AllyUp: How Business Leaders Can Win the LGBT+ Ally Marketplace

Todd Sears
Out Leadership Founder and CEO Todd Sears

Out Leadership, the premier global network for LGBT+ business leaders and companies, today announced the upcoming launch of their Ally Research study: AllyUp: How Business Leaders Can Win the LGBT+ Ally Marketplace.

This first-of-its-kind research study was completed in collaboration with Out Leadership member firms FCB Global and Ernst & Young LLP (EY) over the past 18 months. This piece of groundbreaking research will be launched on June 25th, 2020 as part of Out Leadership‘s month of pride events, “Proudly Resilient.”

Out Leadership Founder and CEO Todd Sears said, “This research shows us that allyship is lacking palpable action in the workplace. We at Out Leadership are calling on business leaders in all industries to make allyship active and visible in their workplaces.” Though a majority of those surveyed identified as allies, 66% of LGBT+ employees say that they cover their identity at least some of the time or in front of some coworkers or clients. How can that workplace be one that fosters authenticity?

AllyUp looks to understand the impact of allyship on the experience of LGBT+ individuals in the workplace and unpacks the inconsistency between identification and action when it comes to allyship. Only 45% of self-identified supporters actively protect their LGBT+ colleagues.

This needs to change. Allies are an important and influential component and our previous research finds that 78% of LGBT+ people and their friends, family, and relatives would switch to brands that are known to be LGBT+ friendly1. When LGBT+ colleagues are supported, business thrives.

In April this year, Out Leadership and their partners conducted additional data gathering and analysis to add the impact of work-from-home on both allyship and the LGBT+ population to the AllyUp report.

This additional research looked to understand how LGBT+ individuals feel when we virtually let people into our homes, and whether allies continue to prioritize making their workplaces safe and affirming. Encouraging data shows that 93% of those surveyed believe their companies will return to work as committed or more committed to equality in the workplace. However, allies’ perception of their companies’ inclusiveness differs to that of their LGBT+ colleagues: straight allies view their companies as more inclusive by over 10% compared to the view of their LGBT+ counterparts. Our LGBT+ colleagues are not experiencing the safety and inclusion that their straight ally colleagues perceive.

The findings of this research inspires both hope and a need for action. The full report will be available on June 25th. The virtual launch event will give Out Leadership, FCB Global, and EY the opportunity to share the data and discuss the collective call to action for allies in the workplace.