The LGBT workplace in Asia is changing

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ҬӬCommunity Business, a non-profit organization, is leading the way in guiding and shaping policies for corporations to adopt LGBT protections in Asia.

Their goal is simple: to encourage companies throughout Asia to adopt policies of LGBT inclusion in the workplace. ҬӬAsia however poises significant challenges for attracting LGBT employees. ҬӬ

Asia as a whole exhibits a wide variation in response to the LGBT agenda. 

No country in Asia has officially adopted same sex partnerships or non-discriminatory clauses.Ӭ

And the largest emerging markets in Asia, namely India, China, and Indonesia, all have drastically different social and economic policies, none of which are LGBT friendly. ҬӬ

However, global companies in Asia need to remain competitive on the world stage. But up until now, the region has found it difficult to attract and retain talented LGBT employees.

“¨”¨“Why would an LGBT person who wants to work in banking or law go to Hong Kong, where they can be fired at any time, be refused housing and be deported just for being gay, if that same person could work in say, New York or London?” Civil Rights lawyer and representative of the LGBT group Pink Alliance, Michael Vidler, told 429Magazine.

ҬӬEnter Community Business, who has just announced their launch of an online LGBT Network that aims to inform and help Asian companies adopt Equal Opportunity Policies.

“¨“Companies are looking for practical advice, to find out what others are doing in the region, and identify what steps they can take. This new online resource is designed to do just that,” said CEO of Community Business Fern Ngai in a press release obtained by 429Magazine. “We hope that as the content builds overtime, and we engage a wider group of companies across the region, we will help move the needle and see more companies demonstrating the best practice in LGBT inclusion.” 

ҬCommunity Business, under the auspices of major corporate players like Barclays and Goldman Sachs, is attempting to get employers to acknowledge same-sex benefits and open the door to LGBT rights.

Community Business is launching their online LGBT Network tomorrow, March 21, in what they hope will provide companies practical advice so that they can better understand the issues and take proactive steps towards LGBT inclusion.

Ultimately, companies want to help liberalize LGBT rights in the workplace because it is good for business. Asia as a huge emerging market has yet to capitalize on its LGBT potential. 

Asked what the incentive is for private companies to help promote LGBT inclusion, Kevin Burns, Spokesperson from Community Business told 429Magazine: 

“¨“Obviously, the LGBT market represents a significant business opportunity. LGBT spending power is well recognized in western countries and the concept is catching on in Asia.

Moreover companies should also consider the impact their workplace culture has on productivity, performance and attracting and retaining top talent. Studies around the world have shown that non-inclusive workplaces have a negative effect on productivity and result in higher turnover and profit losses.””¨”¨

Asia’s LGBT situation as a whole is changing rapidly, and in some areas more than others, often because of the influence of private companies. Recently, 429Magazine reported on AirAsia, a private Airline company based out of Malaysia, who sponsored the gay friendly Mardi Gras event in Sydney.

With the help of PR firms like Community Business who specialize in informing companies about the benefits of adopting worker’s guidelines is the beginning of the future of LGBT inclusion in the workplace in Asia.

429Magazine

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