In October of last year, Credit Suisse became a trailblazer in the corporate world with the launch of their first-ever LGBT Equality Index, which measures the economic impact on companies that support and implement LGBT-inclusive policies. Along with the index, the financial services provider also rolled out the Credit Suisse LGBT Equality Portfolio, the first of its kind and currently the only investment tool tied to the index that allows clients to invest directly to a pool of companies that are committed to LGBT inclusion in their corporate policies.
The creation of the index was a natural extension of the findings from the Williams Institute’s report on “The Business Impact of LGBT-Supportive Workplace Policies,” a study which Credit Suisse helped sponsor. The purpose of the Williams Institute study was to determine if LGBT-inclusive policies actually produced the intended benefits, and if so, whether the benefits had an impact on the bottom line. The report found the policies that were fully-inclusive of LGBT employees were linked to “greater job commitment, improved workplace relationships, increased job satisfaction, improved health outcomes, and increased productivity,” which in turn lead to positive business outcomes.
Credit Suisse’s equity-focused index only drew from companies that received a rating of 80 or above on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index, the national benchmarking system on corporate policies, practices and benefits as they relate to LGBT employees. The firm’s LGBT Equality Index concluded there was no negative economic impact of implementing LGBT-inclusive policies, showing investment returns of 16.4 percent this year, and a return of 20.3 percent over three years. The bottom line: striving toward a full framework of diversity and inclusion in the workplace is both pro-LGBT and pro-business.