Launched September 21 in Beijing, with the aid of IBM and Goldman Sachs, the China-based non-profit organization Community Business created a guide for companies to provide a more LGBT friendly workplace in China.
The guide, “Creating Inclusive Workplaces for LGBT Employees in China,” is meant to bring attention to the needs of LGBT employees as well as serve as a resource regarding LGBT legal issues.
With China being one of the largest global forces both economically and politically, it makes sense that business types would want to be up to speed with the changing nature of sexual and gender equality present in peer markets.
Goldman Sachs’ Director of Greater China Research and Diversity Champion for China Kelvin Koh explained that there was an obvious business advantage of expanding diversity and fostering LGBT inclusivity.
“It is crucial for China as a growing and emerging economy to fully explore the potential of its LGBT population and for companies to have inclusive policies that enable their employees to bring their whole selves to work,” Koh said according to Gay Star News. Koh added, “We firmly believe that creating an inclusive environment for people in all aspects of society is critical to the success of China.”
“Access to the internet, an active social media scene and an increasingly curious and open-minded media has also been pivotal in changing the LGBT landscape in China. Whether companies in China can withstand the winds of change or will lead the way towards a more equal workplace and society, remains to be seen,” as stated on the Community Business website.
Community Business brought together experts to discuss LGBT issues and the best practices to implement inclusivity into the workplace. The Beijing LGBT Center, Aibai Culture and Education Center, the Beijing Gender Health Education Institute, the Health Governance Initiative, the British Council, Common Language, Nvai, PFLAG China and UNAIDS were all involved in helping to provide the comprehensive resource.
“Creating a workplace that is free from bias, stigma and where all employees, including LGBT employees, can bring their full selves to work, is good for creativity, innovation and ultimately a company’s bottom line,” said Community Business CEO Fern Ngai.
Co-author of the guide and Community Business’ senior program manager Amanda Yik explained the impact of this new iniative. “…We see the enormous potential for China to treat LGBT individuals with respect, openness and equality,” Yik said.