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CEOs discuss the role financial and business companies have advocating gay equality

CEOs discuss the role financial and business companies have advocating gay equality

CEOs and presidents of world wide companies discussed what their firms can do to promote LGBTI equality.

The leaders were part of an Out on the Street panel. The yearly conference, which brings together senior LGBT financial employees and allies, met today (1 May) in Wall Street, New York’s financial district.

The panel, called Navigating Business and Global Challenges to LGBT Equality, was moderated by Jill Schlesinger, senior business analyst for CBS News.

Michael Corbat, the CEO of Citigroup, noted that it’s important for firms to make their diversity commitments well known, internally and externally.

‘We have an obligation to set the tone,’ he said to the audience.

The chairman of Bloomberg, Peter Grauer, agreed adding that when it comes to creating a firm that is open to LGBTI employees, leadership must come from the those in power.

‘The tone is set at the top,’ Grauer said.

Ajay Banga, president and CEO of MasterCard, added that companies make progress in gay rights when they argue fairness.

‘You have to start with the logic of equality,’ Banga explained.

Equality, while important, must have a bottom line. John Veihmeyer, global chairman of KPMG and chairman and CEO of KPMG US, observed that because companies want top-notch talent, having a work atmosphere that fosters diversity is ‘a compelling business proposition.’