In an opinion piece published today, The Times’ US Business Editor Alexandra Frean writes that LGBT inclusion, at all levels in an organization, is good for business. Companies that are welcoming to the LGBT community are able to attract the best talent, and they get better engagement and results from employees.
Frean quotes Stephanie Sandberg, Out Leadership’s Managing Director for Client and Advisory Services: “the business impact of having everyone being out at work is palpable. It means your LGBT executives are fully paying attention. They are not paying attention to covering up. They become more productive employees.”
When employees worry that sexual orientation might negatively affect their career prospects, they are likely to stay in the closet and “cover,” suppress characteristics, and lie about details from their personal lives that might suggest they are LGBT. This distraction can impact productivity, or cause someone to leave their job.
Welcoming heterogeneity, both at the senior management and lower levels, simply makes business sense. As Frean closes, the business community should understand “that conformity and sameness create blind spots that can be countered only by diversity of orientation, gender, race and other areas of personal difference.”