Cities that are not LGBT+ inclusive suffer “brain drain”
For cities suffering brain drain, it is a serious problem: a study of global emigration in high-skilled workers showed that the top professions are scientists, engineers, IT, doctors and academics. Many factors account for brain drain, and LGBT+ inclusion is not likely to be a primary driver for many emigrants; however, there are clear indications that emigration is likely to take place from anti-LGBT+ countries to open and inclusive countries. A review of recent media coverage on brain drain shows that it is commonly reported in countries with anti-LGBT+ policies or cultural attitudes:
– More than half of graduates from cities such as Accra, Kampala, Lagos or Nairobi are likely to emigrate, according to an OECD study.
– A report in the Moscow Times stated that levels of brain drain in Moscow are “worse than previously believed” and emigrants were mainly “upwardly mobile, ambitious youth”.
– Young people are emigrating from Istanbul, according to a report titled “Escaping disillusion: The skilled youth quitting Turkey”.
– A report titled “Azerbaijan is losing its brains” describes how educated young people are leaving cities such as Baku and moving to the West.
– Malaysia “will continue to be a net exporter of talent,” according to a report which shows skilled workers are leaving cities like Kuala Lumpur.
– A World Bank report finds that the highest rates of emigration of high-skilled workers take place in the Caribbean, Central America and Eastern Europe regions often associated with a lack of LGBT+ inclusion.
LGBT+ inclusion is a signal of openness, diversity and culture
A survey of skilled workers who had moved to one of 13 cities found that motivating factors included “hard factors” (transport, connectivity, etc) and “soft factors” (openness, diversity and culture). The survey found that “gay/lesbian friendliness” was a factor considered by skilled workers. Although it may not be a deciding factor for non-LGBT+ employees, this is likely to send a clear signal about the culture of the city – the crucial “icing on the cake”, according to the study.