Open For Business is a coalition of global companies making the case that inclusive, diverse societies are better for business and better for economic growth. The purpose of the coalition is to promote a positive business and economic case for equality of opportunity for everyone, all across the world.
Open For Business is a response by a number of leading global businesses to the spread of anti-LGB&T sentiment in many parts of the world. It is not a formal organisation, but a coalition of companies supporting LGB&T inclusion.
“Violence, harassment and the prospect of arrest cause enormous stress and suffering and can take people out of productive employment altogether. For the individuals concerned, these are personal tragedies. For society at large, they amount to an enormous waste of human talent and creativity and, ultimately, of economic potential.”
“Discriminatory laws are also detrimental to business and economic development, threatening the stability that businesses desire, risking the safety of their employees, and jeopardizing productive economic relationships that can advance business interests all over the world.”
“Diversity and inclusion has been an essential part of helping the company open up to the wider world.”
“We need an environment where people are prepared to speak up and speak out and challenge the status quo: that is what is going to drive better performance.”
“Since economic performance is one of the key measures of success of any government, we hope this will be an impetus for countries to further embrace diversity.”
“The power of this economic case is that it gives a roadmap for companies and countries that want all of their workers and citizens to contribute fully.”
“We need businesses to push hard with these arguments. This is not a political question, it is a business question. We need to go beyond a human rights argument and beyond words like ‘inclusion’ and talk about the costs to businesses – and provide the evidence. In Singapore, we need the global companies more than they need us – they are in a strong position to make an argument.”
Jean Chong – Sayoni, SINGAPORE
“We need to make the business case for activism – how businesses can be part of leading social change. We need to start with quiet and gradual change in companies’ internal policies, and this will activate the social dimension: people to people contact … and this way we will engage more people in the movement for equality.”
Anastasia Smirnova, LGBT activist, RUSSIA
“We must impress upon the political class that [the re-criminalization of homosexuality] has economic costs and business costs – we need empirical evidence, we need investment in research that can be robustly presented.”
Pallav Patankar, Humsafar Trust, INDIA
“There is a huge role for business and corporations to play. We need to open up spaces of acceptance – and the model of US and UK businesses has been a good one. It is the right time to start to put these arguments on the table.”
Ifeanyi Orazulike, International Centre for Advocacy on the right to Health, NIGERIA
“Companies need to be visible on this issue. They shouldn’t be afraid of ‘coming out’ as a supporter of LGB&T issues – they can play an important role.”
Jej Perfekcyjnosc, LGBT Business Forum Foundation, POLAND
At Accenture, our underlying belief in inclusion and diversity is fundamental to our culture and embedded in our core values. Our inclusive environment welcomes each of our 373,000 employees, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability. We know the rich diversity of our employees makes our company stronger, smarter and more innovative and helps us better serve the needs of our clients and our communities. At the same time, we strive to create an environment where all of our people can be successful, both professionally and personally, where they can thrive in a workplace of fairness and equal treatment and where our LGBT employees across the globe can feel comfortable, be themselves and, as a result, be inspired.
As a global company, it is vital to our success that our employees are as diverse as the customers and communities we serve. American Express has built a diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace, and we foster a culture where differences are valued and expressed freely and all employees have the support they need to take risks, learn, and collaborate.
Big ambitions, big ideas, big opportunities. AT&T is a place where people from all walks of life and all kinds of backgrounds have the support they need to break down barriers and move our world forward. Each day, more than 280,000 of us bring our unique perspectives, skills and ideas to our work—so that together, we can lead the way toward a brighter future for everyone.
At Barclays, we are passionate about creating a working environment that enables employees to be themselves. Diversity and the active development of a positive climate of inclusion are embedded into our goal of becoming the bank of choice for our LGBT customers, colleagues and stakeholders. With our network of over 130,000 employees across more than 40 countries we take an active role in addressing the needs and challenges of the communities we serve.
At Brunswick we believe that businesses must deliver social value alongside financial value, and that global businesses are in a position to drive progress – demonstrating how open, diverse and inclusive workplaces are good for business, good for employees and good for the economies in which they operate.
At EY, our diverse, inclusive and borderless teams are key to delivering exceptional client service and meeting our clients’ specific needs in their local markets. As a global organization, adding differing voices and viewpoints helps make sure we don’t stifle creativity and lose our competitive advantage.
At Google we believe that inclusion and diversity is good business, and so we work
hard to ensure we have a culture that welcomes everyone. We oppose all laws that enable or encourage discrimination and we’ve been steadfast in our efforts to eliminate discrimination against the LGB&T community.
IBMers around the world work in an environment where diversity—including diversity of thought—is the norm. Our diversity is reflective of the global marketplace and is integral to our corporate character. We believe it’s what we do together that sets us apart.
At LinkedIn our long-term vision is to create economic opportunity for the global workforce, and inclusion and diversity are key to making this happen. We want to challenge each other to make the world in which we work a more inclusive place.
Creating a diverse and inclusive culture is a key business challenge. Being a global
organisation means much more than having offices around the world. If we are to be the leading global law firm, we have to have a team that reflects the cultures and values of the communities in which we work.
We believe diversity of thought and talent is the heart of innovation. Our inclusive culture is about more than simply having a diverse workforce. It’s about using our employees’ diverse experiences and perspectives to drive real business impact and make meaningful contributions to society.
Diversity and inclusion is not a program at McKinsey, it’s not an effort or a department. It’s who we are and what we respect. At McKinsey, much of our days are spent in teams—it’s a big part of our culture. We’ve learned that the recipe for a successful team includes lots of different people, perspectives, backgrounds, and ideas.
At Microsoft our vision is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more, so we strive to create an environment that help us leverage the diversity of our people to generate ideas and solutions to meet the needs of our increasingly global and diverse customer base. We are widely recognized as a pioneer in the area of diversity and were one of the first global companies to include sexual orientation in its corporate non-discrimination policy.
At RBS, we value the diversity of our employees and are committed to creating an inclusive culture. We prize fairness, want to attract and retain talent and enable employees to reach their full potential. In order to do this we need to embrace people’s differences including their sexual orientation. We encourage employees to bring the best of themselves to work and to be respectful and curious about diversity.
Our approach to diversity and inclusion is
fundamental to who we are as an organisation, and a key aspect of our brand promise, Here for good. As an international bank, we have a naturally diverse workforce. This provides us with a strong competitive advantage, enabling us to understand better the needs of those who bank with us.
Tesco is a global company with 480,000 employees and suppliers all around the world. People choose to shop and work with us because we aim to reflect the community we serve. In order to offer the best service to our customers and make those working with us welcome, each of us needs to be aware of our differences and to respect those of others around us. That’s why we cultivate a working environment where you can bring yourself to work regardless of your sexual orientation.
Diversity and Inclusion – it’s who we are and how we do business. It helps us attract, develop and retain the widest range of talent to meet our clients’ ever-evolving needs. Our customers are from a broad range of geographical and cultural backgrounds. To partner with them, develop new ideas and solve their complex challenges, we embrace diversity of thought, style, experience and approach.
We’re committed to ensuring that Virgin is an inclusive place to work, where differences are celebrated and our people can be themselves and feel at “home” at Virgin. We recognise that an inclusive culture that brings together the right group of people who mirror the wonderful diversity of our world and who can promote diversity of thought is good for business. We have the desire to make a positive difference to people’s lives through changing business for good, so we create an environment where all people can thrive – because of who they are, not in spite of it.