Study: Discrimination costs Florida businesses $362m per year

Commentary - published on

My colleagues at Thinkspot and I recently explored the business costs and economic impacts of discrimination and non-discrimination in the Florida workplace. After crunching the hard numbers, we discovered that discrimination in Florida costs businesses $362 million.

Each year. Three-hundred and sixty-two million.

In response to the release of our study, a reporter reached out to me recently to ask if Thinkspot is an LGBT-focused company. “No,” I replied. “We’re focused on structural economic development and issues that promote real, sustainable, systemic progress for communities.”

But I had little trouble explaining to him why we decided to tackle the issue of a competitive workforce environment and business climate that promotes non-discrimination. This was an especially easy connection to make after realizing not only the “bottom line” of costs to companies doing business in the state, but also the many connections we found in our research between non-discrimination and creative markets, innovative industries, and highly-sought top talent and millenial workers.

In tandem to our economic impact study, we also conducted 20 in-depth interviews with C-level business leaders. Their input was eye-opening, and reinforced the negative impact and perception that goes along with that $362 million price tag. Our interviews suggest frustration of many business leaders trying to compete in a global marketplace: a lack of clear policy leadership at the state-level promoting non-discrimination damages the state’s business climate.

While the business leaders brought diverse perspectives and experience across many different industries and company sizes, we identified several other very clear trends.

You can read these trends, grab the executive summary, see our business cost calculator, and read the full study here: .