Just two in five (40%) LGBTQ+ workers in the UK feel comfortable expressing and celebrating their identity at work.

As companies continue to face a hiring crisis, businesses should note that 39 percent of those who identify as LGBTQ+ would not look for a new job if they feel able to bring their whole self to work.

This is according to new research by Glassdoor, which also found that one in four (26%) non-LGBTQ+ identifying employees would not feel comfortable calling someone out for their negative views or actions towards the LGBTQ+ community in the workplace.

The research also revealed that more than a fifth of non-LGBTQ+ employees (22%) do not feel educated enough or equipped with the proper knowledge and skills to be an ally in the workplace.

A third (36%) of LGBTQ+ identifying employees believe that positive communications and discussions around the LGBTQ+ community at work do not extend past Pride Month.

With June marking Pride Month, HRreview explores the importance of LGBTQ+ inclusion within the workplace.

 

Failure to support LGBTQ+ employees will negatively impact hiring

Companies lacking clear, year-round diversity and inclusion policies could find hiring more difficult. Overall, one in five UK workers (20%) say they would not work at a company that does not address or support its LGBTQ+ employee population. This figure doubles to 39 percent amongst the LGBTQ+ community.

According to LGBTQ+ identifying employees, the best way that companies can address and support their needs is by introducing LGBTQ+ inclusive benefits (70%).

Nearly two-fifths (37%) said it would be ‘very effective’. Benefits could include parental leave, transgender-inclusive healthcare, healthcare benefits for domestic partners, gender-affirming healthcare, fertility support and adoption leave.

Other ways to support LGBTQ+ employees include not assuming gender or sexuality in everyday conversations (67%), LGBTQ+ competency training to teach allyship strategies and best practices around gender identity (65%), and LGBTQ+ resource groups to foster colleagues’ support (63%).

Those from outside the LGBTQ+ community considered every method of support to be less effective than those within the community.

 

What are the most effective ways of showing allyship at work?

  1. Educating yourself in your spare time about gender identity, sexuality and bias: effective for 67% of LGBT+ employees, and to 55% of non-LGTBQ+ employees.
  2. Inviting people to speak and share their expertise: effective for 67% of LGBT+ employees, and to 54% of non-LGTBQ+ employees.
  3. Discussing gender identity and sexuality in the workplace: effective for 65% of LGBT+ employees, and to 48% of non-LGTBQ+ employees.
  4. Questioning people’s views or actions: effective for 64% of LGBT+ employees, and to 50% of non-LGTBQ+ employees.
  5. Acknowledging your unconscious bias in conversations: effective for 64% of LGBT+ employees, and to 50% of non-LGTBQ+ employees.

 

Small actions can have a significant impact

The research also highlighted that employees who identify as LGBTQ+ consider some methods of allyship to be much more effective than those who are not part of the community.

While six in ten LGBTQ+ workers (60%) said putting pronouns on zoom or email signatures helped improve the workplace experience, just a third (34%) of those outside the LGBTQ+ community thought this action showed allyship.

This disparity also exists for using gender-neutral greetings (60% for LGBQT+ identifying workers versus 40 percent for non-identifying) and sharing messages of support on social media (59% versus 39%).

Jacob Little, Senior Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and a member of Glassdoor’s PRIDE ERG said: “In today’s highly competitive job market, a diverse and inclusive workplace is not only a core expectation of top talent – it’s also a driver of innovation, performance and creativity. Glassdoor’s research shows that employees who feel they can be authentic at work are less likely to look for another role. In addition, companies that foster genuine cultures of inclusion and belonging report better decision making and lower attrition.

“There are many ways people can better support LGBTQ+ identifying colleagues at work, whether that’s taking the time to learn about the experiences of people different from them, discussing gender identity and sexuality in the workplace, creating space for people to talk about their lived experiences, or signals as simple as sharing pronouns on Zoom and email signatures. Even the smallest of actions can have a meaningful impact on the workplace experience of underrepresented groups.”

 

Editor at HRreview

Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview. With a master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.