Opportunities & challenges of business support for LGBTI community

Author: Charles Radcliffe, Office of the High Commissionner for Human Rights & Caroline Vagneron, GLOBE, World Bank Group, Published on: 2 November 2017

"How businesses can support LGBTI rights in countries that oppose them", 26 Sep 2017

[P]rominent multinationals...have found trouble trying to follow local law in parts of the Middle East, the former Soviet Union, Africa and East Asia, where anti-gay sentiment tends to be deeply embedded against a backdrop of populism and anti-western sentiments... Starbucks made headlines when...groups in Indonesia and Malaysia called for a boycott of the brand to protest...its support of gay rights...[C]ompany... did not retract either from its position. [C]ompanies are... aware of the potential dividends of...inclusion, a business...case that the World Bank Group has highlighted... [P]ressure arise from... any perceived betrayal of the values of the company’s shareholders, customers or watchdogs when they do not stand for human rights, and the fear of getting excluded from promising new markets... The new [Standards of Conduct for Business on Tackling Discrimination Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex People] challenge companies to stand up for the rights of LGBTI people... –...through dialogue and advocacy, support for local... organisations, and, in some cases, civil disobedience. Early adopters include major firms from a wide array of industries such as Accenture, Baker McKenzie, BNP Paribas, The Coca-Cola Company, EDF, EY, Gap, Godrej, IKEA, Microsoft and SAP.

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Related companies: Accenture Baker & McKenzie BNP Paribas Coca-Cola EDF EY (Ernst & Young) Gap Godrej & Boyce IKEA Microsoft SAP Starbucks