With sponsorship from Goldman Sachs and IBM, Community Business is producing a resource guide to help companies create inclusive workplaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees in China. In addition to showcasing best practice, this guide will provide a set of recommendations on what companies can do to address the needs of their LGBT employees.
LGBT in China
Being one of the biggest economies of the world, China’s strong domestic demand and strategic outbound investment has cemented China’s influence over businesses, investors and communities across the world. Multinational companies across a wide range of sectors have established significant presence in China, with some moving global headquarters to major cities, for example Shanghai, to leverage the proximity to their key markets in Asia. Home-grown Chinese businesses and joint ventures have flourished in both size and competitiveness in major industries such as technology, telecommunications, utilities and insurance.
As companies in China continue to operate and compete in a globalized and interconnected world, the need for companies to distinguish themselves as industry leaders means that there is an increasing need for driving innovation, diversity of thought and better corporate governance.
Despite significant changes in social attitudes towards LGBT individuals, sexual orientation and gender identity remain sensitive subjects in both society and, even more so, in the workplace. There is an assumption of heterosexuality – few people are openly gay and there is enormous family pressure to get married and maintain the family line.
However, a more active civil society has emerged in the last decade or so, with organizations serving and advocating for the rights of LGBT individuals and their families sprinkled across this vast country. Access to the internet, an active social media scene and an increasingly curious and open-minded media has also been pivotal in changing the LGBT landscape in China. Whether companies in China can withstand the winds of change or will lead the way toward a more equal workplace and society remains to be seen.
Community Business believes that companies in China have ample opportunities to create positive change. They are delighted to have the opportunity to work with their partners to facilitate greater understanding on this topic in China and drive the adoption of best practice with regard to creating more inclusive workplaces for LGBT employees. The publication of their forthcoming LGBT Resource Guide for China is a key step in this regard.
- Executive Summary available in English and Simplified Chinese
- Resources Guide (full version) available in English and Simplified Chinese
- Message from Sponsors: available here.