The Business Case for LGBTI Inclusion

The Business Case for Pride in Diversity

Pride in Diversity works with Australian employers via the provision of a dedicated account manager, tailored training & consulting services, member forums, networking, resources and research to:

  • Recognise, appreciate and utilise the unique insights, perspectives and backgrounds of others, promoting innovation, team collaboration and higher levels of productivity
  • Mitigate unintentional discrimination, disrespectful and damaging behaviour through education and awareness, the alignment of organisational values and the reduction of risk
  • Create an environment of trust, respect, inclusion and tolerance positively impacting employee attraction, engagement and retention
  • Appreciate the business case for LGBTQ diversity as it impacts your workplace culture and performance.

Click here to download a short summary document identifying the business case for LGBTQ workplace inclusion.

Brand and Markets

Working with and promoting your alliance with a LGBTQ inclusive program such as Pride in Diversity, you can:

Promote your brand and inclusive culture

  • Be recognised as an inclusive employer that incorporates LGBTQ employees in a leading edge diversity strategy
  • ­74% gay and 42% straight consumers are less likely to buy products from organisations holding negative views of lesbian and gay people (Harris Interactive)
  • the new workforce (Gen Y and beyond) are increasingly discerning about potential employers and their diversity track record

Capture profitable niche markets – attracting the “pink dollar”

  • Australian gay and lesbian households control an estimated annual disposal income of $10 billion (The A to Z of the pink dollar, The Age, 2004)
  • 47% of LGBTQ consumers (as opposed to 18% of heterosexual consumers) are more likely to make a purchasing decision based on their awareness of a company’s diversity policies (Winfield, 2005)
  • LGBTQ consumers have high levels of brand loyalty and are increasingly focused on the ethical standards of corporations
  • LGBTQ employee representation and inclusion can help align product and service offerings to LGBTQ consumers and investors providing valuable insight into the market

Workplace Productivity, Retention and Engagement

  • 2 in 5 lesbian and gay staff facing discrimination will change careers if discrimination continues (Harris Interactive, US)
  • 50% of LGBTQ employees would feel more committed and loyal to employers who introduce LGBTQ diversity policies and programs (Same Same : The Gay Census, 2008)
  • Employees who feel that they are able to be “out” in an inclusive culture tend to be more productive; this is reflected in career development and remuneration
  • LGBTQ individuals who report higher levels of discrimination are more likely to have negative work attitudes and fewer promotions (Ragins & Cornwell, 2001)
  • People perform better when able to be themselves at work – one third of gay staff conceal their sexual orientation from their employers and co-workers (Same Same, The Gay Census, 2008)

Risk Mitigation

  • Minimise labour costs associated with complaint resolution, absenteeism and staff turnover [1]
    • 53% of lesbians and gay men experience workplace harassment and discrimination
    • 50% experience homophobic remarks /jokes in the workplace
    • 28% experience aggressive or unwelcome questions about their status
    • 22% report being “outed” in the workplace against their will
    • 17% report having restricted career due to their homosexuality
  • Minimise mental health issues within the LGBTQ community and your employee base due to stigma and discrimination
  • Reduce risk of litigation – $125,000 average cost to manage serious external complaint (DCA, 2008).  Negotiated damages awarded have exceeded $1M
  • Reduce risk of reputation damage (US Dept Labour found share price drops within 24 hours of a complaint going public)

What this means for Australian Workplaces

Being positive towards gay employees is the ultimate litmus test for an inclusive culture and takes an Australian diversity strategy to the next level by ensuring that workplaces are inclusive of all employees, regardless of race/ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability or religion. While LGBTQ is an assumed agenda item on most progressive diversity strategies in the US and UK, it is still relatively new to Australia.

As a result, there are not a lot of practitioners who have the experience or expertise to assist diversity and HR executives with the implementation of LGBTQ related strategies, or that offer LGBTQ specific advice and support. This program provides Australian employers with that support.

The Pride in Diversity program has been designed to assist you in strengthening your brand and reputation as an inclusive employer by providing you with the expertise and support required to implement or strengthen the LGBTQ component of your diversity strategy.

[1] Jude Irwin, NSW Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby and University of Sydney, The Pink Ceiling Report.

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