Data Bank Focus: Untapped Labor

By Betsy Shepherd

Dec. 2, 2011

In its Oct. 22 issue, the Economist reports that IBM Corp. is actively offering equal opportunity to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people in South Korea, a country known for its intolerance of these groups. Prejudicial recruiting and hiring practices among local firms around the world, including the United States, have left a large pool of talented and eager workers untapped. Indeed, research from the Williams

Institute shows that companies with LGBT-inclusive policies enjoy a number of economic benefits. Other groups that continue to face outright or covert discrimination in the job market present a potential source of talent and labor for multinationals and outsourcing companies, such as the “untouchables,” or dalits, in India and women in some Asian, Middle Eastern and South American countries. Data from the International Labour Organization shows that many countries around the world continue to have significant numbers of unemployed women in the labor force.

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