Pride and prejudice: the future of advocacy

Pride and prejudice: the future of advocacy explores the changing environment for and attitudes toward corporate advocacy in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. It is based on a survey that was elded online in English in January 2018 among 1,010 executives from a cross section of industries. The survey generated opinions across global regions covering 87 countries, including North America (36%), Latin America (7%), Europe (30%), Asia (22%) and the Middle East and Africa (5%). Nearly a third of the respondents are C-suite (31%), with 69% below C-suite. From a gender perspective, 82% of the executives are men and 14% women, with 4% not designating.

This report, the third in an annual series of Economist Intelligence Unit studies addressing the business and economic case for global LGBT diversity and inclusion (D&I), assesses the future prospects for corporate advocacy in the LGBT space, given the perils that face proponents of the liberal, open-minded worldview that underpins LGBT equality. Based on a survey of over 1,000 business leaders worldwide, it nds that although some companies still prioritise LGBT advocacy, the recent rapid social progress in LGBT acceptance that is both cause and e ect of this advocacy should not be taken for granted. The key ndings are:

l Nearly half of respondents believe companies will become more prominent as agents of progress for LGBT rights in future; however, only a third say their own companies will devote more resources to LGBT advocacy, compared with today

l Although companies with established public positions on LGBT rights are not likely to reverse course, companies that remain “in the shadows” on this issue are likely to stay there

l Future expectations for various types of advocacy activities are concentrated in North America and Europe, while other regions, where LGBT rights are less entrenched, lag

l Companies that engage in pro-LGBT advocacy perform better on various measures of business competitiveness compared with their peers, based on self-reported factors

l Though LGBT issues continue to play a role in political outcomes around the world, few believe the public will demand more progress on this issue versus other rights debates like gender and race and ethnicity

Read more via the Economist

In early 2018, The Economist Intelligence Unit conducted a global survey of executives, asking them about their attitudes toward LGBT advocacy by companies. Here's what they discovered.