LGBT+ workers do not feel comfortable stating their sexual orientation at work

More than a quarter of LGBT+ employees in the UK stay in the closet at work.

This was found by consultancy firm Accenture’s research ‘Visible Growth; Invisible Fears’ stating that 26 per cent of LGBT+ workers do not tell work about their sexual orientation.

There appears to be a perception gap as well between how business leaders perceive their workplace culture compared to how their LGBT+ workers feel. Over two-thirds (68 per cent) of leaders feel they have created an environment where employees can be themselves, compared to only 14 per cent of LGBT+ staff feeling supported by their employer when it comes to gender issues and sexual orientation at work.

The research also found that less than half (41 per cent) of LGBT+ employees are fully open about their sexual orientation at work.

Globally, nearly three-quarters (71 per cent) of LGBT+ workers feel that having LGBT+ staff in leadership positions would help them thrive at work.

Rebecca Tully, inclusion and diversity lead at Accenture UK said:

At a time when we are acutely aware of ongoing social injustices, it has never been more important to hear and understand the experiences of minority groups. Though we don’t have all the answers, our research highlights the fundamental questions we need to be asking when it comes to making the workplace more inclusive for LGBT+ people. It’s important for leaders to act now and strive to create a culture where LGBT+ employees not only rise professionally, but also where they feel safe, supported and able to be themselves.

However, 59 per cent of LGBT+ employees feel they are satisfied with their pace of advancement in their organisation, with a fifth hoping to hold senior leadership positions in their company.

This research was collated by surveying over 28,000 employees and business leaders from 26 different countries.

In August 2019, it was found that 35 per cent of FTSE 100 companies made no reference to LGBT+ diversity issues in their latest annual report. It also showed that 17 per cent of companies who changed their Twitter logo to support Pride month in June did not mention LGBT+ in their annual reports.