those companies’ LGBTQ friendly policies, benefits and business practices such as having the following in place:

  • Sexual orientation non-discrimination
  • Gender Identity and Gender Expression non-discrimination
  • Domestic Partner Benefits
  • Transgender inclusive healthcare benefits
  • LGBTQ awareness education for all employees
  • Requiring the same level of policies and benefits in vendors/contractors
  • LGBTQ employee resource group
  • Proactive LGBTQ candidate recruiting

There are some pros and cons to such rating indexes. The primary ones are they are limited to only Fortune 1000 usually and are self-reported with no employee input about the actual work environment and work culture. Check out “LGBTQ Corporate Equality Ratings – A New Approach for All Employers“. For any employer wishing to start or enhance their current LGBTQ workplace equality efforts check out “6 Steps – Enhance LGBT Workplace Equality

Does Implementing LGBTQ workplace equality have a cost?

Sure there is some employer expense in providing equal benefits. As mentioned above the organization will benefit financially which will offset those costs. Again, many studies around the world have clearly demonstrated the benefit of doing so. It is also is a risk mitigation by creating a welcoming environment with clear non-discrimination policies thus reducing the opportunity of future LGBTQ discrimination and harassment lawsuits. Simply, it’s the right thing to do.

Want to learn more?

Check out the following articles to learn more: