American workers and consumers are more likely to prefer brands that publicly align with LGBTQ causes, according to a new analysis.
More than 51% of US employees who responded to a global survey conducted by public relations firm Edelman between July and August said they were more likely to work for a pro-LGBTQ company, compared to 11%. which he said was less likely.
In a separate Edelman survey conducted in May, 34% of consumers said they were more likely to buy from a brand that expressed support for LGBTQ rights, versus 19% who said they were less likely.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation partnered with Edelman to analyze the survey data and gather LGBTQ-specific information. Survey responses came from 1,000 consumers and 1,000 workers in the US.
The ideas come in a year in which anti-LGBTQ government policy and violence they are on the rise. More than 300 anti-LGBTQ bills have been proposed in state legislatures by 2022 and derogatory misinformation about LGBTQ people has increased by 400% on social media, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
In conversations with his corporate clients, Edelman found that growing hostility toward LGBTQ people has made companies nervous about taking a strong public stance with the LGBTQ community.
“We often see companies ask if they can afford to take a stand in support of LGBTQ issues, and this data shows that, for many companies, they can’t afford not to,” said Lauren Gray, senior vice president from Edelman.
In fact, more than half of Americans expect CEOs to help shape policy around LGBTQ rights, according to the analysis. It found that young shoppers are especially likely to find brands that promise support for the most “relevant” and “relatable” LGBTQ communities. a february Gallup poll reported that one in five members of Generation Z identifies as “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or something other than straight.”
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As a potential recession weighs on executives’ minds, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis acknowledged that some companies might mistakenly view supporting social causes as “non-essential.”
“But if you put the LGBTQ community on hold, it’s going to hurt your bottom line,” Ellis said. “It’s just the numbers. It’s too important to consumers and employees.”
There are brands that want to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community but are afraid not to. make LGBTQ inclusion “right.” A GLAAD survey of 200 advertisers in February found that 61% think there would be more backlash for misrepresenting LGBTQ people than for “not presenting them at all.”
But 64% of non-LGBTQ people and 71% of LGBTQ people said they are more likely to buy from companies that feature LGBTQ people in their ads, according to 2022 GLAAD surveys.
GLAD Project Visibility it is intended to show companies how to speak “correctly and accurately,” Ellis said. “I think it’s important to discern between joining a movement and commercializing a moment.”
Rather than just switch to rainbow packaging during Pride month, Ellis wants corporations to use their economic and political clout to oppose anti-LGBTQ legislation all year long. He also wants companies to prioritize diversity and representation when hiring.
Although this year has brought more corporate doubts about LGBTQ support, some employees and customers have managed to push brands to engage in the conversation in ways that go beyond rainbow logos.
In March, Disney faced criticism of their own employees for the company’s initial silence on Florida legislation that prohibited elementary education on sexual orientation and gender identity. Soon after, then-CEO Bob Chapek Announced that the company would donate $5 million to LGBTQ support organizations and pledged to help repeal Florida’s anti-LGBTQ policies.
Since his return as Disney CEO last month, Bob Iger has spoken about the company’s commitment to supporting LGBTQ communities. The entertainment giant has also released productions this year, including “Lightyear” and “Strange World,” which highlight same-sex romance.
“When you look at times when there’s a confrontation between the LGBTQ community and businesses, the businesses that stand up for LGBTQ people are the ones that win,” Ellis said. “I don’t think you can be a consumer-oriented product in the 21st century and not have this as your priority.”