Academics Conclude the Evidence Supports a Causal Link Between States That Actively Adopt Non-Discrimination Laws and Innovation

Business leaders such as Tim Cook of Apple have actively supported the proposed federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would ban sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in the workplace.  Not only is such an act the right thing to do, but such an law would serve to attract those who are creative in the LGBTQ community, who in turn will contribute to the development of technology.

Recent research by two academics –  Huasheng Gao and Wei Zhang – support the conclusion that such proposition is correct.

As discussed in the Harvard Business Review, the authors looked at states that have adopted sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination on corporate patent-based innovation.  They found that between 1976-2008, companies headquartered in states that have adopted ENDA-like non-discrimination laws realized an 8% increase in patents and an 11% increase in patent citations compared to companies headquartered in states that have not adopted such measures.  The study also controlled for a number of factors which independently might have affected the results.

The authors believe that ENDA laws create a “rebalancing” – those to whom ENDA addresses and protects from discrimination are more likely to seek employment in pro-ENDA states (and, correspondingly, with pro-ENDA companies).  At the individual level, the study shows that inventors moving into such states tend to produce 30% more patents than the inventors moving out of such states which, the authors believe, supports the view that pro-LGBTQ individuals tend to be more creative than anti-LGBTQ individuals.

No one really knows for sure whether those in the LGBTQ community are more creative than those not in such community; however, it stands to reason that those in the LGBTQ community that do have such creative talents will be much more likely to live in (or move to) states that are more alternative lifestyle friendly and that have enacted laws that protect their rights.

Our Firm Supports ENDA

We have long supported women’s rights and the rights of those in the LGBTQ community.  If you are being subjected to illegal workplace discrimination based on your sexual orientation, gender identity or affection all preferences,  please contact our firm to find out your options and learn how we may be able to assist and empower you, or someone you love.