Workplace equality policies profitable for companies, study finds

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LGBT equality measures in the workplace have a positive effect on the bottom line for businesses, a new study by Williams Institute researchers at UCLA has found. 

The research, entitled ‘The Business Impact of LGBT-Supportive Workplace Policies’ concluded that workplace equality policies are associated with greater job commitment, improved office relationships, increased job satisfaction, and improved health outcomes for LGBT employees. 

MV Lee Badgett, economics professor at the University of Massachusetts and part of the research team, said it was now clear that equality efforts bring rewards for companies.

“We now have a strong body of evidence that LGBT-supportive policies have a variety of benefits for companies that extend beyond the employees those policies impact directly,” said Badgett. 

“As our nation’s workplaces become more diverse, businesses that respond to that trend will benefit.”

Co-founder of LGBT Capital, a corporate advisory firm aiming to enhance equality, Anders Jacobsen, said the rationale for workplace equality was now stronger than ever.

“We see the advent of this research as a key, and potentially catalytic, step in the efforts to present increasingly robust arguments and statistical underpinnings for the business case for LGBT diversity in employment,” said Jacobsen.

“We are convinced that this research will carry weight with both corporate and public sector decision makers in the U.S. and abroad.”

This research follows a study from the Center for Talent Innovation which showed that a growing number of LGBT workers have been coming out in their office environment. The statistics indicate that 59 percent of US LGBT employees are out at work, a 7 percent rise from a similar finding in 2011.  

Advocacy group Out & Equal’s San Francisco affiliate member Gary Murakami told 429Magazine that young people in companies and the national movement on LGBT rights meant that workplace equality was “moving in such a positive way.”

“Companies now know that in order to gain talent they must have the right policies in place. It makes no economic sense not to,” said Murakami. 

429Magazine

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