To support LGBTQ individuals in society and the corporate sector means to advocate for acceptance, equity, and respect.
The path to inclusivity has its mix of genuine and superficial efforts, with increasing anti-LGBTQ bills. Furthermore, the corporate world often values profits over real advocacy, which is why discerning real allies from token gestures is essential.
This article explores some of the challenges that the LGBTQ+ community faces. It examines corporate intentions and offers steps for businesses. The goal? To genuinely back LGBTQ rights and foster inclusive environments. Readers are encouraged to understand these dynamics and take informed action.
- Challenges for LGBTQ+ Community: 492 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in 2023 highlight ongoing resistance (ACLU, 2023).
- Corporate Motives Examined: 80% of Fortune 500 brands use diversity as a “business” case, with less than 5% advocating for it on “fairness” or ethical grounds (HBR, 2022).
- Impact of Inclusivity: Genuine inclusivity promotes better community well-being and fosters innovation.
- Companies that Support LGBTQ: Bud Light faced market setbacks after LGBTQ-related controversies, while Modelo Especial saw growth due to active LGBTQ support (Quartz via Bump Williams Consulting, 2023).
- Business Recommendations: Advocate for genuine inclusivity, education, and policy enforcement, with support from expert organizations.
LGBTQ Support in Society and Corporate World
The LGBTQ+ community confronts a dual challenge: societal prejudices on the one hand and opportunistic corporate gestures on the other.
This year alone, the American Civil Liberties Union has noted an alarming 492 anti-LGBTQ bills (ACLU, 2023). While not all may translate into law, each stands as a stark reminder of the threats faced by the community.
Companies That Support LGBTQ: Are They Genuine?
In a world where corporate social responsibility is a buzzword, many companies are quick to emphasize diversity. Yet, a critical look suggests that not all may be genuinely supportive. A study by Dr. Oriane Georgeac and Dr. Aneeta Rattan (HBR, 2022) on Fortune 500 brands found:
- 80% used a “business” case for diversity tied to profits.
- Less than 5% made a “fairness” case on ethical grounds.
- The rest didn’t emphasize diversity or gave no reason.
Broader Impacts of Inclusivity
Outside of business, being truly inclusive helps society in many ways. It leads to:
- Better overall happiness and less stress in communities.
- Tight-knit groups where people stay close and connected.
- New ideas from different backgrounds.
- A bigger market and more types of skills due to variety.
Yet, the way diversity is approached matters. Diverse groups, including LGBTQ+ professionals, often find business-centric diversity approaches limiting. Georgeac and Rattan’s research showed:
- 11% felt sidelined.
- 16% worried more about stereotypes.
- 10% felt more replaceable.
How to Support LGBTQ: A Call to Organizations
To make a meaningful difference, firms should reevaluate their stance. Embracing the “fairness” diversity angle can be a starting point, as it cuts the negative effects of the business case in half in studies.
Alternatively, in an era where many core values are taken as given, companies might simply value diversity without needing to justify it. After all, values like innovation are accepted without debate – so diversity shouldn’t be any different.
Spotlight: The Beer Industry’s Connection with LGBTQ Advocacy
Several companies have shown support for the LGBTQ cause.
One example in the beer sector is Bud Light. This Anheuser-Busch (AB InBev) brand saw its market share drop from 10.0% in March 2023 to 7.3% in June 2023 (Quartz via Bump Williams Consulting, 2023).
Why? A controversy arose over their partnership with transgender actress, Dylan Mulvaney. As a result, it led to an initial boycott by anti-LGBTQ groups. However, when Bud Light didn’t fully support their campaign, more boycotts followed, notably from LGBTQ bars.
Modelo Especial, by Constellation Brands, then took the lead in becoming the nation’s most popular beer. Its share went from 7.7% in March to 8.4% in June 2023. This beer is known to support LGBTQ rights, partnering with groups like Stonewall Sports.
Key Steps for Businesses to Support LGBTQ
1. Educate Employees
Understand the importance of LGBTQ inclusivity in the workplace.
2. Enact Inclusive Policies
Protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination.
- Protections Against Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity
- Summary of Local Nondiscrimination Ordinances
- Equality Maps
3. Create a Supportive Infrastructure
Build an inclusive work environment right from the onset.
- Guide: Strategies for Inclusion and How to Implement Successful Practices around Pronouns in the Workplace
- Best Practices for Non-Binary Inclusion in the Workplace
4. Seek Expertise and Assistance
Many organizations offer expert assistance, resources, and guidance on LGBTQ-inclusive programs and policies.
- Human Rights Campaign
- LGBTQ Inclusion Hub for Small Businesses
- Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
- Pride at Work
As the push for real LGBTQ support in society and business intensifies, it becomes important to realize it’s urgent and layered. However, despite challenges arising from social biases and company actions, it’s evident that a fully inclusive world is on the horizon.
Furthermore, both society and businesses not only have a pivotal role in promoting true diversity but also champion the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. By doing this, they tap into the numerous benefits of an inclusive environment.
For instance, for readers, it’s crucial to acknowledge the part every individual plays. Therefore, ensuring that support for the LGBTQ community is firm becomes paramount. In conclusion, as society evolves, the goal is for such support to be the norm, not an exception.