May 29, 2010
Visibility of LGBT employees benefits business. An open company culture makes hiring new personnel easier, stimulates revenue and lowers cost.
Research commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs shows that diversity is positive for business results. The two partners in the Gay-Straight alliance Company Pride Platform and FNV are confident with this conclusion.
The former Minister of Economic Affairs, Frank Heemskerk commissioned this research last year. The current Minister, Maria van der Hoeven got the report presented by Paul Overdijk (chairperson Company Pride Platform). The research was carried out by SEOR, the Economic Research Institute of the Erasmus University Rotterdam)
The report concludes that there are sufficient arguments to conduct an open and sound diversity policy in organisations, with LGBT as an important target group.
It shows that diversity policies have positive effects on recruitment, sales and cost. The expenses needed for a good and specific LGBT-friendly diversity policy are modest.
The advisory commission of this research included Paul Overdijk (CPP), Lucia van Westerlaak (Trade Union FNV), Els Veenis (Ministry of Education) and Marcelina Oosthoek (Work floor project CPP&FNV).
Despite the fact that empirical research data for the Netherlands were not available (outside the scope of the research), the report makes clear that companies have a lot to gain from good policies. The advantages range from a better reach at the labour market, higher productivity and lower outflow of LGBT employees to a more innovative company culture. The report emphasises also the social interest of a better position for LGBT employees on the workfloor.
Important recommendations of the report are a higher visibility of the target group and its issues, commitment from top-management to an LGBT friendly working culture, and trainings for management and confidential advisors to be sensitive on issues and approach.
Paul Overdijk, cahirperson of Company Pride Platform and of the advisory commission of this research considers this report a good basis for a further dialog with companies: ‘The economic angle makes it attractive for companies to focus on this subject. We can build on that in the future.’
The report can be downloaded on the website of the Dutch Government http://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten-en-publicaties/publicaties-pb51/voordelen-van-een-homovriendelijk-werkklimaat-voor-het-nederlandse-bedrijfsleven.html