By Jose M Granados
Public opinion and support for LGBTQ rights have tipped to the positive side, even in Bakersfield and Kern County. The latest surveys and polls show that nearly half of Americans and 64% of those who identify as LGBT allies say they are more likely to spend money with businesses that are LGBT inclusive – see “Being LGBT Inclusive Is Good for Business, Survey Finds” on Fortune.com and “Why Many Businesses Are Becoming More Vocal In Support of LGBTQ Rights” on hbr.org.
Clearly, welcoming all customers, including LGBTQ and their allies, can have a wide range of economic impacts for your business, the city and the community - from recruiting educated and talented employees to the ability for the city to attract corporate investment, tourism, conventions and major events. In a 2016 poll, nearly 50% of American meeting planners said they would avoid planning events in places that pass anti-LGBTQ legislation. Since then, several business coalitions have popped up around the nation making the economic case for nondiscrimination, inclusion and diversity.
As the general support for LGBTQ grows, so does the economic incentives for companies to position themselves in sync with that growing sentiment. Embracing inclusion and diversity is not just ethically and morally right, it is also good for business. Being LGBTQ-friendly makes your company more profitable. Is your company ready to create an inclusive environment for your team and customers? Is your business ready to tap the growing LGBTQ market? If you are, great! If you are not, help is here. Reach out to The Center for Sexually & Gender Diversity and they will walk you through the process of how to become an LGBTQ friendly business and how to tap into the growing LGBTQ market segments. Either way, you should attend the next abOUT Kern business mixer, a professional networking event for LGBTQ+ people and allies. The event is Thursday, April 4, 2019 5pm – 7pm, at California State University, Bakersfield, Stockdale Room, 9001 Stockdale Hwy, Bakersfield, CA 93311 – download the flyer below for details. The event is free and open to everyone.
LGBTQ stands for Lesbian, Gay, bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning
Jose M Granados
is a longtime member of the Bakersfield community and a member of the Board of Directors at The Center for Sexually & Gender Diversity. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.