Taking a Moral Stance

“When I get approached by local press, I want to talk about how inclusive my company is; not a new promotion or product.”

When we talked to larger companies about their LGBT-inclusionary practices, most of them concentrated on market or business-based justification, including employee retention, public sentiment, or economic performance, in addition to the need to do the right thing. 

Nearly every one of the smaller companies started their conversations with us by saying they pursued it because it was the right thing to do. They take it as a point of pride to be providing inclusive environments for their staff and being seen as inclusive within their communities. Some had even made hard decisions to do so, including losing clients or staff. 

We found that what kept small business owners from going deeper into a moral imperative was a lack of information on how to do it. This not only slowed down efforts to do more, but instilled in many of them a “fear of getting it wrong.” The same sentimentality that drove them to do the right thing was being stymied by another emotional fear of not approaching the challenges effectively or authentically. 

And that leads us to the factor that distinguishes small from large companies the most.