In partnership with The Economist, ogilvydo will be covering Pride and Prejudice, the first-ever global initiative culminating in a 24-hour rolling event spanning three cities–Hong Kong, London and New York–which will challenge policymakers and industry leaders to rethink the future of the global LGBT movement and its impact on business.
Attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people have changed with remarkable swiftness across much of the Western world. Gay marriage, a bellwether of progress towards equality, is increasingly being written into law. Businesses see competitive advantage in creating a reputation for inclusiveness. Yet global acceptance of LGBT people is not evenly distributed. Worldwide, the situation ranges from mild intolerance to hostile rejection and violence. In many businesses, the “glass closet” remains a formidable barrier to advancement or authenticity. Discussion about same-sex relationships is controversial in many countries, but in a globalised world, gay rights are now a significant issue.
Bringing about meaningful change requires a mix of strategies—litigation, legislation and diplomatic pressure combined with a long process of social and cultural adjustment. Companies in competitive, talent-driven sectors like banking and the law have developed sophisticated policies to ensure LGBT inclusion, while other businesses struggle quietly with the need to manage diverse workforces. Apple, one of the world’s most innovative companies, believes the creativity associated with diversity helps drive its success. Can inclusive workplace policies give other companies the same advantage?
LGBT communities in much of the world are fighting for basic rights, but in liberal societies the challenge is to consolidate the gains already won—a necessarily more subtle and complex task.
– What is the outlook for LGBT rights in different parts of the world?
– Can legislation shift public opinion, or should policy follow social change?
– What are the economic, business, social and human costs of discrimination?
– Why should LGBT rights matter to business?
Where is the next front in the battle for LGBT acceptance?