Perspectives: Joshua Graff

Joshua Graff

Senior Director, LinkedIn Europe, Middle East & Africa, LinkedIn

 

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.

Our mission at LinkedIn is to connect the world’s professionals and make them more productive and successful. Our long-term vision is to create economic opportunity for the world’s professionals, and inclusion and diversity are key to making this happen.

 

We believe that a diverse workforce has a multitude of benefits for a business and for the individuals. So anything that we can do to encourage diversity for our own team, our clients and our members around the globe is entirely in line with what we’re looking to accomplish. If you consider diversity specifically in terms of LGB&T rights, that’s why we’re part of Open for Business.

 

We believe it helps people build longer lasting, more authentic and trusting relationships with colleagues when they can be open about who they are at work. If there’s a lack of transparency, or you don’t feel comfortable being your authentic self, it prohibits you from building and maintaining open and trusting professional relationships. My personal view – having been through the process of coming out – is that being comfortable with those around you heightens emotional intelligence. It can help you become a more inclusive and compassionate leader, so the impact is not just on your own productivity but also on the productivity of those around you.

 

People who work in organisations that support a diverse workforce have a high level of openness and transparency and are more productive as a result. Those individuals are more confident speaking up, they’re more confident taking intelligent risks, less afraid of repercussions and more willing to change the status quo.

 

Most people now recognize that there are business benefits to diversity across the board. As Open For Business shows, there is plenty of evidence to demonstrate this. The conversation needs to move on from there and ask: how do we further encourage it? There’s a natural flow that scales up from the individual level to economic performance at a national level. If companies are more productive and profitable, that leads to greater economic performance and output at a country level. 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.