LGBT-friendly work policies help retain top talent: Study

NEW DELHI (BLOOMBERG) – Companies in emerging markets that advocate policies inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) staff tend to attract and retain top talent, according to a new research.

Led by the Boston Consulting Group, the report found there was no negative impact on the revenue growth of companies that openly supported the inclusion of the LGBT+ community. The “plus” sign is inclusive of other identities such as asexual or intersex.

The study by Open for Business, a coalition of global companies for inclusive and diverse societies, also found these organisations had a higher proportion of international revenues, indicating an ability to tap global supply chains.

The study analysed 96 emerging markets companies and found 37 of them had openly supported policies against LGBT+ discrimination, up from 19 in 2015.

As emerging markets compete with global financial regions such as Hong Kong and Singapore for foreign investment, business and talent, they are awakening to workplace diversity. Many of the high-potential companies that explicitly protect LGBT+ employees against discrimination were based in India, including Reliance Industries Ltd, Infosys Ltd and Wipro Ltd, the report said.

Companies that openly support inclusion grow stronger brands, report better customer orientation and are viewed as having stronger corporate governance, it said.

Last year, India’s top court overthrew the country’s notorious, colonial-era anti-gay law. The South Asian nation had been losing as much as 1.4 per cent of its national output because of the discriminatory law, according to calculations by University of Massachusetts Amherst economics professor Lee Badgett, who has studied the issue for the World Bank.

That means discriminating against the LGBT community could cost India around US$26 billion (S$35.4 billion) a year.

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