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Businesses with LGBTI people in managerial positions have higher overall performances and better business outcomes, according to a new report.
The survey states that of 88 companies polled, those with LGBTI people in senior leadership positions reported greater business outcomes compared to organisations surveyed without LGBTI people in managerial roles.
The report found notable higher ‘levels of organizational performance, social and environmental corporate social responsibility, workforce quality and utilization, as well as high performance human resource management practices’ in companies with LGBTI people at senior levels.
The report was released by the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, a group which promotes LGBTI businesses and equality in the workplace.
‘This study supports what we have been saying for years,’ said Jason Rae, Chamber’s President & CEO. ‘Having LGBT people in leadership positions, whether it as a CEO, a business owner, a part of senior management or on the Board of Directors, is good for a business’s bottom line.’
‘Simply put, diversity is good for business,’ Rae concluded: ‘This study helps reinforce our commitment to helping “break the rainbow ceiling” and get more LGBT people in senior leadership roles.’
However the report notes that the number of leadership positions surveyed could be higher than samples from non-LGBT Chamber organizations, and a number of the companies surveyed already ‘demonstrated a commitment to LGBT inclusivity by virtue of their membership’ of the LGBT-Chamber.
Breaking the rainbow ceiling?
There has been a rise in the number of high-profile LGBTI business leaders in recent years.
Tim Cook of tech-firm Apple, Alan Joyce of Qantas Airways, and Jim Fitterling, CEO of DowChemical, are all openly gay business leaders, while trans woman Martine Rothblatt is the chairwoman of Nasdaq-listed, United Therapeutics.
This month also saw business leaders hail the appointment of Beth Ford as CEO of food firm Land O’Lakes, making her the first openly lesbian to helm a Fortune 500 company.
However, a study from May showed that gay men are ‘significantly less likely’ to reach senior management positions, even when they posses the same qualities as straight men. The report attributes the disparity to ‘discrimination as opposed to different skills and characteristics’, similar to forms of discrimination which continue to affect ethnic minorities.
A survey taken in 2016 also revealed that almost three-quarters of lesbian and bisexual women have not come out to their work colleagues.