I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to celebrate and recognize gay pride, which does not only have to happen in one month. I just hate that it comes with despair in light of the Orlando tragedy.
I do know that if we go deep within ourselves we can find ways to celebrate the lives of those who are different. So one way is to remember the purpose of the large parades that occur on a national level recognizing a community that intersects with all ethnicities, genders, veterans, and persons with disabilities.
Often I struggle with the disconnect between societal and community perspectives with workplace issues as it relates to the LGBTQ population. The reality is that this is a growing population that contributes significantly to both the workplace and marketplace. However there are those who have personal embedded bias, hate and anger that is devastating in the ways this behavior is acted out; and we appear to be at a loss for action. Human Rights campaign’s index illustrates how organizations are making commitments within their workforce to create parity and equity among the LGBTQ workforce. What I mean by this, for example, in the areas of benefits, full disclosure, and opportunity.
I just want to drive home the point of what companies are doing to support equity within the workforce. The insights below from the 2016 DMBA Inclusive Leadership Index illustrates the continued efforts companies are making to create inclusive and safe cultures:
- 2 percent of companies’ workforces have self-identified as LGBTQ as compared to 10 percent of veterans and 6 percent persons with disabilities on average;
- 58 percent of companies have expanded their engagement survey to encourage employees to self-identify;
- 5 percent of companies have engaged third party companies to administer surveys for self-identification for the purpose of learning who is in their workforce; (this is an emerging practice);
- 65 percent of companies have LGBT employee resource groups in 2016 up by 5 percent from 2015.
- 72 percent of companies have targeted recruiting strategies in 2016 up 8 percent from 2015.
These are just a few data points on best practices companies are doing to encourage engagement within their workforce of the LGBTQ population.
I also want so share a few insights the Nielsen Diverse Intelligence Series Offers as it relates to the consumer impact of the LGBT community. (For more information: www.nielsendiverseintelligenceserieslgbt):
- Same-sex partnered households have the strongest purchasing power as compared to US households, and should be a key target for new product spending;
- Same Sex households and LGBT community represent huge business opportunities for manufacturers and retailers so should be a major part of business planning;
- According to Experian’s 2013 LGBT consumer research report same-sex married and partnered households have the highest income than any other group.
- According to Experian’s 2013 LGBT, consumer research report married and partnered men have the highest per capita discretionary income.
So it is clear that the business case for identifying and engaging the LGTBQ population is invaluable, but the reality is that we have a societal disconnect between this groups value and humanity. I don’t have the solution, so I encourage each of us: if we can reach one then let’s teach one and build awareness.