Zero Philippine companies are LGBTI-inclusive, survey finds


Zero Philippine companies are LGBTI-inclusive, survey finds

The Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce launches its report on LGBTI inclusivity in businesses (Photo: Facebook)

There are zero LGBTI inclusive Philippine companies according to a study by the Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

Only 17 per cent of companies in the country have policies against discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity or expression (SOGIE).

Importantly, these are all foreign-headquartered organizations or in the business-process outsourcing industry.

The Philippine Corporate SOGIE Diversity & Inclusiveness Index 2018 surveyed 100 companies in the Philippines. Together, these companies employ 267,231 people.

Furthermore, none of the 56 responding Philippine firms and government agencies have an anti-discrimination policy.

The survey also revealed that companies without LGBT-inclusive policies also did not plan to change in the next five years.

Research firm Cogencia with the support of the Netherlands conducted the survey.

No anti-discrimination law

Brian Tenorio, Chair of the Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce, said the survey was a ‘wake up call’ to enact the Philippines’ Anti-Discrimination Bill.

Meanwhile, Senate Bill No. 1271 has been languishing in the Senate for nearly two years.

It would make it illegal to deny access to public services, hire or dismiss, impede access to education, or harass a person based on SOGIE.

‘In the absence of a SOGIE anti-discrimination law, LGBT+ professionals suffer discrimination, prejudice, and bigotry without any recourse’ Evan Tan, Vice Chair for Industry and Business at the chamber, also told Gay Star News.

What’s more, ‘every day, we hear anecdotes of discrimination in the workplace from our fellow LGBT+ professionals,’ he said.

’The data only shows that the problem is as widespread as we assumed it was’, he also said.

What is next?

The dismal results for Filipino companies led the chamber to launch a major project for 2019.

#ZEROto100PH plans to get 100 companies to pledge their commitment to make their businesses LGBT-inclusive.

Tan said the chamber will encourage local companies to conduct SOGIE training in the workplace. What’s more, they want companies to issue SOGIE-specific equal hiring opportunity statements.

‘Businesses must also realize that they are losing talented LGBT+ people because of their exclusionary policies and practices’ Tan said.

‘We know there is a clear economic impact by discriminating LGBT+ people, and the government and businesses must act together to solve that if we want to grow as a country’.

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