Strategy & Leadership

Pride and prejudice: The future of advocacy

May 24, 2018


May 24, 2018

Michael Gold

Managing editor

Michael is a managing editor at Economist Impact. Although Michael has roots in Montreal, he grew up in Palo Alto, California and attended Yale University, where he majored in anthropology. Prior to joining the Economist Group, Michael was a correspondent for Reuters in Taipei, where he covered the technology sector. He has also worked in Beijing and is fluent in Mandarin. 


Pride and prejudice: the future of advocacy explores the changing environment for and attitudes toward corporate advocacy in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights.

This report, the third in an annual series of Economist Intelligence Unit studies addressing the business and economic case for global LGBT diversity and inclusion (D&I), assesses the future prospects for corporate advocacy in the LGBT space, given the perils that face proponents of the liberal, open-minded worldview that underpins LGBT equality. Based on a survey of over 1,000 business leaders worldwide, it finds that although some companies still prioritise LGBT advocacy, the recent rapid social progress in LGBT acceptance that is both cause and effect of this advocacy should not be taken for granted. The key findings are:

  • Nearly half of respondents believe companies will become more prominent as agents of progress for LGBT rights in future; however, only a third say their own companies will devote more resources to LGBT advocacy, compared with today
  • Although companies with established public positions on LGBT rights are not likely to reverse course, companies that remain “in the shadows” on this issue are likely to stay there
  • Future expectations for various types of advocacy activities are concentrated in North America and Europe, while other regions, where LGBT rights are less entrenched, lag
  • Companies that engage in pro-LGBT advocacy perform better on various measures of business competitiveness compared with their peers, based on self-reported factors
  • Though LGBT issues continue to play a role in political outcomes around the world, few believe the public will demand more progress on this issue versus other rights debates like gender and race and ethnicity

Read the report | Watch highlight video | More about Pride and Prejudice

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