LGBT-Friendly Workplaces Are Good for Business
More than 90 percent of the country’s largest companies say that diversity is good for the bottom line. UCLA’s Williams Institute talked to big wigs at the top 50 Fortune 500 companies, along with 50 federal contractors, for the new study. And more than half of the companies surveyed admit that policies prohibiting LGBT discrimination or extending domestic partner benefits are definitely good for business.
“This study highlights that economic benefits are a significant incentive when companies adopt LGBT-inclusive policies,” says Christy Mallory, a legal research fellow with the institute. “As employers consider adopting similar polices, and as legislatures consider codifying such policies into law, this research informs the economic consequences of their decisions.”
Executives seems to be catching on considering that the past decade has seen a significant 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 percent include gender identity. Additionally, 88 percent extend domestic partner benefits, including health insurance to the same-sex domestic partners of employees.
And among the top 50 federal contractors, 81 percent include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policies and 44 percent include gender identity. More than 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,” explains Brad Sears, the institute’s 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.”