Washington, Sep 6: Organisations and businesses with one or more LGBT people in senior leadership positions report higher overall performance, a US study has found. Researchers from Marquette University in the US looked at whether or not businesses had people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) in senior management roles and what impact that had on business outcomes.
The study found that, of the companies which participated, 61 per cent had one or more LGBT persons in a top leadership position. By comparison, 48 per cent had one or more people of colour in a leadership role and 86 per cent had one or more women in a top leadership role, said Jennica Webster, an associate professor at Marquette University.
"Having LGBT people in leadership positions, whether it as a CEO, a business owner, a part of senior management or on the Board of Directors, is good for a business' bottom line," said Jason Rae, President & CEO of the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, which commissioned the study. "Simply put, diversity is good for business," said Rae.
The study further examined the impact of that LGBT senior leadership representation on a variety of business outcomes. In addition to higher overall firm performance, the study found other areas in which having LGBT people in leadership reported significant positive differences over those businesses without LGBT people.
Those areas are: social and environmental corporate social responsibility, high-Performance HR practices, and quality of the workforce, the researchers said. "Overall, organisations with one or more LGBT people in senior leadership positions perform better than other organisations," Rae said.
"This study helps reinforce our commitment to helping 'break the rainbow ceiling' and get more LGBT people in senior leadership roles. When LGBT people are present in leadership roles, businesses do better," he added.