Some US states clearly understand that promoting a diverse and inclusive business environment makes commercial sense. Others are still lagging behind.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has released a series of economic development adverts that seek to promote the state as a great place to base a business.
‘For hundreds of years, New York state has stood as a beacon that welcomed those unwelcome in other places,’ says one of the commercials.
It goes on to highlight the state’s role in the women’s suffragette movement, how it offered freedom to slaves who made their way there via the Underground Railway, and how it was the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement, via the riots at the Stonewall Inn.
Against images of the rainbow flag and same-sex marriage ceremonies, it says, ‘New York continues to champion fairness, equality and the respectable treatment of those who cannot find it elsewhere.’
It highlights this approach with newspapers headlines stating ‘Seven other states considering restricting bathrooms for transgender people’ and ‘North Carolina bans local anti-discrimination policies’.
‘As some in America seem to be forgetting exactly what freedom means, New York State is once again standing up for those whom others try to keep down by welcoming, promoting and applauding all who have so much to offer,’ continues the narrator.
‘If you and you business want to be where the true leaders are, where we understand the value of diversity and work to make sure everyone can succeed, join us, grow here. Start your business here. Welcome to New York State.’
‘Through these spots, New York is saying, it’s about the economy, stupid’
According to a statement from the Governor’s office, the ‘Open Doors Campaign’ adverts will air adverts in New York, North Carolina, Mississippi and Texas throughout the summer.
It describes the campaign as, ‘a new promotional effort highlighting New York’s longstanding role as a national leader in the fight for LGBT rights, freedom and social justice.’
Business leaders that have participated in the campaign include: Ajay Banga, CEO of Mastercard; Martin Chavez, CIO of Goldman Sachs and Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo.
The adverts were welcomed by Bob Witeck, founder of LGBT marketing organization Witeck Communications.
‘Through these spots, New York is saying, it’s about the economy, stupid.
‘New York also is making a bold, competitive promise – supported by data, anecdote and attitudes – that States that welcome, value and respect all, clearly outperform others. In plain English, that includes LGBT people.’
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