The Economist Events Pride And Prejudice Summit Brings Influencers On LGBT Rights Together Across The Globe
Latest Update:
28 th March, 2017

The 24-Hour Event Spanned Hong Kong, London and New York, Catalyzing a Fresh Discussion on LGBT Diversity and Inclusion

 

We are proud to be the Hong Kong PR partner of The Economist's second annual Pride and Prejudice Summit, held March 23, 2017, the Economist Events sparked important conversation around LGBT diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Key speakers at the event included a variety of statesmen, including Chilean President Michelle Bachelet Jeria, business leaders such as Mike Pedersen, president and CEO of TD Bank, and public figures like actress and activist Amber Heard. The outspoken LGBT advocate Heard closed out the New York portion of the event, which was the end of the three-day summit.

 

The event also marked the unveiling of Pride & Prejudice: Agents of change, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) groundbreaking research around the status of LGBT people in the business world. The report aligned to many of the topics being debated at the summit, and it was based on a global survey of over 1,000 professionals.

 

Here are some highlights of the conversation that transpired during the summit.

 

In London, Robyn Exton, founder and CEO of Her, said, “Millennials want authenticity from their employers, which means inclusivity of the LGBT community.” While Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel noted, “I think business leaders have a huge responsibility to show that your business is gay-friendly.” And Mark Anderson, executive vice president of Virgin Atlantic Airways, was adamant in his support: “For our colleagues who work in countries that aren’t friendly to LGBT people, it’s critically important to make sure they know that their working environment is exactly the same as it would be in the U.K. We cannot operate in these countries with LGBT colleagues and do nothing.”

 

In Hong Kong, Michael Gold, EIU editor and author of the Pride and Prejudice: Agents of change report, put forth that “we look to company leaders to set the culture, but there is a disconnect in thinking between the C-suite and the broader company.” Wanda Tung, general counsel for Asia ex-Japan, Nomura, believes that “we need to send the message that LGBT employees are cared for by senior managers.” And Parmesh Shahani, head of Godrej India Culture Lab, was enthusiastic when he said, “It’s not the time to be incremental. It’s the time to take a leap of faith.”

 

The conversation in New York was inspirational, as well. Anilu Vazquez-Ubarri, chief diversity officer and global head of talent at Goldman Sachs, had this to say: “Even in a big organization, you have to be in constant dialogue with people and make sure that the message of diversity is alive and long-lasting. That’s what we strive for at Goldman Sachs.” Dawn Smith, senior vice president and chief legal officer at VMware, advocated to “lead by example, be authentic and let people know that they can be who they are.” And Heard had this to say about the entertainment industry: “Hollywood has a lot of catching up to do in order to remain relevant to the mainstream of society.”

 

Throughout the event, #EconPride was one of the top trending hashtags on Twitter.

 

EIU’s analysis of the survey findings has led to the creation of a suggested framework for achieving positive change for LGBT employees through three workplace groups: C-suite leaders, young people and women.

 

For more information on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Pride & Prejudice: Agents of change, visit www.eiu.com.

                                                                                                                                                                  

For more information and updates on the Pride and Prejudice initiative, visit the content hub where we aim to advance the global discussion on LGBT diversity and inclusion, particularly by focusing on the economic and business costs of LGBT discrimination and the profitable opportunities that lie in overcoming it. The hub is home to this conversation throughout the year, providing lively editorial, original research and reporting, high-quality content from the Economist Group’s publications and channels, and original thought leadership posts. Visit prideandprejudice.economist.com.

Latest Update:
28 th March, 2017