LGBTQ+ employees face a variety of workplace challenges that can have a significant impact on their professional and personal lives. Overt and covert discrimination and bias can create hostile work environments in which LGBTQ+ people feel unsafe or unwelcome.
This can lead to feelings of isolation, anxiety, and dissatisfaction with one’s job. In some cases, LGBTQ+ employees may face harassment or bullying, exacerbating the situation. Furthermore, the lack of inclusive policies, such as equal access to healthcare benefits or non-discrimination protections, can limit career advancement opportunities and negatively impact their morale and overall well-being.
According to a recent Glassdoor survey, about 45% of LGBTQ+ employees said being out in the workplace could harm their careers. According to a report dated May 31, employees are concerned about losing their jobs, not getting a promotion, or not being chosen for a project.
According to a Harris Poll survey of more than 6,000 U.S. adults, 55% of LGBTQ+ employees have experienced or witnessed anti-LGBTQ+ comments from coworkers. This is up from 53% in a Glassdoor poll in 2019.
“Many companies will change their logos to rainbows for Pride this month, but looks aren’t always what they seem,” Glassdoor wrote. “True inclusivity and employee support for LGBTQ+ job seekers can be easily muddied by performative actions like companies sharing their support only with profile photos that fade after June.”
The report recommended several resources to improve the employee experience and foster an inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ employees, as well as initiatives such as employee resource groups, educational programming, and pronoun sharing.
Glassdoor also allowed prospective employees to sort company ratings by LGBTQ+ worker reviews and search for companies with a high number of LGBTQ+ employees. “Whether you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community or an ally, you can take action by being an active bystander against hateful or ignorant comments from coworkers,” Glassdoor wrote. “Embrace company-sponsored events and educational programming, as well as listening to your LGBTQ+ coworkers throughout the year, to create safe spaces at work.”
According to a June 2022 report by Deloitte, inclusive measures, particularly employee resource groups and visible company allyship, make a significant difference in employee well-being. Employees said they were more likely to stay with their current employer as a result of these initiatives.
As part of this, intersectionality is essential, which acknowledges that people have multiple group identities and are likely to experience differences based on race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and socioeconomic factors. According to a Medium article, the ‘benefits for all’ strategy, for example, can advance LGBTQ+ equality in the workplace, particularly for homosexual couples who can be benefitted the same way as heterosexual couples.