- A May 2021 audit by Glassdoor of its company ratings found that, on average, LGBTQ employees rated their employers 3.27 stars out of 5, compared to non-LGBTQ respondents, who rated their employers 3.47 stars out of 5 on average. Glassdoor announced last September that users can now volunteer demographic information, including disability status, race and ethnicity, parental status, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
- The companies most poorly rated by LGBTQ employees were in the business services (3.07), health care (3.02), and telecommunications (2.93) sectors. Each industry had more than 100 company ratings from LGBTQ employees.
- Notably, LGBTQ folks were less satisfied with their company's compensation and benefits (3.13) and career opportunities (3.03) than their cisgender, heterosexual counterparts.
While the Department of Justice announced it would enforce LGBTQ protections at work — and the Supreme Court ruled nearly a year ago that Title VII protects LGBTQ individuals as well — gay and trans employees are still uncomfortable at work. A June 2021 LinkedIn report revealed 31% of LGBTQ folks on average have faced blatant discrimination and/or microaggressions at work. The rate is even higher (39%) for professionals aged 18 to 34. Likewise, 30% of respondents said their workplace lacks community and belonging, and 32% of LGBTQ professionals said they work at companies that do not have LGBTQ employee resources; 24% of LGBTQ professionals surveyed also aren't out at work.
Human Rights Campaign's 2018 report, A Workplace Divided: Understanding the Climate for LGBTQ Workers Nationwide, thoroughly outlines why many gay and trans professionals don't feel comfortable coming out. Across the board, about a third of respondents cited the threat of being stereotyped, possibly making colleagues uncomfortable, and losing co-workers as the prevailing reasons why they weren't out at work.
Overall, HRC found that LGBTQ-exclusive environments have led to 13% and 17% of workers feeling exhausted from keeping their gender identity and sexuality, respectively, under wraps. Additionally, 25% of HRC respondents said they feel distracted by the unwelcoming environment. Some workers even reported avoiding certain events, like luncheons, happy hours and office parties due to feeling unwelcome.
This toxic climate doesn't just negatively affect LGBTQ workers' well-being. It can also create a vicious cycle of poor LGBTQ employee retention: 25% of professionals have left a job because they felt uncomfortable or unaccepted in the workplace, according to LinkedIn. The rate for professionals aged 18 to 34 was even higher at 38%.
Scott Dobroski, Glassdoor's VP of Corporate Communications and a member of its LGBTQ resource group, said in the report's release that reaching out directly to gay and trans employees is key for real progress. "While many companies will turn their logos and social profiles to rainbows for Pride Month, creating a more equitable company is more than just symbolic or superficial moves. It's about action," Dobroski said. "Company leaders should take time to solicit feedback from their LGBTQ+ employees to better understand what's working well and what needs improvement to further support their workers."