LGBT equality means business in Florida, nationwide

Equality Florida's CEO, Nadine Smith, penned an article for the Tampa Tribune exploring the concept behind Equality Florida Institute's new project's name--Equality Means Business.

In the piece, "In Florida, the bottom line is equality means business," Nadine wrote:

Every company on Fortune magazine’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” includes sexual orientation in their nondiscrimination policy. More than half of these companies have now added gender identity.

Economist Richard Florida’s research revealed a strong correlation between economically thriving cities and the existence of strong, inclusive anti-discrimination policies.

“Members of the creative class — the 40 million workers, a third of the American workforce — the scientists and engineers, innovator and entrepreneurs, researchers and academics, architects and designers, artists, entertainers and media types and professionals in business, management, health care and law who power economic growth — place a huge premium on diversity. In fact, they use it as a proxy to determine whether a city will provide a welcoming and stimulating environment for them,” wrote Florida.

In 2008, the Knight Foundation and Gallup dug deeper into the topic of diversity and talent in their groundbreaking study “The Soul of the Community.” After interviewing close to 43,000 people in 26 communities over three years, the study found that three main qualities attach people to place: social offerings, such as entertainment venues and places to meet; openness (how welcoming a place is); and the area’s aesthetics (its physical beauty and green spaces).

Researchers learned the communities with highest levels of resident attachment — a person’s passion for where he or she lives — also had the highest rates of GDP growth over time.

Equality Means Business is now a project of Equality Florida Institute with the goal of improving Florida’s national and international reputation as a welcoming and inclusive state to live, work and visit.

Read the full piece here.