International: The internet has become a pivotal tool towards advancing equality rights where LGBTs in Asia battle discrimination in the workplace and other longstanding misconceptions that leave them financially disadvantaged, says the regional director for the world’s largest online outsourcing company.
“With discrimination and unequal opportunity still an unfortunate fact for many workers around the world, the internet provides a powerful platform to level the playing field and remove prejudice in the workforce,” says Evan Tan of Freelancer.com, billed as the largest outsourcing and crowdsourcing marketplace by number of users and projects.
The platform connects over 9,000,000 employers and freelancers globally from over 247 countries, regions and territories.
“While much has been said about tolerance and respect in developing Asian countries such as the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, LGBTs continue to battle longstanding misconceptions — including those that leave them financially disadvantaged, Tan wrote in e27.co.
For marginalised groups, work equality is still an issue, he said citing Singapore High Court’s dismissing Lawrence Bernard Wee’s claim of wrongful dismissal by his employer Robinsons department store because he is gay or Jeremiah Romero denied application for a manufacturing supervision role at San Miguel Corporation after one of the Philippine company’s human resources associates discovered he was gay.
Technology, however, might just help create the change the movement needs, Tan said pointing to how the LGBT movement is tech-powered.
He told of how filmmaker David Thorpe raised money for post-production and distribution of his documentary, “Do I Sound Gay?” by leveraging the power of online crowdsourcing through Kickstarter or how the It Gets Better project effectively utilized Youtube to reach out to and inspire LGBT youth across the world.
Tan also wrote of a social networking app called Distinc.tt that allows LGBTs to connect with each other based on LGBT-friendly places and which is particularly useful for young LGBTs at work.
“This is relevant in coming at a time when many gay young professionals who were openly gay on their college campuses are choosing to keep their sexuality a secret in the workplace. Only 7 per cent of LGBT employees ages 18 to 24 are open at work, according to the Human Rights Campaign.”
LGBTInclusiveAsia.org, an online LGBT network that aims to inform and help Asian companies adopt Equal Opportunity Policies, has also been launched by Community Business, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing Corporate Social Responsibility in Asia.
Leading the way not just with innovation but also with inclusivity, many renowned global technology companies such as Apple, eBay, Facebook, and Microsoft have already been pioneering LGBT rights in and out of the workplace, worldwide, he added.