New research conducted for Pride month has found that almost two-thirds of LGBT+ employees have been made to feel uncomfortable at work because of their sexuality or gender identity.
It found that 21% of LGBT+ employees have experienced verbal abuse at work and 61% say they have been made to feel uncomfortable by colleagues because of their sexuality or gender identity. The findings also show that transgender employees face a 14% income gap compared to other employees, equating to a shortfall of £5,340.
Overall, two-thirds (65%) of workers believe that their organisation is doing enough to support LGBT+ employees. However, a significant number of those polled said their organisation needs to do more, including 44% of transgender employees, 31% of gay and lesbian workers and 29% of bisexual workers. Only 12% of heterosexual staff said the same.
Other key findings include:
- 57% of those polled want to see greater transparency around employers' stances on diversity and inclusion;
- 55% want more supportive environments for coming out at work;
- 44% said they want to see more inspirational people within the workplace sharing their own experiences;
- 37% want more LGBT+ events and groups at work.
Currently, 70% of LGBT+ professionals say they have no senior LGBT+ people at work to look up to, especially in manufacturing (82%) and construction (80%). In fact, 28% of those polled who are not open about their sexuality at work said it's because they worry they'll be judged by co-workers; 17% said it's because there are no openly LGBT+ people in their workplace.
Joshua Graff, UK country manager at LinkedIn, said: "While a significant number of UK workers feel that their employer is supportive and inclusive of LGBT+ colleagues, our research shows there is still a long way to go. It is important that businesses build on the steps that many have already taken to create more inclusive environments - places where people can bring their true authentic selves to work."
Suki Sandhu, ceo and founder of diversity and inclusion organisation INvolve, said: "Research like this is incredibly important in reminding organisations that inclusion should be at the top of their agenda. Although we have seen progress in the workplace for LGBT+ people, it is clear that there are still substantial issues that can make it difficult for individuals to thrive professionally as their authentic selves. LGBT+ people are at all levels of a business, whether they're out or not, so it's crucial to have inclusive environments. It's not only morally right but it also strengthens the bottom line."
Written by Rachel Miller.