OutBuro Voices 1-24 Fabrice Houdart LGBTQ equality corporate responsibity professionals pinkwashing lgbt

Fabrice Houdart: LGBTQ Equality & Corporate Responsibility

In this episode host, Dennis Velco chats with Fabrice Houdart about LGBTQ equality and corporate responsibility. Fabrice has had a fascinating career championing for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer rights and equality. Currently, he is the Managing Director, Global Equality Initiatives at Out Leadership.

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Fabrice Houdart LGBTQ equality and rights champion

Fabrice Houdart was previously Human Rights Officer at the United Nations in New York, and for the past four years, he worked on Free & Equal, an unprecedented United Nations campaign for LGBTI equality. He co-authored and led the United Nations Global LGBTI standards of conduct for Business, the largest corporate social responsibility initiative on LGBTI issues in the World. To date, more than 270 of the largest companies in the world have expressed support for the initiative. From 2001 – 2016, Fabrice was Senior Country Officer at the World Bank. At the Bank, he authored economic development analyses on Yemen, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Tunisia and provided contributions to the 2012 Gender World Development Report (WDR) and the 2011 Conflict, Security, and Development WDR. He holds a B.A. in economics and management from Dauphine University in Paris and an MBA from American University in DC. Fabrice volunteers on the Board of Outright Action International, Housing Works, the NYC Gay Men’s Chorus, Alturi, the KindRED Pride Foundation, Witness to Mass Incarceration, and the Institute of Current World Affairs (ICWA). In 2019, he received the Golden Gate Business Association Award, the IGLTA Pioneer Award, and the Alan Turing LGTBIQ Award for his work on LGBTI rights. He was ranked 2nd by Yahoo Finance among LGBTI public sector executives globally in their 2019 Outstanding list. He was interviewed by The Economist, quoted in the New York Times, Foreign Policy Magazine, and The Guardian on issues pertaining to the human rights of LGBTIQ people. He lives in New York City with twin sons 6-year old Maxime and Eitan.

Connect with Fabrice on OutBüro https://www.outburo.com/profile/fabricehoudart/

  • 01:00 Fabrice Houdart’s introduction – exploration at the World Bank how LGBTQ rights impact the economic development of businesses and the economies of countries
  • 02:45 Joins the Office of High Commissioner on Human Rights at the United Nations in 2016
  • 00:30 Describes how he works toward helping corporations to understand LGBTQ rights
  • 06:30 Explains how children suffer by not being able to be themselves with family and at school
  • 11:00 Corporations and employers have a rare opportunity to have a positive impact on society
  • 14:00 Only around 17,000 persons in the US gives more than $1,000 a year to support LGBTQ non-profits
  • 16:00 LGBTQ rights are the “canary in the coal mine” for broader human rights issues
  • 17:00 How the employees/public/consumers/investors play a role in influencing employers/companies
  • 18:00 The current struggle between conscience social responsibility versus only focused on profit over all else
  • 23:00 The complexity of companies can be confusing where they can be leaders in one area while in other areas seem quite opposite.
  • 26:15 Examples
  • 27:00 The LGBTQ equality footprint is Pro-LGBTQ support minus anti-LGBT support.
  • 29:30 OutBuro LGBTQ employer ratings have the potential to be an impact for good where all win
  • 30:15 Boycotts have little impact I immediately, but can have a significant impact over time affecting the growth
  • 33:00 Using your power to affect change
  • 36:00 Having a lot of LGBTQ employees is not a direct indication of the employer’s LGBTQ equality
  • 37:30 LGBTQ in management and at the board level. In the US total of 5670 Fortune board seats. Of those only 24 out LGBTQ persons and a few are overlapping by the same people.
  • 39:45 Must be careful to not allow LGBTQ equality to mask other social responsibility issues
  • 42:00 As LGBTQ is our responsibility to leverage our strength to affect positive change supporting everyone and our environment.

Join Martin on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online community network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, a.lies and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com

Would you like to be featured like this? Contact the host Dennis Velco. https://www.outburo.com/profile/dennisvelco/

Queer staff network Berlin Dr Franz Markus Loew LGBTQ professionals of Employer Corporate ERG Employee Resource Groups OutBuro (1)

Queer Staff Network Berlin with Dr. Markus Loew

In this episode, host Dennis Velco, chats with Dr. Markus Loew about the Queer Staff Network of Berlin. Dr. Loew describes the group as an LGBTQ professional network of networks. It is a coming together of all the LGBTQ employee resource groups (ERGs) from all corporate employers with offices operating in Berlin. They have 3-4 meeting a year in where they discuss issues, strategies, opportunities, collaborate and share to advance lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer equality, workplaces belonging, career advancement, and how to assist their employers to be a better citizen in the LGBTQ community at large. Join the Queer Staff Network of Berlin group on OutBüro: https://www.outburo.com/community/groups/queer-staff-network-berlin/

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OutBuro on Breaker Podcasts - LGBTQ Entrepreneures Professionals Leaders Community Careers LBGT Corporate Equality Ratings Employer Workplace Reviews
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OutBuro on Radio Public - LGBTQ Entrepreneures Professionals Leaders Community Careers LBGT Corporate Equality Ratings Employer Workplace Reviews
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OutBuro on happiTV - LGBTQ Entrepreneures Professionals Leaders Community Careers LBGT Corporate Equality Ratings Employer Workplace Review
OutBuro Voices on YouTube - LGBT professionals glbt entrepreneurs gay business startup lesbian leaders community interviews

We’d love your text comments at the bottom of each show episode page asking questions of me, our guests, and interacting with other commenters.

