Fierce or Fail: A 2018 LGBT Business Mid-Year Review

Evan Urbania
June 27, 2018

We’re halfway through 2018 and smack in the middle of pride month where we celebrate LGBT accomplishments and put a spotlight on the fights ahead. From a business perspective, we’ve had a series of fierce wins, a few fails, and some exciting things to look forward to.

Let’s review some of the big ones:

FIERCE: LGBT businesses contribute $1.7 trillion to the US economy.

A report released in 2018 valued the economic impact of America’s LGBT business at $1.7 trillion dollars. Yes, trillion. They also employ an estimated 33,000 people. LGBT business are also increasingly diverse and representative of more inclusive voices. No wonder big corporations are increasingly buying from us! But….

FAIL: Nearly half of LGBTQ employees remain closeted at work.

A recent study showed that discrimination and workplace rights are not moving in the right direction. 46% of LGBTQ workers say they are closeted at work, compared to 50% in 2008.

1-in-5 LGBTQ workers report having been told or had coworkers imply that they should dress in a more feminine or masculine manner. It may be time for us to launch an Out & Equal fundraising movement!

FAIL: The Supreme Court ruled in support of the Colorado baker who denied a same-sex couple service.

While this does not set a precedent for this type of discrimination, the recent ruling does send a message and undermines equality movement efforts across the country and across the business advocacy ecosystem.

FIERCE: Supplier diversity is growing.

Across the country, more and more organizations are accepting LGBT business certification as part of their diverse supply spend. In Philadelphia, The University of Pennsylvania continues to trailblaze and set standards for diversity and inclusion (including ChatterBlast) in academia. Efforts are also underway to include LGBTBEs in the City of Philadelphia procurement process, paving the way for more businesses to start and move into the city.

FIERCE BONUS: 1,300 LGBT businesses and corporate representatives come to Philadelphia in August of 2018.

A big win for Philadelphia, NGLCC’s International Business & Leadership Conference happens August 14-17. Over 1,300 attendees will be part of key business discussions, networking events, matchmaking sessions and educational workshops (with one hosted by ChatterBlast!). Major corporations from across the world and national entrepreneurs will mingle with decision-makers and leaders of all types.

We plan on hosting the VVIP After Party with performances by the ChatterBlast Quartet and DJ Bitey The Raccoon. Be there!