News & Events

News & Events

8.1.2016

Business of Pride — The Value of Operating an Inclusive Business

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Julie Engbloom was featured in the July 29 issue of Portland Business Journal (PBJ) in a Thought Leader Forum titled “Business of Pride — The Value of Operating an Inclusive Business.” The Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling legalizing marriage equality marked a dramatic victory for LGBT rights in a push for acceptance and equality that has been unfolding for decades, including in workplaces throughout the country. Engbloom discusses the Firm’s commitment to diversity, the movement for more inclusive business practices throughout the U.S. and the challenges that remain.

Q. PBJ: Do you think that some companies are sort of jumping on the bandwagon with pride?

A. Engbloom: Maybe there are companies that saw a trend and jumped on it thinking it would be good for business, but a lot of this came about organically from the inside of these organizations. You have employees inside companies saying “I am gay and I want my partner to be on my insurance plan.” I am talking 20, 30 years ago; companies started responding to that before there was marriage equality, before people were even talking about marriage equality, because these were valued employees. Once these companies started thinking of it that way, thinking about how they were treating their own employees, it is not far to extend it to your clients or customers. To that extent, I’m not sure that it is a phase or a fad, but instead an outward extension of what was already happening internally at these companies.