Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Economist: The Economic Detriments of Anti-LGBT Discrimination

via WikiCommons/Daniel Chapma, Chensiyuan, Dmitry Andeev

The Economist is a well respected British magazine that includes serious stories and articles so often missing from American publications.  Thus, it is significant that the magazine will be hosting the world's first ever global summit on the detrimental economic effects of LGBT discrimination.  The event will take place March of 2016 with simultaneous sessions in New York, London and Hong Kong.  Past studies have shown that anti-LGBT discrimination and persecution hold localities and nations back economically.  It's a message that the Republican Party refuses to hear, especially in economically depressed areas - e.g., Southwest Virginia - where the GOP dominates and furthers discrimination that keeps progressive businesses from thinking twice about relocating to the regions.  Here are highlights from Out Magazine on the summit: 

The United Kingom-based Economist announced that it will be hosting the world's first ever global summit on the detrimental economic effects of LGBT discrimination in March of 2016. The 24-hour rolling event, Pride and Prejudice, will be held concurrently across three continents, in New York City, London, and Hong Kong. It's professed aim is to "challenge policymakers and industry leaders to rethink the future of the global LGBT movement and its impact on business."

Daniel Franklin, executive editor of The Economist told Gay Star News:
"The Economist has long supported equal rights for LGBT individuals. Nearly 20 years ago in our cover story, ‘Let them wed’, we argued in favor of same-sex marriage. Progress since then has been huge but uneven—hence the need for a global conversation on the costs of LGBT discrimination."
Elena Sukacheva, a Senior Vice President, added:
"The Economist will drive to uncover the true cost of discrimination to businesses and communities through research and discussion with a wider array of stakeholders than ever before, including business, politics, academia and civic society. Three consecutive events within a 24-hour period will be a first for the group."
From its website for the event, the Economist states in part as follows:
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.

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?

Participants in Hong Kong, London and New York will take part is a series of globally oriented conversations and tackle the thorny questions pertinent to their region, with a common question in mind: what is the cost of LGBT discrimination?

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