About 45% of LGBTQ+ employees responding to a recent Glassdoor survey said being out in the workplace could hurt their careers. Employees fear, for example, losing a job, missing out on a promotion, or not being selected for a project, according to a May 31 report.
In a survey of more than 6,000 U.S. adults conducted by The Harris Poll, more than half of LGBTQ+ employees — 55% — said they’ve experienced or witnessed anti-LGBTQ+ comments by co-workers. This is up from 53% in a 2019 Glassdoor poll.
“Many companies will change their logos to rainbows for Pride this month, but looks aren’t always as they seem,” Glassdoor wrote. “For LGBTQ+ job seekers, real inclusivity and support from employees can be easily muddied with performative actions like companies sharing their support only with profile pics that fade after June.”
The report suggested several resources to improve the employee experience and create an inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ workers, as well as initiatives such as employee resource groups, educational programming and sharing pronouns.
Glassdoor also offered ways for prospective applicants to sort company ratings by LGBTQ+ worker reviews and search for companies highly rated by 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, and listen to your LGBTQ+ coworkers throughout the year to create safe spaces at work.”
Inclusive measures make a meaningful difference for employee well-being, according to a June 2022 report, particularly employee resource groups and visible company allyship. These types of initiatives made employees say they were more inclined to stick with their current employer.
As part of this, intersectionality is key, recognizing that people have multiple group identities and likely experience differences based on race, gender, sexual orientation, age and socioeconomic factors. Inclusive benefit design, for instance, can advance LGBTQ+ equality in the workplace, especially for trans workers and those who don’t feel comfortable being out at work, experts say.
Correction: An earlier version of this article featured an incorrect byline. The author is Carolyn Crist.