WEF says LGBTQ inclusive policies are key to economic success

The World Economic Forum believes that LGBTQ+ inclusion policies are the key to economic success and a panel of speakers at this year’s meeting in Davos gave some insights into the WEF stance on the issue.

Mia Ashton Montreal QC

The World Economic Forum has claimed that LGBTQ+ inclusion policies are the key to economic success and hosted a panel of speakers at this year’s meeting in Davos to make their point.

In the discussion titled Beyond the Rainbow: Advancing LGBTQI+ Rights, high-profile LBGTQ activists took the opportunity to criticize the US for so-called "anti-LGBTQ" bills, legislaton that actually seeks to ban doctors from performing experimental sex changes on minors, as well as bills to protect female sports. Others aim to protect the safety of women and girls by upholding their right to single-sex spaces.

Sarah Kate Ellis, President of GLAAD, took aim at what she called "anti-LGBTQ" bills that she says are mostly "targeting trans youth," and said that her organization had "worked with a lot of corporates behind the scenes to call in those states to say… I'm gonna pull business. I need safe places for my employees in the United States."

The idea that LGBTQ inclusion policies are economically beneficial stems from the WEF’s insistence that businesses should focus on "stakeholder capitalism" rather than the more traditional shareholder capitalism. 

In the stakeholder capitalism model, companies must allocate resources to environmental and social issues alongside striving to be profitable. The WEF argues that being LGBTQ-inclusive is the secret to economic success in a post-pandemic world, as inclusive cities are claimed to be more innovative and attractive to young, creative minds.

Sharon Marcil, of Boston Consulting Group (BCG), said her company has enhanced "gender-affirming care" coverage and made "an enhancement in terms of inclusiveness in fertility." This includes company coverage for surrogacy.

Tirana Hassan, Interim Director at Human Rights Watch, said that "LGBT rights… are actually becoming signs of modernity," and are becoming "a new battleground."

Fahd Jamaleddine connected the "queer struggle" to struggles of immigrant workers, women around the world, and the Palestinians.


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