In an article for Quartz, Virgin founder Richard Branson suggests four key ways businesses can push back against anti-LGBT+ policies around the globe. Branson highlights the recent decision by the government of Brunei to reverse their plans to enforce the death penalty for gay sex, a reversal partly achieved by an international boycott of the Dorchester Collection, a group of luxury of hotels funded by the Brunei.
Workplace inclusivity, Branson argues, is a key area where businesses can assist the global struggle against homophobia. The four steps he outlines are:
- “Create a safe space for your employees by providing a workplace with an inclusive culture, free from discrimination.”
- “Engage government who are persecuting people for who they love. Let them know that marginalizing LGBT+ communities is unacceptable, and runs counter to the economic of their country.”
- “Join forces and build movements to end these laws and to fight prejudice, bigotry, and hate.”
- “Support LGBT+ communities at risk in criminalizing countries; help to ensure their safety and wellbeing, and assist them with resources, advice, and training.”
Businesses are a crucial part of the needed public conversation on LGBT+ rights and inclusion, Branson says. “Demonstrating that LGBT+ inclusion is a win-win proposition for both business and society,” he writes, “may indeed be a good starting point to effect the lasting change we should all be seeking.”
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