UK-based publication The Economist has announced that it will be hosting a ground-breaking, global, 24-hour conversation on the business, economic and social costs of LGBT discrimination.
The event, entitled Pride & Prejudice, is scheduled to take place on 3 March 2016, and will feature live-steaming of discussions in Hong Kong, London and New York over the course of 24 hours.
‘Policymakers and industry leaders will tackle the thorny questions pertinent to that region, with a common question in mind: what is the cost of LGBT discrimination?’ said a press release for the event.
Daniel Franklin, executive editor of The Economist says, ‘The Economist has long supported equal rights for LGBT individuals. Nearly 20 years ago in our cover story, ‘Let them wed’, we argued in favor of same-sex marriage. Progress since then has been huge but uneven—hence the need for a global conversation on the costs of LGBT discrimination.’
‘The Economist will drive to uncover the true cost of discrimination to businesses and communities through research and discussion with a wider array of stakeholders than ever before, including business, politics, academia and civic society. Three consecutive events within a 24-hour period will be a first for the group,’ says Elena Sukacheva, Senior Vice President, Managing Director, Content Solutions Unit and Global Events.
In recent years, more and more organizations have explored the links between the economic and business costs of LGBT discrimination.
Since 2012, the World Bank has been studying links between LGBT discrimination and constraints to economic growth. Its studies indicate that discriminating against sexual minorities can have a huge economic cost on countries – particularly those in the developing world.
On the other side of the equation, Credit Suisse has created a dedicated stock portfolio consisting of LGBT-friendly companies after finding that such businesses tend to outperform those that do not have comprehensive diversity and inclusion policies.
News of the Pride and Prejudice event was welcomed by Fern Ngai, CEO of the Hong Kong-based advocacy group Community Business.
“We commend The Economist as a leading media organization for bringing LGBT topics and issues to the mainstream, especially in Asia, and including Hong Kong as one of the three conference locations,’ she told Gay Star Business.
‘We believe this city could be a leader for driving LGBT Inclusion in Asia given that it’s an international hub and with the momentum and support created by Asia’s first and only LGBT Workplace Inclusion Index earlier this year.’
‘There have been much international research, including that of Community Business, which have shown that creating an inclusive workplace for LGBT employees will not only drive competitive advantage for organizations in the workplace, but also in the marketplace.’