Showing posts with label Gay Trade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Trade. Show all posts

June 26, 2019

A Corporate Strategist Explains Why LGBT Inclusivity Matters


WHO HE IS Founder and principal, Out Leadership
2018 REVENUE $3 million
GREW UP Hickory, North Carolina
RESIDES Hell's Kitchen
EDUCATION Bachelor's in English, Duke University
by Judith Messina

NO NAMES "You don't make progress by calling people bigots or by shaming or naming. No company or person is perfect, and every company has its own journey. We believe in the power of positive intent."

PLANS FOR WORLD PRIDE 2019, JUNE 30 "Celebrating the progress LGBT+ people have made with friends and colleagues from Out Leadership's member companies."

The founder of Out Leadership, a B corp and strategic advisory and membership organization, Todd Sears works with global corporate leaders helping them recruit LGBT talent and create inclusive cultures. The firm's membership includes 68 companies such as American Express, Bloomberg and Citigroup. Among its initiatives are Out on the Street and Out in Law; OutNext, a leadership-development program; Quorum, which advances the case for openly LGBT directors on corporate boards; and OutWomen, a networking effort for senior women in business.

You say that diversity should not be human resources' job. Why?

If something gets relegated to HR, it sometimes gets deprioritized and becomes a compliance exercise. Talent is the single largest business and innovation driver a company has and, for a business leader, it should be the No. 1 thing to focus on. HR should be in a supportive role. The business has to own it.

How do you keep diversity management from being an exercise in quotas?

It's how you measure it. Every major company has engagement surveys. I encourage them to slice them by gender and ethnicity and see differences in engagement in different populations. You have to understand corporate culture and what is preventing you from retaining or hiring women, for example. Not every company needs to be 50% women. That's "check the box." It's more about opportunity and needs, business climate and business objectives.

Four regional surveys publicly rank corporations on LGBT inclusivity. Why did you start your own survey? 

I wanted to build something that is global, benchmark-able and private to the companies so that they are more willing to share. The goal of the survey is not to get 100%. In a pilot with 10 of our global corporate members, the highest score was 66% and the lowest, 24%. The goal is to identify gaps and opportunities. It's more about improving internal culture so that it's better for employees and clients.

You recently launched CEO briefs based on your LGBT Business Climate Index. What did you find?

The full research will be available in September. There is some really interesting preliminary data, such as the data on "covering," which is when employees in a workplace hide an aspect of their identity to fit in. It's important because when someone is covering, they are not being authentic and are using a lot of energy.

What have you achieved so far with Quorum, your effort to help companies recruit LGBT board members?

Quorum has three prongs: getting companies to understand that LGBT is included in the definition of board diversity, identifying potential directors and making sure they are prepared and creating market demand. When we started, only two companies in the Fortune 500 included LGBT in their diversity definition. In the past two years, seven multinational companies changed policies, and the total is now nine. At least four more are working on it this year.

How do you help firms identify potential directors?

We've created a database of almost 1,000 senior LGBT leaders who have created profiles to be considered for boards, and we are working with pension funds and private-equity funds to create the demand. When a company says it matters, we say, "Here they are."

January 3, 2012

Kenya } Gay Men Targeted for Gulf Sex Trade

Promised jobs and a better future, many Kenyan men are tricked into sex abuse traps. (Image source:

Promised jobs and a better future, many Kenyan men are tricked into sex abuse traps. (Image source: "")

 Being gay in the Middle East is taboo. Crackdowns in Arab countries against homosexuals is common and swift, with many countries employing the death penalty against convicted homosexuals.
Now, a new report published by Identity, a gay magazine in Kenya, reveals that gay Kenyan men are being trafficked into the Gulf as sex slaves for the wealthy.
The report alleges that gay and bisexual men are lured from university campuses – particularly from Kenyatta University – with promises of high-paying jobs and then transported to labor as sex workers for men in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
According to the magazine, due to Kenya’s soaring unemployment rate, the men are easily fooled into this trap.
The publication interviewed one Kenyan victim who was promised a job in Qatar but ended up suffering sexual abuse.
Qatar specifically, has no laws against human trafficking, which has made cracking down on the practice nearly impossible.
“Qatar is a transit and destination country for men and women subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and, to a much lesser extent, forced prostitution,” the US State Department stated in a recent report.
“Men and women from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Sudan, Thailand, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and China voluntarily travel to Qatar as laborers and domestic servants, but some subsequently face conditions indicative of involuntary servitude. These conditions include threats of serious physical or financial harm; job switching; the withholding of pay; charging workers for benefits for which the employer is responsible; restrictions on freedom of movement, including the confiscation of passports and travel documents and the withholding of exit permits; arbitrary detention; threats of legal action and deportation; false charges; and physical, mental, and sexual abuse.”
In the Emirates, while being openly gay is illegal, the community has blossomed in recent years. Mark, a gay Canadian man, told that “the community has increased dramatically and people are more willing, and accepting, of the LGBT community here.”
But he said the report that Kenyan men are being used as sex slaves is “not surprising.”
“We have seen a  of the elite and super wealthy want to be gay, but that would go against their traditions, so instead they often marry and then hire or do this kind of thing,  to have their real desires met. It is a problem of society not opening up to the gay lifestyle and forcing it to the background,” he argued.
By Sharifa Ghanem  

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