Why Corporate LGBTQ Workplace Inclusion Matters

There are many reasons to invest time and resources into corporate LGBTQ workplace inclusion efforts. In my LGBTQ workplace inclusion trainings, sometimes participants will question the purpose of gathering to educate ourselves about best practices in working with LGBTQ co-workers, colleagues, and other stakeholders.

Here are four empirically-based reasons why corporate LGBTQ workplace inclusion initiatives matter for LGBTQ people:

  1. Diverse working groups create better products. There is research evidence that heterogeneous (diverse) groups process information more carefully. Teams made up of people with similar backgrounds may make decisions more quickly, but blind spots may be more difficult to identify when making strategic decisions. Disagreement helps develop better processes and products (Phillips, Liljenquist, & Neal, 2010; Phillips & Apfelbaum, 2012).
  2. LGBTQ-Inclusive workplaces retain talent better. The workforce, especially in the tech industry, is getting younger and more diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity (BCG, 2020). In a global recruitment market, it’s important for companies to position themselves to respond to employees who hold multiple identities. LGBTQ people who feel supported by their employers stay in their positions longer, take fewer sick days, are more committed to their roles, and report more job satisfaction. Worker retention means less money spent recruiting & training new hires (Williams Institute, 2013).
  3.  LGBTQ people care about corporate accountability. The LGBTQ rights group Human Rights Campaign releases an annual Corporate Equality Index that assigns LGBTQ inclusion scores to Fortune 500 companies and any business who self-submits information. This index, and others like it, rank companies based on factors like trans-inclusive health insurance, paid family leave for LGBTQ employees, and the presence of LGBTQ employee resource groups (ERGs.) LGBTQ people are brand-loyal and often review such reports, investing in products by companies that clearly support the community (Harris Int., 2011; HRC, 2021.)
  4. Corporate LGBTQ workplace inclusion impacts corporations’ bottom line. When companies take steps to create an LGBTQ-inclusive workplace, it tends to increase profits (Williams Institute, 2013.) Internal initiatives that build relationship between employees increase LGBTQ employees’ sense of safety, feelings of empowerment, and willingness to take creative risks in their work (BCG, 2020.) Public-facing statements of support for the LGBTQ community, such as on a company’s website or in Pride Month initiatives, increase visibility for companies trying to reach LGBTQ and ally markets.

I review the above research on the benefits of LGBTQ workplace inclusion in my LGBTQ Workplace Inclusion trainings. Click here to book a training, or be in touch with me directly at info@kelseypachaconsulting.com.

Learn more about my background and experiences here. I look forward to supporting your community!