Post submitted by Deena Fidas, former Director of the Workplace Equality Program
Today, HRC President Chad Griffin delivered the keynote address at the 5th annual Work with Pride summit in Tokyo, Japan. Addressing a crowd of over 500 LGBTQ advocates from multinationals and Japanese companies, he emphasized the power of the private sector to champion equality.
“LGBTQ inclusion across the global private sector is not just good for business,” Griffin said, “in today’s—and most importantly, tomorrow’s—economy, it is absolutely essential.”
For 15 years, the Human Rights Campaign has rated workplaces on their inclusive workplace policies through our Corporate Equality Index (CEI). Today, the CEI is the gold standard for business leaders in the United States, and becoming increasingly popular with their colleagues around the world. Two years ago, we began requiring all top-rated businesses included in the CEI to expand their LGBTQ protections to their global operations. Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, EY, IBM and other mutual partners all work with us to ensure their commitment to inclusion is felt from Mexico City to New York to Tokyo. And, only last year, Japanese companies Panasonic and Sony announced that they would provide equal partnership benefits to their LGBTQ employees.
While in Tokyo, HRC staff met with leaders from across the private sector and civil society, including the LGBT Lawyers and Allies Network, Work with Pride, Good Aging Yells and Tokyo Rainbow Pride. These meetings provided an opportunity to learn from their experience, share HRC’s work and foster increased collaboration.
In 2016, Work with Pride came to HRC with a vision of extending the key framework of the CEI to Japan--a vision they were able to realize later that year. We are looking forward to expanding this relationship with Work With Pride. Through this partnership, we will identify key opportunities across Japanese employers, create new resources and benchmarks and help these leading businesses advance our shared vision for workplace inclusion worldwide.
Such partnerships can have a deep, lasting, human impact. We have already made great strides in Latin America, including a pilot project in Mexico, Equidad MX: Global Workplace Equality, that’s helping to transform major employers there like Pemex.
We are thrilled to be working with Japanese civil society leaders and expanding the global map for equality because an LGBTQ worker in Japan is just as worthy of fairness on the job as any other employee around the world.