We also have the feature where you may “call-in” and leave a recorded message. Your recorded message may be used in future episodes and requires a simple registration on the podcast platform

  • 01:00 Introduction of Queer Staff Network of Berlin
  • 05:00 Discusses the new direction to expand to LGBTQ entrepreneurs
  • 06:30 Advocating Corporate Supplier Diversity a mutual benefit
  • 13:00 Leveraging www.OutBuro.com for Employer ERGs through online groups
  • 14:20 Questions for companies – are you maximizing the opportunities?
  • 18:00 A company thought they were in the LGBTQ consumer market, yet was not positioned well
  • 19:00 Inclusion and diversity with authenticity can lead to opportunity
  • 24:15 Pinkwashing – Bad for corporate image and business – be authentic – example

Connect with Dr. Markus Loew on OutBüro: https://www.outburo.com/profile/marku…

Currently, Germany has one LGBTQ chamber of commerce located in Köln (Cologne). The Queer Staff Network of Berlin is bridging the lack of a formal LGBTQBerlin Chamber of Commerce to invite local and regional small and medium LGBTQ entrepreneurs to join the group. They are mentoring the business owners on how to do business with the large corporations, what products and services are needed and how the LGBTQ owned businesses can participate in the procurement process and hopefully win the contracts. On the inside, the corporate members of the Queer Staff Network of Berlin are raising awareness of the need and value of supplier diversity. They are internal champions for the small and medium LGBTQ owned businesses. It is a “Hey Dir of Procurement, we use/need X, and here’s an LGBTQ owned business that can supply that for us”. This level of collaboration, commitment, mentorship, and advocacy is a bright shining example of DOING IT RIGHT! APPLAUSE!

Join Markus on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online community network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, allies and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com

Would you like to be featured like this? Contact the host Dennis Velco. https://www.outburo.com/profile/denni…

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LGBTQ Corporate Equality Overview

LGBTQ corporate equality is the fair and equal treatment of LGBTQ employees by their employers. It can also be more broadly called LGBTQ workplace equality to be inclusive of all employer types. It is achieved when LGBTQ employees are able to access and enjoy the same rewards, resources, and opportunities without regard to sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Many studies around the world have clearly demonstrated the benefit of supporting LGBTQ corporate equality.  In summary, the studies demonstrate that championing LGBTQ workplace equality improves employee morale, increases productivity, improves LGBTQ employee and customer loyalty, employee engagement, increased creativity and problem solving and team/customer/client interaction all leading to a proven increase in the financial performance of the organization. Also, see “What is LGBTQ Corporate Equality“.

Most western countries worldwide have made significant progress towards LGBTQ equality in recent decades. However, not enough. For example, as the writing of this article, the United States is still a patchwork at the state level where half the state does not offer full legal protection for their LGBTQ citizens.  A study from the University of Surrey found that LGBT people less likely to be hired, paid less, and not promoted.

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LGBTQ Corporate Equality Indexes

The concept was spurred by several LGBTQ rights organizations seeing that government laws to protect LGBTQ persons at work and beyond were not moving at the desired pace. Led by the USA there are several others around the globe who model themselves after the US index. These organizations decided to focus on primarily large fortune 1000 level corporations to provide guidance and scoring index of those companies’ LGBTQ friendly policies, benefits and business practices such as having the following in place:

  • Sexual orientation non-discrimination
  • Gender Identity and Gender Expression non-discrimination
  • Domestic Partner Benefits
  • Transgender inclusive healthcare benefits
  • LGBTQ awareness education for all employees
  • Requiring the same level of policies and benefits in vendors/contractors
  • LGBTQ employee resource group
  • Proactive LGBTQ candidate recruiting

There are some pros and cons to such rating indexes. The primary ones are they are limited to only Fortune 1000 usually and are self-reported with no employee input about the actual work environment and work culture. Check out “LGBTQ Corporate Equality Ratings – A New Approach for All Employers“. For any employer wishing to start or enhance their current LGBTQ workplace equality efforts check out “6 Steps – Enhance LGBT Workplace Equality

Does Implementing LGBTQ workplace equality have a cost?

Sure there is some employer expense in providing equal benefits. As mentioned above the organization will benefit financially which will offset those costs. Again, many studies around the world have clearly demonstrated the benefit of doing so. It is also is a risk mitigation by creating a welcoming environment with clear non-discrimination policies thus reducing the opportunity of future LGBTQ discrimination and harassment lawsuits. Simply, it’s the right thing to do.

Want to learn more?

Check out the following articles to learn more: