BUENOS AIRES Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) Foundation, the educational arm of America's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer ( LGBTQ ) civil rights organization, participated in GNETWORK 360, Latin America's largest summit on LGBT businesses and tourism that draws hundreds of the region's hospitality industry leaders.
Deena Fidas, director of HRC Foundation's Workplace Equality Program, delivered opening remarks at the summit, which is supported by the Argentinian LGBT Chamber of Commerce and prominent LGBT-committed corporate partners, and led a panel discussion on the state of LGBT workplace inclusion in the Latin American region. Fidas is co-author of HRC's annual Corporate Equality Index ( CEI ), the premier national benchmarking tool on corporate LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices.
"I am honored to join GNETWORK 360 for the third time to address the business and economic impact of LGBT-supportive workplace policies and to promote an LGBT-inclusive corporate culture," said Fidas, who is also director of HRC Equidad MX and HRC Equidad CL, which are advancing LGBT inclusion in workplaces across Mexico and Chile. "This year, HRC has seen a keen interest among major corporations and multinationals to embrace LGBT inclusion across the Latin America region. Our HRC Equidad programs in Mexico and Chile demonstrate that implementing LGBT-inclusive policies have an enduring positive impact on business and workplace outcomes for employers."
Prominent business leaders joining Fidas at the summit included Tony Tenicela, Global Leader, Marketplace Diversity and Workforce Engagement Services of IBM; Niarchos Pombo, Head of Diversity and Inclusion of SAP Latin America and Caribbean; Frederic Ribault, General Manager of AccorHotels; and JosÃ© Ignacio De Carli, Corporate Affairs Manager of Natura. They shared innovative LGBT-inclusive trends and best practices across the Americas, and discussed the emerging business networks designed to bolster the LGBT market.
GNETWORK 360 has grown exponentially over the past decade, convening key leaders to share business strategies and explore the increasing economic opportunities of LGBT-oriented products and services. The four-day annual event brings together more than 1,400 leaders from 18 countries to take part in groundbreaking business workshops, a trade fair and roundtable discussions on the essential issues and economic impact of the LGBT market.
"The power of the LGBT market segment and community spending continues to increase annually in Argentina and around the globe, creating more opportunities for hundreds of businesses," said Pablo de Luca, founder of Argentina's LGBT Chamber of Commerce. "For more than a decade GNETWORK 360 has assembled prominent leaders and Latin American corporate partners to share innovative business strategies and strengthen the importance of the LGBT marketplace. Businesses committed to expand their outreach efforts and economic growth, benefit enormously from the opportunities that the LGBT market has to offer."
"Promoting welcoming work environments and cultivating a diverse workforce where employees can reach their full potential is an essential part of our strengths," said Delfina Daglio, IBM Diversity and Inclusion Partner. "IBM's long-standing commitment to LGBT equality provides inclusive workplaces for hundreds of our employees and maximizes our economic impact in the global market. We are proud to join GNETWORK 360 and work with HRC to serve as a model for corporate diversity and inclusion for employers in Latin America."
"Our commitment to foster an LGBT-inclusive workplace for all employees and retain diverse talent is a central part of our mission," said Tony Tenicela, IBM Global Leader, Marketplace Diversity and Workforce Engagement Services. "By investing in diversity and inclusion, IBM is promoting essential corporate values that impact the lives and careers of many of our employees and creates inclusive spaces to achieve and seek better opportunities."
During the conference, HRC and IBM representatives discussed the benefits of promoting an LGBT-inclusive corporate culture in workplaces across the region and the progress made by many of these nations. Earlier this year, HRC partnered with IBM in a two-week series of business workshops, convening corporate leaders and civil society stakeholders to bolster greater LGBT inclusion in Colombia, Chile, Peru, Argentina and Mexico.
Through its global workplace equality programs HRC Equidad MX and HRC Equidad CL, the HRC Foundation is leading the effort to advance LGBT workplace inclusion in workplaces across the U.S., Mexico and Chile, impacting more than 14.5 million employees worldwide.
HRC is proud to join GNETWORK 360 in its continuing efforts to promote diversity and LGBT workplace inclusion across Latin America.
For more information on HRC Global Equality programs, please visit hrc.im/GlobalWorkplacePrograms .
From a news release
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.