Erasmo e. Sánchez Herrera is the Vice President – Global Division at the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) in Washington DC

You are the Vice President – Global Division at the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), based in Washington DC. What does that role involve?

As Vice President of the Global Division at the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce my role is very dynamic and multifaceted.I spearhead engagement with stakeholders and LGBTQI+ allies within the corporate, government, nonprofit, and diplomatic sectors pivotal in advancing Supplier Diversity initiatives and economic inclusion worldwide. My responsibilities extend to analysing current business landscapes, socio-economic dynamics, and LGBTQI+ rights issues to craft impactful projects and initiatives aimed to empower the international LGBTQI+ business community and bring visibility to supplier diversity developments, challenges, and opportunities outside the United States.

I actively represent the NGLCC Global Division in international forums advocating for the economic empowerment and inclusion of LGBTQI+ owned businesses across regions. And last, but not least, a major aspect of my role involves forging partnerships with rising international LGBTQI+ chambers of commerce; supporting the efforts of 29LGBTQI+ international chambers of commerce affiliated to the NGLCC Global Division and providing their leaders with more tools and resources to grow.

How important do you think a culture of diversity and inclusion is – both for the individual and for the wider community?

A culture of diversity and inclusion is not just important – it is imperative for fostering innovation, creativity, and growth within any organisation or society. Embracing diversity means recognising and valuing the unique perspectives, experiences, and contributions of individuals from all backgrounds, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic. In the corporate world an inclusive culture not only promotes equality and fairness but also enriches decision-making processes and enhances overall performance as shown in several research studies.

It can be argued that we have experienced massive changes in LGBTQ+ representation over the past decades. What more needs to be done?

We still have a long way to go to ensure full inclusion and equality. One crucial aspect is the need to educate stakeholders about the economic gains of LGBTQI+ inclusion and the contributions of LGBTQI+ businesses to the economy. Highlighting the economic benefits of LGBTQI+ inclusion can lead to greater support from policymakers and businesses. Cities, countries, and regions stand to benefit from the economic growth generated by LGBTQI+ businesses and the diverse perspectives we bring to the table.

We also need more data supporting the business case for LGBTQI+ inclusion. In the United States we have solid data on LGBTQI+ businesses economic contributions and the economic power of the LGBTQI+ community overall, but there is extraordinarily little information on either subject matter in other countries where having access to this kind of data would be essential to spark interest from corporates looking to work with local LGBTQI+ suppliers and to drive policy changes that protect the rights of our community, especially in places where our safety is constantly at risk.

You are based in Washington DC which will be hosting World Pride next year. What words do you have for everyone going to DC?

As an LGBTQI+ resident of Washington, DC for over two decades, I experience first-hand the vibrant and inclusive community that thrives here everyday. The city boasts a rich fusion of LGBTQI+ history and culture, with iconic landmarks and a growing number of LGBTQI+ owned businesses. DC offers a welcoming environment where diversity is celebrated and embraced. The choice of Washington DC as the host city for World Pride is a testament to its reputation as a beacon of progress and acceptance.