The Reality of Coming Out at Work for LGBTQ+ Individuals: Insights from Deloitte’s Study

Unveiling the Truth: Analyzing the Comfort and Challenges of Being Openly Queer in the Workplace

The Reality of Coming Out at Work for LGBTQ+ Individuals: Insights from Deloitte's Study


Delve into Deloitte’s recent study that explores the comfort levels and challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in being openly queer at the workplace.

In the modern workplace, the decision for LGBTQ+ individuals to be openly queer is often fraught with apprehension. A recent study conducted by the consultancy firm Deloitte sheds light on the realities faced by LGBTQ+ employees across the globe.

The study, which surveyed 402 LGBTQ+ individuals in the UK and 5,474 LGBTQ+ individuals worldwide from 13 countries, revealed that only 52% of the UK respondents felt comfortable being openly queer at work. This figure was slightly higher compared to the global average of 43%. The study also highlighted that 43% of LGBTQ+ individuals in the UK were apprehensive about being perceived differently by their heterosexual, cisgender colleagues, a sentiment shared by 39% of respondents globally.

Discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity was reported by 49% of the British participants. Additionally, 38% of them experienced homophobic or transphobic behavior, including inappropriate jokes, in the workplace. These statistics underscore the persistent challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community in professional settings.

Phil Mitchell, co-lead for Deloitte’s LGBTQ+ staff network Proud, emphasized the importance of employer support. He stated, “When people feel that their employers aren’t doing enough to support inclusion or are not taking non-inclusive behaviors seriously, many instances go unreported. Employers should take action to ensure that they provide a positive culture of LGBTQ+ inclusion, underpinned by respect.”

Another study by the LGBTQ+ charity Just Like Us revealed that 25% of LGBTQ+ young adults would choose not to come out at work due to concerns about colleagues’ perceptions. Among the 18 to 25-year-olds surveyed, 19% reported experiencing workplace bullying, and the study also found that LGBTQ+ young adults earn less on average compared to their heterosexual, cisgender counterparts.

Amy Ashenden, interim CEO of Just Like Us, commented on the findings, stating, “Our research shows that the treatment of LGBT+ people in British society today is preventing young adults from thriving at work. LGBT+ young people deserve to safely be themselves at school, home, and work – there must be no exceptions.” This statement emphasizes the need for societal change and workplace policies that foster an inclusive environment for all.

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