For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                                                                   
June 4, 2013

LGBT-Supportive Workplace Policies Help Businesses Grow
New report shows studies the impact of equality practices on employees and businesses

MILWAUKEE —Businesses that implement LGBT-supportive workplace policies see positive results with recruitment and retention of employees, as well as increased support from consumers wanting to do business with “socially responsible companies,” says a new report from the Williams Institute at the University of California - Los Angeles.

“This report confirms what our experience suggests – that LGBT-supportive workplace policies are a key component to helping businesses succeed,” said Jason Rae, executive director of the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce. “Employees, both gay and straight, want to work in an environment where all people feel supported and included.

“In addition, consumers look for companies that share their values of inclusiveness and fairness,” said Rae. “By providing LGBT-supportive policies like domestic partner benefits and non-discrimination policies, businesses are setting themselves up for success.”

The Williams Institute report examined 36 different studies researching the impact of LGBT-supportive policies and workplace environments on employees and consumers. According to the study, individuals who are employed at a business that has LGBT-supportive workplace policies tend to experience less discrimination and increased openness within the work environment. These individuals also experience improved health outcomes, increased job satisfaction, improved relationships with co-workers and supervisors, and showed greater commitment to their employer.

The research also has shown that organizations practicing these policies also experience lower health insurance costs (through the improved health of employees) and lower legal costs from litigation related to discrimination (through the decrease of discrimination in the workplace). Organizations “doing the right thing” often see greater access to new customers, including public sector entities that require contractors to have nondiscrimination policies in place, and from consumers looking to support “socially responsible companies.” In addition, organizations can sometimes see greater demand for company stock because of the expected benefits of diversity policies.

The study also explained that although initial costs may be incurred to implement these policies, such as domestic partner benefits, it’s been shown that these costs were essentially offset in other areas such as healthier, more engaged employees who demonstrated increased productivity.

The entire study can be viewed online here.