OutNEWS – Calling All Data Nerds

Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion. That’s why research is in Out Leadership’s DNA – since our founding, we’ve published over 50 cutting-edge research pieces that empower LGBTQ+ people around the world, equip business leaders to become champions of LGBTQ+ rights, and drive companies to leverage their economic impact for equality.

Every piece of Out Leadership research is funded through annual membership and key sponsors. This allows us to make it available on our website, to anyone, to help drive equality on a global scale. Your investment in our research has a real, measurable impact and we are truly grateful for your support.

Pictured above (L to R): Ken Janssens, Out Leadership Senior Adviser, co-founder of Windō and former Chief Data Officer at J.P. Morgan at the ESG Report 2023 Launch and Reception hosted by Nasdaq; Cindi Love, Executive Director, Out for Undergrad, and Todd Sears, Founder & CEO, Out Leadership at the Out to Succeed 2.0 Launch and Reception hosted by Reed Smith; Brad Lander, NYC Comptroller, Brad Sears, Founding Executive Director, the Williams Institute, Susan Angele, Sr. Advisor, KPMG US Board Leadership Center, John W. Rogers Jr., Founder, Chairman, Co-CEO and Chief Investment Officer, Ariel Investments and Michael Ensser, Consultant, Egon Zehnder at the OutQUORUM Board Diversity Report Launch and Reception 2023 hosted by Egon Zehnder and KPMG

Here’s how Out Leadership is changing the game with novel insights at the intersection of business and equality:

We’ve launched new research initiatives.

Last year alone, we unveiled 7 pieces of groundbreaking data-driven research. We’ve mapped LGBTQ+ board diversity on a global scale, released the largest-ever study on rising LGBTQ+ talent, ranked all 50 US States on LGBTQ+ equality, examined ESG strategies of top US and UK companies, surveyed the state of LGBTQ+ ERGs, and more. Throughout our research, we strive to document and understand the unique experiences, challenges, and triumphs of LGBTQ+ individuals. This knowledge fosters empathy, breaks down stereotypes, and promotes a more inclusive understanding of diverse identities.

We’re prioritizing sustainability and impact.

All of our research aims to be practical, actionable, and tactical. Last year, we published our first ESG report that examines leading strategy and reporting practices and outlines a pathway forward for sustainability. Companies are increasingly understanding and reporting to shareholders that a diverse workforce, in every sense of the phrase, leads to stronger decision-making, long-term success, and better bottom lines. Additionally, our State and Country CEO Briefs, which we launched at Davos nine years ago, prep business leaders and policymakers with a clear sense of the most impactful steps states and countries can take to make themselves more hospitable to forward-thinking, innovative, and inclusive business. Hundreds of business leaders, CEOs, and government leaders have used the briefs to inform decision-making, and governors and other state leaders have even reached out to us to see how they can improve. Our research provides evidence to support legal and policy changes that promote equality and protect the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals – instrumental tools in advocating for inclusive legislation, anti-discrimination policies, and equal opportunities inside the walls of companies and beyond. Stay tuned for a refresh of our State and Country CEO Briefs this spring.

We’re increasing our global reach.

In our re-vamped Out to Succeed 2.0 report, we surveyed nearly 3,000 students and young professionals from around the world, the largest survey of next-gen LGBTQ+ talent in the workplace. In partnership with Out for Undergrad (O4U), this study aims to provide much-needed data on the LGBTQ+ talent lifecycle – propelling LGBTQ+ leaders all the way from college to the board level. We also produced the first-ever global mapping of top companies’ board diversity policies in our OutQUORUM report, including the Fortune 1000, Nasdaq, FTSE 350, ASX 200, and Hang Seng Index. As a result, we worked with global exchanges like Nasdaq to update their board diversity rules for thousands of listed companies and we collaborated with some of the world’s largest companies to implement broader board diversity policies. Nasdaq even quoted Out Leadership’s research 7 times in their SEC submission to update their board diversity rule. Not only that, but we expanded our LGBTQ+ Board Diversity Guidelines to the UK and Australia. In addition to uncovering cultural nuances and differences, our global reach provides evidence to support international human rights advocacy, encouraging businesses to develop and implement policies that protect LGBTQ+ rights and promote equality.

This year, we’re expanding our global board diversity initiative and board guidelines, building out our LGBTQ+ Climate Index, re-vamping our self-ID guidelines, and more! We always welcome collaboration with corporate and nonprofit partners, working group contributors, and regional committee members. To get involved with Out Leadership’s research initiatives and advocate for LGBTQ+ equality in the workplace and beyond, contact info@outleadership.com.


Cameron Wu
Manager, Programs & Research
Out Leadership

5 Out Leadership Reports and Resources To Know About:

Out to Succeed

Pictured above: Jane Barry-Moran, Managing Director, Programs & Research, Out Leadership speaking at the Out to Succeed 2.0 Launch and Reception 2023 hosted by Reed Smith

Attracting and retaining talent is one of the most important problems facing companies today. Businesses that support and develop LGBTQ+ talent unleash “the power of out,” attracting and retaining global top talent, boosting share performance, and gaining access to the $4.7 trillion global market of LGBTQ+ consumers.

