“In today’s globalized economy, companies with LGBT-inclusive policies and the desire to recruit and retain top talent increasingly need to reckon with the business challenges posed by operating in countries where LGBT face societal discrimination.
It is clear that discrimination has an enormous economic toll: Professor Lee Badgettt of the Williams Institute has estimated the total cost of discrimination in India to be up to as much US$30.8 billion a year, the equivalent of 1.7 percent of the country’s GDP. In health costs alone, she calculated that India lost US$23.1 billion in 2012, owing to depression, suicide, and HIV treatment disparities caused by anti-gay stigma and discrimination.
Productivity and innovation both suffer when LGBT employees do not feel comfortable being open in the workplace… The private sector realizes this is a problem. HSBC Group chief executive Stuart Gulliver explained it best at Out Leadership’s 2014 LGBT Summit in Hong Kong: ‘Like every other organization, HSBC has always had LGBT employees and customers. In the past, they were largely invisible. The kind of bank I want HSBC to be is one where everyone can be fulfilled and 100 percent themselves… The kind of bank that celebrates diversity because it is good for society, and because it is good for business.’”