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Building LGBT-Inclusive Companies from the Inside, Out


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In 29 states, it is legal for employees to be fired because of their sexual orientation, and in 38 states, it is legal to terminate employees based on gender identity. While countless LGBT professionals continue to live in fear of losing their jobs just for being who they are, GLAAD is working to promote LGBT-inclusive employment protections in the media and inside companies across America.

GLAAD is expanding our work to offer Inclusive Workplace trainings that provide companies with resources to ensure all employees are accepted, respected and valued for who they are. GLAAD provides employees with terminology guides that help educate personnel about how to address LGBT co-workers and encourages allies to voice their support for their LGBT colleagues.

Companies are also beginning to understand the importance of including LGBT people in their marketing efforts. Community Marketing, a marketing group that helps companies connect with LGBT consumers, reports that LGBT people make up 5 to 10 percent of the United States' consumer market, with an estimated buying power of $743 billion. As more and more companies begin to realize that buying potential, they are also beginning to appeal to LGBT consumers through ads.

In an Advertising Week first, New York's 2010 Ad Week was host to two LGBT panels. The first, held by GLAAD and Publicis Groupe, invited marketers to get a better understanding of LGBT consumers and hear from advertisers who are already successfully working in creating LGBT-inclusive campaigns. Panelists included representatives from cable channel LOGO, Microsoft, American Airlines and Prime Access. The second event, a council led by the Advertising Research Foundation, addressed how to reach LGBT people in a fair and accurate way that both demonstrates a company's support for LGBT people while simultaneously appealing to the community's buying power.

Acknowledging the LGBT community at events like Advertising Week is essential, especially at a time when advertisers continue to fall behind other media when it comes to sharing images of LGBT people.

"Now, more than ever, Americans expect to see images of LGBT people on TV and in film," said GLAAD's Senior Director of Media Programs, Rashad Robinson. "Advertisers are falling behind that standard and missing invaluable opportunities to engage our community and demonstrate their support for full equality."

GLAAD's annual Media Awards in Advertising promote inclusive images in the advertising industry as we continue to advocate for increased inclusion of LGBT people in advertising campaigns.

GLAAD's work to amplify LGBT voices in the media is complemented by the resources we continue to offer local and national companies looking to create safer spaces for LGBT employees. At GLAAD, we know that when companies promote inclusion from the inside, they will start to promote inclusion outside.

more publications

Where We Are on TV Report 2013

The Where We Are on TV report analyzes the diversity of primetime scripted series regulars on broadcast networks and looks at the number of LGBT characters on cable networks.

Download the full report

Download the Spirit Day Kit - #SpiritDay

This kit will help you engage the participation of your friends, colleagues, local media and public officials. By spreading the word about Spirit Day, you can help turn your local community purple in a stand against bullying and in a show of support for LGBT youth.

2013 Studio Responsibility Index

The first annual GLAAD Studio Responsibility Index (SRI) maps the quantity, quality and diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in films released by six major motion picture studios during the 2012 calendar year. GLAAD researched films released by 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Sony Columbia, Universal Pictures, The Walt Disney Studios and Warner Brothers. The report is intended to serve as a road map toward increasing fair, accurate and inclusive LGBT film representations.

Frequently Asked Questions: Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

Answers to the most commonly asked questions about the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act," what it does, and what the legal challenges to it are.

Frequently Asked Questions about ENDA

Click here for spokespeople who can speak about ENDA

What is ENDA?

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) bill introduced in congress would extend the current non-discrimination law to include sexual orientation and gender identity, making it illegal to refuse to hire or promote, fire, or harass an employee based on these qualities. The current version of the law outlaws workplace discrimination on the basis of race, skin color, religion, sex, and national origin.