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Supporting the LGBTQA+ community is a sustainable bet for companies


Highlights: In June, rainbow flags are raised in many countries around the world. This month marks LGBTQA+ Pride as a way to celebrate the work of thousands of people who have fought for our community to be guaranteed their rights. One of the biggest challenges is finding and keeping a job, since many people do not want queer people among their employees. In addition to guaranteeing access to sustainable and stable jobs, we must start with the recognition that trans people can face discrimination and violence every day in Colombia.

In the month of June, freedom, love and dignity are celebrated, but we cannot ignore that we still need to close many gaps so that the people of the community are safe, have access to stable jobs and do not continue stigmatized

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In June, rainbow flags are raised in many countries around the world. This month marks LGBTQA+ Pride as a way to celebrate the work of thousands of people who have fought for our community to be guaranteed their rights and to continue raising awareness about how much still needs to be done.

While this commemoration also seeks to celebrate freedom, love and dignity, we cannot ignore that we still need, as a society, to close many gaps so that people in the LGBTQA+ community are safe, have access to stable jobs and do not continue to be stigmatized. There are multiple conversations to have about how to protect queer people. Here we are going to focus on putting on the table the economic advantages of recognizing the rights of this group from the initiative of the Chamber of Diversity, a non-profit institution that was born in Colombia in 2012 and that seeks to strengthen and empower this population economically and socially.

One of the biggest challenges is finding and keeping a job, since many people do not want queer people among their employees. In a Portfolio publication, we see figures that show that people from the LGBTQA+ community, even if they have a broader educational background, are more likely to be unemployed. "The DANE [National Administrative Department of Statistics] revealed that for the period between May 2021 and April 2022, the overall participation rate – which represents the pressure of the population willing to work – was 72.9 percent in the LGBT population, while that of the non-LGBT population was 65.6 percent; in contrast, the unemployment rate of those who identify as LGBT is about three points above that of the population that does not, standing at 16.1 percent," the publication reads.

Diversity to stimulate innovation and creativity

This lack of openness on the part of employers is detrimental to companies or organizations that might be missing out on valuable opportunities. Eduardo Ramos, a lawyer with experience in fundraising, university professor, and vice president of the Chamber of Diversity, explains it in conversation with América Futura: "By being inclusive and embracing diversity in all its forms, organizations benefit from a greater variety of perspectives and experiences. This stimulates innovation and creativity. Likewise, companies that promote inclusion and equality are more likely to attract and retain diverse talent. LGBTQA+ people and their allies value and seek inclusive work environments, which can result in a competitive advantage for companies by having access to a broader pool of highly skilled talent."

One of the most interesting markets for entrepreneurs and investors is in tourism, which in Colombia generated around 45 million to GDP in 2022, according to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism. Taking into account the potential of the country's tourism market, having tourism companies and services openly allied with the community is essential. The vice president of the Chamber of Diversity told América Futura: "LGBTQA+ tourism is a market segment in constant growth and with great purchasing power. Travelers in the community tend to spend more on their trips and look for destinations and services that are inclusive and welcoming. In addition, being openly allies of the queer community sends a message of inclusion and respect at the national and international levels," says Ramos. "This contributes to the positive image of the destination or company and can appeal to a wider audience, including heterosexual travelers who value the principles of equality and diversity."

Those of us who belong to the community and want to travel must put among our priorities spaces where our lives and rights will be guaranteed, something that, although we are in the middle of 2023, we cannot find in any place or nation. Pride not only seeks joy and celebration, it is also a humanitarian call to respect for different sexual orientations and different gender identities; Let's not forget that homosexuality can still be legally criminalized in 67 countries, some of which even punish it with the death penalty.

The challenges of the trans community

Within the LGBTQA+ collective, one of the most vulnerable groups are trans people, who face unique challenges because of their identity. While showing the economic "advantages" of inclusion is a strategic work that has an impact on guaranteeing the rights of the queer community, it is clear that, in the face of the differentiated crises faced by trans people, it is necessary to unify fronts. Our angle is economic, but it is necessary to highlight that there are many other factors that limit the dignified and prosperous life of the trans community in Colombia and in the world, in addition to employability. It is necessary not only to ensure access to sustainable and stable economic independence, but we must start with the recognition that trans people every day can face discrimination and violence. From a business perspective, Eduardo Ramos assures that "the creation of affordable economic platforms for the trans population requires a comprehensive and collaborative approach." "It is essential to establish partnerships with governmental and non-governmental organizations that focus on supporting the trans population," she explains. "Working together, we can identify and develop specific economic solutions that address the particular needs and challenges faced by this population. This may include job training programs, access to financial resources, and support in developing entrepreneurial skills. In addition, it is important to promote education and awareness in society to reduce discrimination and stigma towards trans people."

June is an opportunity to reassess how LGBTQA+ rights stand while celebrating our lives and achievements; however, there are some companies that instrumentalize Pride to carry out marketing strategies that they do not intend to continue once the month ends. Given this, the Chamber of Diversity highlights the need for diversity "to be a permanent commitment and not just something temporary". "Our goal is to promote a deep and lasting cultural change that drives inclusion and equality at all levels of society and organizations. We urge companies to take concrete, tangible steps to advance inclusion and diversity. This includes setting measurable goals and objectives, conducting periodic assessments, and publicly sharing progress and challenges encountered on the path to greater diversity." Pride this month is the perfect occasion to understand challenges, opportunities, and truths of the LGBTQA+ community, but it's a conversation that shouldn't be limited to this month. It is a door for us to start working collectively to protect the rights of this community while understanding that caring for the people who belong to this population also leads to sustainable, profitable and profitable economic practices.

Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-06-08

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