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