Out Leadership Unveils 15 State CEO Briefs Empowering Business Leaders to Invest in Equality, Protect LGBT+ Employees

NEW YORK, Feb. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Out Leadership, the premier global network for LGBT+ business leaders and companies, today unveiled the second wave of U.S. State CEO Business Briefs, based on Out Leadership’s LGBT+ Business Climate Index.

The State CEO Business Briefs released today assess the economic impact of discrimination on business and equip business leaders and policymakers with a clear sense of the most impactful steps states can take. The goal is to have states make themselves more hospitable to forward-thinking, innovative, inclusive businesses that become more competitive through inclusion. The latest reports rate Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Carolina, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming.

“Supporting LGBT+ employees isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s better for a company’s bottom line,” said Out Leadership Founder & CEO Todd Sears. “States that have comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people are better for business, plain and simple.”

The final 15 State CEO Business Briefs will be released in the coming weeks.

The CEO Business Briefs use eye-opening data from Out Leadership’s LGBT+ Business Climate Index, the first index of its kind, which measures the impact government policies and prevalent attitudes have on the LGBT+ people residing in each state, quantifying the economic imperatives for inclusion and the costs of discrimination.

Out Leadership’s LGBT+ Business Climate Index was launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos 5 years ago. The CEO Business Briefs for the U.S. States are an expansion of the global CEO briefs for 24 countries and have been used by hundreds of CEOs globally.

View and download the full LGBT+ Business Climate Index report here.

“CEOs must do their part by making sure all employees are protected inside and outside the workplace,” said Sears. “By equipping business leaders with the data they need to make more informed decisions about where to operate, Out Leadership’s CEO Business Briefs will help remind local lawmakers that equality is essential to growing their state’s economy.”

The LGBT+ Business Climate Index gives each state a score out of 100 points, based on 20 carefully-selected and nuanced markers assessing LGBT+ people’s lived experiences across 5 broader categories:

Legal and Nondiscrimination Protections

  • How difficult is it to change a gender marker on a birth certificate?
  • How difficult is it to change a gender marker on a driver’s license?
  • Does the state have any employment nondiscrimination policies for LGBT+ people?
  • Do any other nondiscrimination policies in the state apply to LGBT+ people?

Youth and Family Support

  • How supportive is the state of LGBT+ people who are in or want to start families?
  • What resources are available to LGBT+ children and youth in the state?
  • Is conversion therapy banned for minors?
  • Can educators discuss LGBT+ issues and identities in schools?

Political & Religious Attitudes

  • Has the governor recently spoken or campaigned against LGBT+ issues?
  • Has the junior Senator recently spoken or campaigned against LGBT+ issues?
  • Has the senior Senator recently spoken or campaigned against LGBT+ issues?
  • To what extent does the state allow for religious exemptions from its laws?

Health Access and Safety

  • Do LGBT+ people, particularly the most vulnerable and economically precarious, have access to health care and insurance?
  • Do state employees receive transgender-inclusive health benefits?
  • Are LGBT+ people protected by any hate crimes laws in the state?
  • Is exposure of others to and transmission of HIV criminalized?

Work Environment and Employment

  • At what rate are transgender people subjected to harassment at work?
  • What percentage of LGBT+ people are unemployed, and how does it compare to the unemployment rate of non-LGBT+ people in the state?
  • What percentage of LGBT+ people experience food insecurity, and how does it compare to the unemployment rate of non-LGBT+ people in the state?
  • What percentage of LGBT+ people have an annual income below $24,000 (approximately the federal poverty line)?

The Index was funded by the Gill Foundation, as part of its support of Out Leadership’s CEO Business Briefs for the 50 U.S. States. It is based on data generously provided by Out Leadership’s partners at the Williams Institute, the United States Transgender Survey, and the Movement Advancement Project.

About Out Leadership
Out Leadership is the oldest and largest global LGBT+ business advisory that partners with the world’s most influential companies to build business opportunities, cultivate talent, and drive LGBT equality forward. We believe that LGBT+ inclusion positively impacts business results, and that including LGBT+ people at the most senior level of executive leadership builds business. We call this idea Return on Equality™.

Comprised of 75 global member firms and dedicated to cross-industry collaboration, Out Leadership is a certified B Corporation. Out Leadership convenes CEOs, business leaders and allies at exclusive invitation-only events across 4 continents. Out Leadership also operates three talent initiatives: Quorum, which aims to increase LGBT+ representation on corporate boards; OutNEXT, the first global talent development program for emerging LGBT+ leaders; and OutWOMEN, connecting senior-level LGBT+ women in business.

SOURCE Out Leadership
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