29 September 2015
Linklaters helps to launch the first business-led coalition to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGB&T) inclusion around the world
Linklaters has helped to launch the first business-led coalition supporting LGB&T inclusion. The launch of the coalition, ‘Open For Business’, will be announced on stage during The Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York today.
The purpose of Open For Business is to make and promote a positive business and economic case for global LGB&T rights. As businesses with customers, employees, suppliers and operations around the world, the coalition believes successful, enterprising businesses thrive in diverse, inclusive societies, and the spread of anti-LGB&T policies runs counter to the interests of business and economic development.
The coalition, ‘Open For Business’, includes American Express, AT&T, Brunswick, EY, Google, IBM, LinkedIn, Linklaters, MasterCard, McKinsey & Company, Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered, Thomson Reuters and Virgin Group.
Open For Business also published a comprehensive report today, written by authors Jon Miller, Lucy Parker and Daniel Danso, which shows that successful businesses thrive in open, diverse and inclusive societies. The report, ‘Open For Business: the Economic and Business Case for LGB&T Inclusion,’ presents the most substantial evidence-base to date on this subject, demonstrating that:
1. Economies perform better without discrimination against LGB&T persons.
2. Companies perform better in societies that support LGB&T inclusion.
3. Individuals perform better in environments that support LGB&T inclusion.
The formation of the coalition and the report’s findings will provide evidence and support for those with influence in governments who oppose anti-LGB&T policies around the world. Over the next 12 months some members of the Open For Business coalition will hold global events to raise awareness of the business and economic case for LGB&T inclusion.
Daniel Danso, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Linklaters, said: “Diversity & Inclusion is one of the key priorities at Linklaters and so creating an inclusive working environment for all our employees, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, age or social background is absolutely at the centre of that. We have engaged with several of our clients and community partners to look at how we can collectively put in place the right frameworks and policies to encourage more open dialogues and so the creation of Open For Business is a great step forward in this journey.”
Linklaters has a number of LGB&T initiatives in place globally, including establishing a network of LGB&T Allies in multiple cities across the globe, mentoring young LGB&T talent through DiverseCity and Diversity Role Models, in Germany we recently celebrated IDAHOT Day for the first time, we support the Albert Kennedy Trust in the UK as a charity and have taken part in a variety of global and local LGB&T workplace benchmarks to ensure we are at the cutting edge of best practice. Our recent Global Diversity Week also featured awareness raising sessions against homophobia in the workplace in Warsaw, transgender workplace equality the UK, and support for Pink Dot in Hong Kong.
The full report and details of the coalition can be found at: www.open-for-business.org
For further information, please contact Surinder Sian on +44 207 456 4842
Linklaters LLP is a leading global law firm, supporting clients in achieving their strategies wherever they do business. We use our expertise and resources to help clients pursue opportunities and manage risk across emerging and developed markets around the world. Linklaters is a recognised market leader for advice on public takeovers, cross-border and multi-jurisdictional mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, disposal and other corporate advisory matters and capital markets issues. Our clients are drawn from a broad base including the FTSE 100, Fortune 500, DAX 30, CAC 40 corporates, private equity houses, investment banks and governments.
About Open For Business
Open For Business is a coalition of global businesses. It has been developed in dialogue with a number of civil society organizations, who will continue to provide advice and guidance. These organizations include: the UK Department of International Development, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the International HIV/AIDs Alliance, the Kaleidoscope Trust, the Human Rights Campaign, Stonewall, Out Leadership and OUTstanding.
By joining Open For Business, members commit to respecting the diversity of their customers, employees, suppliers and partners wherever they are in the world; showing progress in implementing strong and robust policies to provide a working environment that respects and protects all individuals and tackling all forms of discrimination against LGB&T employees.
About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together 190 sitting and former heads of state, more than 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 3,200 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries.
In addition to the Annual Meeting, CGI convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States; and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. This year, CGI also convened CGI Middle East & Africa, which brought together leaders across sectors to take action on pressing social, economic, and environmental challenges.
For more information, visit www.clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at www.facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.