When top talent find the support, development, and sponsorship they need to fulfill their leadership potential, their employers succeed in the global marketplace. And top talent, our 2023 dataset reveals, are increasingly likely to identify as LGBTQ+.

Out to Succeed highlights how a supportive and targeted focus on LGBTQ+ inclusion is a valuable brand differentiator, performance enhancer, and talent draw. The global study, fielded in partnership with O4U, surveyed nearly 3,000 high-performing individuals from a diverse array of industries.

With Out to Succeed’s data, you can ensure you know what your top talent values and how to keep them engaged, happy, and productive.

State and Country CEO Briefs

Out Leadership’s snapshot of the current state of affairs for LGBTQ+ people, through the lens of international business.

Companies face operational and reputation risks when they do business in places where the legal and/or social atmosphere makes it difficult for LGBTQ+ people to live openly without discrimination. Out Leadership’s CEO Business Briefs help C-Suite leaders understand and respond to these risks, and ensure that staff who do business in-country are aware of the laws and other regulations that impact LGBTQ+ people.

The Business Climate Score rating is out of ten possible points and is based on ten independently verifiable indicators of the legal, cultural, and business context for LGBTQ+ people.

The State and Country CEO briefs help you conduct business in an LGBTQ-friendly way and also help change LGBTQ-unfriendly environments through your business outward.

Read the State CEO Briefs here and the Country CEO Briefs here.

OutQUORUM Report and LGBTQ+ Board Diversity Guidelines

Pictured above: Todd Sears, Founder & CEO, Out Leadership, and John W. Rogers Jr., Founder, Chairman, Co-CEO and Chief Investment Officer, Ariel Investments at the OutQUORUM Report Launch and Reception 2023 hosted by Egon Zehnder and KPMG

The most comprehensive in-depth look at the lack of LGBTQ+ representation at the board level.

Launched in 2015, OutQUORUM is the first initiative focused on addressing the extreme shortage of LGBTQ+ representation on corporate boards by creating a movement of leaders to drive change, building board diversity policy toolkits to facilitate representation, and generating the supply of talented, board-ready leaders to serve in senior roles. We leverage our research to work directly with multinational corporations and exchanges like the Nasdaq to explicitly include LGBTQ+ as a metric in diversity policies.

Every year, Out Leadership manually analyzes how the world’s top companies are seeking, measuring, and reporting diversity in their boardrooms. Read the OutQUORUM report here, and take action with our LGBTQ+ Board Diversity Guidelines for the US, UK, and Australia.

OutQUORUM provides the numbers you need to measure and improve diversity in senior leadership and inclusion at all levels — because diverse leaders are more innovative, agile, and creative.


Pictured above: graphic from Out Leadership’s AllyUp Report

Business leaders have an enormous role to play in LGBTQ+ inclusion. Out Leadership has led the way in cultivating visible allies at all levels of businesses, and providing resources to companies proving the value and power of allyship. AllyUP provides the framework for employees, business leaders, and companies to play a more active role in bolstering employee productivity, reducing employee turnover, and creating more welcoming spaces for workers of all backgrounds.

Our study on allyship includes 5,600 participants, 11 countries, and regional reports from Asia, Australia, Europe, and the US.

AllyUP gives you the tools you need to create a friendlier, more productive business environment and how to expand your reach to broader, more diverse communities.


LGBTQ+ inclusion is a competitive imperative. That’s why Out Leadership developed, OL-iQ, the world’s first global LGBTQ+ inclusion diagnostic tool.

No company today can afford to ignore measures known to drive better business results. So how can businesses become optimally LGBTQ+ inclusive? How do leaders know what measures to dial up or down to maximize efficiency?

OL-iQ provides a comprehensive, market-contextualized snapshot of companies’ actual performance on LGBTQ+ inclusion benchmarks while identifying the specific measures companies can take to improve their performance and drive business results. Our member firms use this private knowledge to enact change within their companies and around the world.

OL-iQ ensures you’re leveraging best practices so you don’t fall behind.

Did you know?

Out Leadership convened a coalition of companies to sign the United States Supreme Court amicus brief in support of same-sex marriage as the court considered Obergefell v. Hodges, United States v. Windsor, and Bostock v. Clayton County. The Obergefell brief cited Out Leadership research to support its pro-equality argument. As a result of our advocacy, more firms on Wall Street called for marriage equality than in any other industry, and many of these firms amended their corporate bylaws for the first time to allow them to engage in social advocacy.

Pictured above: Jim Obergefell, lead plaintiff in Obergefell v. Hodges (center) with Kevin Jennings, CEO of Lambda Legal (far left); Amber Briggle, lead plaintiff in PFLAG v. Abbott (left); and James Dale, lead plaintiff in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (right).


Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy