Building Bridges, Not Walls: Intersectional Analysis and the Next Frontier in the Corporate Equality Movement

GSEP Faculty and Alumni publication in the Harvard LGBTQ Policy Journal

May 17, 2018  | 1 min read

The latest Publication of Nii-Quartelai Quartey, Lani Fraizer, Gabby Miramontes under the mentorship of Dr. Farzin Madjidi is featured in the Harvard LGBTQ Policy Journal. In recent years, we have seen a backlash to what had become a more LGBTQ-affirming America. The current national climate includes heightened support for laws that essentially give government and private businesses a license to discriminate based on sexual orientation; repeal of healthcare and employment nondiscrimination protections; and increase in hate crimes, including the then-largest mass shooting in US history at an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Each of these issues has inherent effects on employee recruitment, retention, and performance and on individual and collective efforts to create an organizational culture where all employees can thrive without fear of retaliation, retribution, or being unaffirmed in the workplace. While “executive culture” has traditionally focused on returns for stockholders at the expense of their broader stakeholders, complicating social responsibility efforts, corporate America’s LGBTQ engagement has helped to create a paradigm shift through company-supported LGBTQ employee resource groups, business resource groups, volunteerism, philanthropy, and public policy advocacy efforts, that together have helped to make corporate America a critical ally in the movement for LGBTQ equality. The social unrest in the United States on issues related to race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, and immigration status are challenging corporate leaders to demonstrate solidarity and be a lifeline to traditionally marginalized communities. At the same time, corporate activism on LGBTQ rights is being elevated as a civil rights issue among others all at once, causing a demand for increased competencies in intersectional analysis.