Gender diversity on corporate boards leads to greater LGBT inclusion

Gender diversity on corporate boards leads to more-inclusive LGBT company policies, according to a new study published in the academic journal Human Relations, authored by Professors Alison Cook and Christy Glass of Utah State University.

In their paper, “Do women advance equality? The effect of gender leadership composition on LGBT-friendly policies in American firms,” Cook and Glass analyzed Fortune 500 boards, looking at both the proportion of women on a board as well as the influence of female board members, and indicators of LGBT inclusion, domestic partnership and nondiscrimination policies, over a ten year period.  The authors found that having women on boards is a good predictor of whether or not a firm adopts LGBT-inclusive policies.

“The most important factor in predicting policy adoption is board diversity, measured both in terms of the percentage of women on the board and the presence of influential women directors.  Firms with a higher percentage of women on the board and with influential women board members are more likely than other firms to adopt the full range of LGBT-friendly policies and practices.”

Regarding the study, Juan Herrera, Director of Talent Initiatives at Out Leadership told Gay Star News, “we strongly believe that increasing diversity within corporate governance structures has important direct and indirect impacts on company cultures and bottom-lines. Our initiative Quorum, dedicated to increasing representation of LGBT directors on corporate boards, is particularly focused on the way that the intersectional nature of the LGBT community creates the opportunity for businesses to diversity their boards in more than one way at a time.”

Read the entire study in Human Relations

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