D Gregory Smith

Study: LGBT Inclusive Policies Good for Business

Filed By D Gregory Smith | October 21, 2011 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: bottom line, business, LGBT inclusion, LGBT workplace, nondiscrimination, out at work

If companies won't include LGBT persons in ant-discrimination policies because it's the right thing to do, maybe they'll do it because it will make them richer.

stack-of-cash.jpgOver ninety percent of the country's largest companies state that diversity policies and generous benefits packages are good for their corporate bottom line, according to a new study from UCLA's Williams Institute. The study finds that more than half of these companies specifically state that their policies prohibiting LGBT discrimination or extending domestic partner benefits are good for business. The study is based on a review of statements issued by the top 50 Fortune 500 companies and the top 50 federal contractors when they first put these policies in place.

"This study highlights that economic benefits are a significant incentive when companies adopt LGBT-inclusive policies," said Christy Mallory, Williams Legal Research Fellow. "As employers consider adopting similar polices, and as legislatures consider codifying such policies into law, this research informs the economic consequences of their decisions," stated Mallory.

The past decade has seen a large increase in the number of corporations adopting LGBT-related workplace policies. Among the top 50 Fortune 500 companies, 48 now include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policies and 70% include gender identity. Additionally, 88% extend domestic partner benefits, including health insurance to the same-sex domestic partners of employees. Among the top 50 federal contractors, 81% include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policies and 44% include gender identity. Over half extend domestic partner benefits, including health insurance, to the same-sex domestic partners of employees.

"The specific reasons why these companies felt their LGBT inclusive policies had a positive business impact went beyond improving their efforts to recruit and retain the most talented employees," said Brad Sears, Roberta A. Conroy Senior Scholar of Law & Policy and Williams Institute Executive Director.

"Companies linked these policies to improving employee morale and productivity, to meeting the needs of their diverse customers, and to sparking ideas and innovation through employees, including LGBT employees, who bring different perspectives and experiences."

Beyond business justifications, the study also notes that companies adopt LGBT inclusive policies because they are consistent with their corporate values of fairness and respect and because doing so is simply "the right thing to do."

But I think the business justifications may do more toward swaying the naysayers - or those on the fence - about LGBT inclusion policies. After all, money talks.

Even if it speaks a different language sometimes, it's getting us closer to equality.

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Also according to the Williams Institute the vast majority of people with same sex attraction don't identify as LGB. I'd also be willing to bet over 90% of those inappropriately label Transgender don't identify with that word either. Mara Kiesling can point to her Injustice at every turn survey till she turns blue in the face but it clearly shows it was heavily promoted to show an LGBT bias. So what is the LGBt going to do when someone like me sues them for discrimination and causing undo suffering and distress? As a Transsexual I've had to come a long way just to embrace myself within that label. Now thanks to some people(LGBT Leadership) who think its their right to choose other peoples political alliances and labels I now have another layer of Stymatism thrust upon me and another unwanted label to fight off. I really think in the not to distant future it will be proven (Just look at all the negative comments here)that the Transgender umbrella is causing some people severe emotional distress and is a violation of their rights. I can see it wiping out WPATH, HRC, NGLTF,NCTE,And many, many many others. I hope they have plenty of cash on hand and don't mind losing all their credibility because Transgender is going to cost them dearly.