The tragic murder of Bangladeshi LGBTI rights campaigner and USAID employee in Xulhaz Mannan last month brought to fore an important issue for businesses and organizations operating abroad: what can employers do to protect LGBTI employees in jurisdictions with poor human rights records or laws criminalizing LGBTI people?
According to Chris Crespo, the Americas inclusiveness director at EY, one essential step many firms take is offering employees opt-outs from transfers to countries that are hostile to LGBTI people. Such opt-outs, however, do not address situations like Mannan’s, in which multinational organizations employ local LGBTI staff. As such, it is also important that business act as an advocate for LGBTI rights globally.
Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that Out Leadership’s CEO Business Briefs are one tool some private sector leaders are using to navigate these questions. The briefs aim to provide senior business leaders with a comprehensive overview of a given country’s social and legal landscape vis-à-vis the LGBTI community, and provide executives with talking points on the business case for LGBTI inclusion in specific countries.