As society presses forward on the march toward LGBT equality, some companies are seeing LGBT persons as an opportunity for business growth. While more and more advertising here in the United States will bring out a few ads with LGBT couples, from JC Penny to Wells Fargo, where happy middle aged couples consume the products the store sells, in Asia, this is pushing the envelope and creating a cultural advantage.
IBM is actively trying to garner and cultivate a culture in China that brings LGBT issues to the table, and works to bring understanding and acceptance to the community by bringing not only the community together, but also allowing for LGBT relationships to be seen as healthy and normal by the general public.
In addition to advertising efforts, IBM is working to launch a resource guide every year, which provides a sort of toolkit for those in need of resources.
The efforts of the company are not only directed at the consumers, but on the corporate end as well. IBM has made a concerted effort to hire diversely, and Anthony Tenicela, an advocate for workforce diversity through the company, has made the jump from saying that simply marketing to a subgroup expands the market, but that it also benefits the brand by attracting people who are open minded and who can also work beyond the norms of society.
Dismissing the community entirely would simply destroy the market over time. The way that IBM is approaching LGBT inclusivity into their company by working a bottom up and top down approach means that the ability for the company to change over time will make it a leader in the global economy.
Global economies are rapidly changing and growing, and the inclusion of LGBT people within this growth ultimately becomes another stepping stone forward for LGBT populations in Asia and around the world.
Sources: Campaign Asia
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Mehek Naresh is an Indian American lesbian, living and working in Florida after recently graduating with a Bachelors in Political Science. Her hobbies seeking out small talk with cashiers, reading, and spending more time staring at tumblr than she’d care to admit.