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Out Leadership Ranks States for LGBTQ+ Equality and Inclusivity

Diversity Matters Newsletter

For the first time since Out Leadership began publishing its State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index (the Index) five years ago, the nation's overall average score on LGBTQ+ equality has dropped. The net negative rating for the country is largely due to over 500 anti-equality bills introduced at the state level this legislative cycle.

The Index is an assessment of all 50 states' performance on LGBTQ+ inclusion. It measures the impact government policies and prevalent attitudes have on LGBTQ+ people residing in each state, quantifying the economic imperatives for inclusion and the costs of discrimination. Jane Barry-Moran, managing director, research & programs at Out Leadership, explained that the index "ranks each state and applies a numeric score out of 100 for how LGBTQ+ people experience living, working, building a family, and building a life in each state."

She also explained that Out Leadership uses "data from our partners at the Williams Institute and LGBTMAP (Movement Advancement Project) as well as our own research to measure lived experience for LGBTQ+ people in each state." According to the Index, the data reflects a "troubling trend" as more states are passing legislation that adversely impacts members of the LGBTQ+ community. Out Leadership invites businesses to use the Index as a tool to advocate for equality when making decisions about doing business in various states, explaining that "multinational companies face operational and reputational risks when they do business in places where the legal and/or social atmosphere makes it difficult for LGBTQ+ people to live openly."

Details of the full Index findings are available here.

Baker Donelson has been a member of Out Leadership, the global LGBTQ+ business platform CEOs and multinational companies trust to generate Return on Equality®, since 2021. The organization creates global executive events and insights that help leaders realize the economic growth and talent dividend derived from inclusive business.

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