The Gay Index: Diversity Boosts Business

For businesses and job seekers looking for the best local environment for growth, diversity does matter.

According to a relatively new economic development theory, the more diverse and tolerant an area, the better it will be able to support economic growth. In his recent book The Rise of the Creative Class, author Richard Florida says, “Regional economic growth is powered by creative people, who prefer places that are diverse, tolerant and open to new ideas. Diversity increases the odds that a place will attract different types of creative people with different skill sets and ideas.”

The Gay Index

Some of this theory began with doctoral student Gary Gates. While studying at Carnegie Mellon University in the 1990s, he created a measure of where gay/lesbian people were located, based upon the 1990 Census, and has since updated the data to reflect the 2000 Census. The Gay Index ranks regions by their concentrations of gay/lesbian people. It should be noted that these numbers reflect only partnered gays/lesbians, because there is no way to indicate your sexual orientation on the Census form unless you're the unmarried partner of someone of the same gender.

Why Is Tolerance So Important?

Florida's theory, which he calls the creative capital theory, refers to the “three T's of economic development: technology, talent and tolerance.” The final T is where the gay/lesbian community plays a significant part. According to Florida, along with acceptance of immigrants and racial and ethnic minorities, where a city or region ranks on the Diversity (Gay) Index can go a long way toward predicting its potential for growth. As a matter of fact, he believes tolerance toward the gay/lesbian community is more important than that toward other minorities.

According to Gates, now with the Urban Institute in Washington, DC, gays can be viewed as “the canaries of the Creative Age.”

As Florida puts it, “homosexuality represents the last frontier of diversity in our society, and thus, a place that welcomes the gay community welcomes all kinds of people.”

When Florida compared the High Tech Index, a ranking of regions with high technology industries, with Gates's Gay Index, he found a significant correlation. “The Gay Index is a very strong predictor of a region's high tech industry concentration,” writes Florida. He further notes that a concentration of gays/lesbians in the population is also a positive predictor of impending economic growth for a region.

What This Means for You

All this is fascinating information for corporate types and community planners, but it is also important for members of the gay/lesbian community to know and understand it.

For starters, there's a certain confidence boost when you're armed with this knowledge. After being told throughout our lives that our sexual orientation is something we probably shouldn't make known and might even want to lie about, it's exhilarating to know that the likes of the Economist, BusinessWeek and Information Week are telling business bigwigs to pay attention to Florida's theory. Knowing that really smart employers will be working to employ a more diverse group of people makes it easier to be yourself during the application and interview process.

If you're not inclined to be an agent of change, the studies cited here can help you in your search for the ideal work climate. If relocation is in your future, why not make the move to a community that rates high on the Diversity Index? What could make being the new kid on the block easier than knowing you're not only welcomed, but are also sought?

Latest Jobs

PF Chang's China Bistro
Posted: 06/30/2015
Willowbrook, TX
U of L Physicians
Posted: 06/30/2015
Downtown, KY
Posted: 06/30/2015
Lake Grove, NY
Posted: 06/30/2015
San Diego, CA
Wacker Polysilicon North America
Posted: 06/30/2015
Charleston, TN, 37310

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.12.0.54-208