In an expansive study involving almost half a million individuals, Great Place To Work® found that LGBTQ+ employees experience substantial psychological safety concerns in the workplace. Even in the most highly-rated environments, these employees felt emotionally and psychologically less safe by 7% compared to their straight counterparts.
Furthermore, the data points towards a more challenging situation for LGBTQ+ employees from Asian backgrounds. A concerning 20% of Asian LGBTQ+ individuals have been diagnosed with depression, contrasting with a mere 7% among cisgender, heterosexual Asian adults. Additionally, being LGBTQ+ places these employees at an 11% higher risk of retention than their straight colleagues, and 14% fewer find their work fulfilling.
Addressing these disparities requires companies to surmount unique hurdles. In analysing feedback regarding diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) initiatives, we have observed distinct resistance towards several DEIB programs. Nevertheless, given the growing presence of the LGBTQ+ community in workplaces across generations, companies can endeavour to better support this vital talent pool.
In this context, we would like to propose five key strategies businesses can adopt to better support LGBTQ+ employees:
- Express support for the LGBTQ+ community. Break the silence and openly support the LGBTQ+ community in your workplace. This can include celebrating Pride, ensuring your company policies and benefits are inclusive, and encouraging visible leadership from our LGBTQ+ individuals.
- Prioritize employee well-being. Many companies have already recognised the value of investing in employee well-being programs, which have proven to significantly improve retention and recruitment rates. However, it’s crucial that these initiatives include and specifically mention LGBTQ+ employees.
- Prioritize support for all LGBTQ+ Employees. Recognizing the heightened challenges that these individuals often face, it’s crucial for companies to develop initiatives tailored to support this diverse community. Encouraging collaborations among Employee Resource Groups, offering workshops focused on self-care, and inviting experts to share their insights and perspectives can significantly contribute to fostering an inclusive work environment.
- Be aware of the unseen benefits of your DEIB efforts. Do not underestimate the potential impact of your DEIB initiatives. Many LGBTQ+ individuals may not be openly out in the workplace, and efforts such as inclusive benefits packages and gender-neutral plus-one invites to company events can make a significant difference.
- Be a visible and unapologetic ally. Leaders should take an active role in supporting the LGBTQ+ community. Be aware of the legal and social pressures they face and what steps can be taken to challenge these inequalities. Support for LGBTQ+ rights goes beyond merely “saying gay” – it requires concrete action.
Great Place To Work provides tools and resources to help companies on their DEIB journey. Our employee experience survey and analysis tool is designed to measure and improve the sense of belonging within your workplace.
We invite you to explore the Great Place To Work Certification™ to recognize your organization’s commitment to a positive and inclusive work environment. If you’re interested in transforming your workplace culture into one of diversity, inclusion, and acceptance, Get Certified Today. Let’s make every workplace a great place to work.