Colorado among 10 friendliest states for LGBTQ-owned businesses
Colorado is the 10th-friendliest state for LGBTQ-owned businesses and workers, according to a report published this Pride month.
What's happening: Out Leadership's State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index gave Colorado a score of 86.33 — the same tally earned last year.
Why it matters: Companies in regions that are openly hostile to LGBTQ+ rights could have trouble attracting employees, especially at a time when there's heightened competition for talent among employers.
- Inclusive policies that foster diverse workforces can keep Colorado companies competitive. Meanwhile, more conservative states attempt to draw businesses with tax breaks.
What they're saying: "LGBTQ-friendly environments are business-friendly environments," Todd Sears, a former investment banker who founded Out Leadership, told Axios Markets' Emily Peck.
Zoom in: Colorado received perfect 5-point scores for its legal and nondiscrimination protections, as well as most of its youth and family support resources, plus political and religious attitudes.
- The state scored 3 out 5 in "state employee coverage," due to lacking transgender-specific care in insurance plans for government workers, as well as in "HIV criminalization," due to state laws punishing those with the condition.
- Colorado also got a 3 out of 5 in "work safety," based on incidences of verbal harassment, sexual assault and other mistreatment.
- The same scores came for Colorado's "unemployment differential" and "food insecurity differential" — categories which measure discrepancies in poverty rates between those who identify as LGBTQ+ and those who don't.
The big picture: Out Leadership's report reveals widening gaps between the best and worst states, with the less friendly places passing more anti-LGBTQ+ laws while more friendly states move in the opposite direction.
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