January 22, 2016

Report Explores Challenges, Maps Opportunities for Pro-LGBT Companies Operating in Anti-LGBT Markets

BNY Mellon-sponsored study with the Center for Talent Innovation shows multinational corporations how to promote equality and strengthen growth

NEW YORK, January 22, 2016 — A new study by the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) provides a compelling case for multinational corporations (MNCs) to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality. Out in the World: Securing LGBT Rights in the Global Marketplace, co-sponsored by BNY Mellon, uncovers talent and consumer market pressures for advancing LGBT equality:

  • A pro-LGBT stance improves a company’s ability to recruit talent and attract consumers, even outside of the LGBT pool: 72 percent of respondents who self-identify as LGBT allies say they are more likely to accept a job at a company that supports equal opportunities for LGBT employees; 82 percent of all respondents and 71 percent of LGBT individuals say they are more likely to purchase a good or service from a company that supports LGBT equality.
  • LGBT employee engagement is higher, too: 84 percent of LGBT employees at supportive companies say they are proud to work for their employer (compared to just 68 percent at unsupportive companies).

Co-authored by legal scholar Kenji Yoshino and CTI Founder and President Sylvia Ann Hewlett, the study of 1,964 LGBT professionals and 10,242 non-LGBT professionals also shows LGBT-supportive MNCs operating in anti-LGBT geographies how to provide an inclusive and safe environment for employees, both on and off corporate campuses. The world remains a dangerous place for LGBT people: 40 percent of LGBT respondents in the multimarket sample have experienced discrimination based on their sexual orientation or transgender identity.

Multinational corporations (MNCs) can offer refuge, as 58 percent of LGBT employees at MNCs say their company has a nondiscrimination policy based on sexual orientation and transgender identity, but may be challenged in doing so in the world’s LGBT-hostile jurisdictions. Yoshino and Hewlett map the world into three categories: those countries/territories with LGBT-hostile laws (India, Russia, and Singapore); those with LGBT-unfriendly laws (China, Hong Kong, and Turkey); and those with LGBT-friendly laws (Brazil, South Africa, the UK, and the US). Tactics for MNCs fall within three models of engagement:

  • The "When in Rome" model, in which companies adhere to the norms and local laws of the jurisdiction.
  • The "Embassy" model, in which companies enforce pro-LGBT policies in the workplace but do not implement them outside their walls.
  • The "Advocate" model, in which companies seek to effect change in cultural attitudes outside the workplace. 

"LGBT professionals who work for companies that make them feel safe from discrimination are more likely to be engaged and bring their authentic selves to work," says Sylvia Ann Hewlett, founder and CEO of the Center for Talent Innovation. "Previous CTI research finds that when employers create an inclusive environment, they enjoy a competitive edge in their ability to recruit top talent, unleash innovative potential, and secure the loyalty of new market segments."

There are companies moving individuals and markets along this maturity curve. The report showcases BNY Mellon’s initiatives that support and advocate for LGBT employees and their rights worldwide, including the company’s PRISM LGBT business resource group and LGBT Ally program.

"We want our people to thrive and grow, to be proud of who they are and where they work," said Mitchell Harris, President of BNY Mellon Investment Management and Executive Sponsor of PRISM. "It is only through embracing our differences and being true to ourselves that we recognize our strengths and the unique contributions we can make."

"We believe diverse and inclusive environments that foster a safe and open workplace and encourage creative thinking, will win the war for talent. This type of environment promotes a high performance culture where people excel and expedites the delivery of more innovative and holistic products and services for clients," said Jyoti Chopra, BNY Mellon’s Head of Global Citizenship and Sustainability. "CTI’s research underscores the increasingly important role businesses serve in cultivating safe environments for employees."

For more information on Out in the World, please visit http://www.talentinnovation.org/publication.cfm?publication=1510.

Additional Research Sponsors:

American Express, Bank of America, Barclays, Bloomberg LP, BP, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, Deutsche Bank, Eli Lilly and Company, Ernst & Young LLP, and Out Leadership

About the Research:

This research consists of two surveys; Insights in-Depth® sessions (a proprietary web-based tool used to conduct voice-facilitated virtual focus groups) involving more than 100 employees from our Task Force organizations; and one-on-one interviews with 58 individuals in Brazil, China, Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, and the US.  The multi-national survey was conducted online between November 2014 and January 2015 among 12,206 respondents.  More details are available by reviewing the report.                         

About the Center for Talent Innovation:

The Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) is an NYC-based think tank that focuses on global talent strategies and the retention and acceleration of well-qualified labor across the divides of demographic difference including gender, generation, geography, sexual orientation, and culture. CTI’s research partners now number more than 90 multinational corporations and organizations.

About BNY Mellon:

BNY Mellon is a global investments company dedicated to helping its clients manage and service their financial assets throughout the investment lifecycle. Whether providing financial services for institutions, corporations or individual investors, BNY Mellon delivers informed investment management and investment services in 35 countries and more than 100 markets. As of Dec. 31, 2015, BNY Mellon had $28.9 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration, and $1.6 trillion in assets under management. BNY Mellon can act as a single point of contact for clients looking to create, trade, hold, manage, service, distribute or restructure investments. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK). Learn more on www.bnymellon.com/newsroom.