With the craziness of the ever-changing stock market, one group has made it easier for investors to know who to put their money into.
Credit Suisse, a financial services company based in Zurich, created the LGBT Equality Index, tracking the stock performance of companies that are considered to be friendly to the LGBT community.
“We couldn’t find quantitative data around companies’ equity performance and their stock performance vis a vis their LGBT policies,” said Nicole P. Douillet, a vice president at Credit Suisse and co-chair of the company’s LGBT Open Network.
What they did know was the LGBT community is a big part of the American economy. According to an article penned by Douillet in the Harvard Business Review, the LGBT community is responsible for about $800 billion in buying power in the United States. Therefore, Credit Suisse was interested in investigating how beneficial it was to companies big and small to be LGBT friendly.
Credit Suisse, through working with the Williams Institute, an LGBT think tank at UCLA, found that no one had looked at this before. So, they took the reins on the initiative and founded the corporate equality index in October 2013. Much like the S&P 500, the index tracks the stock performance for companies on a daily basis. Those included in the list are companies who scored 80 or higher on the corporate equality index by the Human Rights Council.
Those looking to invest in the stock market can now not only see how well a company is doing, but choose to support a company that they know has good LGBT policies. Douillet said that corporate America has been a leader in LGBT rights, citing the example of an amicus brief that 278 major companies -- including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Credit Suisse -- signed stating that the Defense of Marriage Act was bad for business
“All these corporations are spending money in order to offer their employees the same rights as heterosexual employees,” Douillet said. “Anything that we can do to provide more data around the LGBT experience is going to be useful and hopefully we can continue to push public policy in the right direction.”