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Report finds nearly half of all LGBT employees in America aren't out at work

59 per cent of non-LGBT employees said it’s unprofessional to talk about sexual orientation and gender identity at work

2018-06-26

A new report has found that nearly half of all LGBT employees in America are not out at work.

In the new report A Workplace Divided: Understanding the Climate for LGBTQ Workers Nationwide is the third study by the Human Rights Campaign group and although there has been some progressed, the majority of LGBT+ employees still do not feel comfortable coming out.

Deena Fidas, director of HRC’s Workplace Equality Program, said: “While LGBTQ-inclusive corporate policies are becoming the norm, LGBTQ workers too often face a climate of bias in their workplace.

“LGBTQ employees are still avoiding making personal and professional connections at work because they fear coming out – and that hurts not only that employee, but the company as a whole.

“Even the best-of-the-best private sector employers with top-rated policies and practices must do more to nurture a climate of inclusion for all.”

Out of the LGBT+ employees not out, 38 per cent said it was due to the chance of being stereotyped and another 36 per cent claimed it could make others uncomfortable.

Up to 31 per cent admitted they didn’t want to lose connections with co-workers and 27 per cent agreed with the statement: “People might think I’m attracted to them just because I’m LGBTQ”.

Around 80 per cent of non-LGBTQ workers agreed that they shouldn’t have to hide who they are but 59 per cent said it’s unprofessional to talk about sexual orientation and gender identity at work.

Although down from the previous report in 2012, 36 per cent still said they would feel uncomfortable talking to LGBT+ colleagues about dating.

But 54 per cent would be “very comfortable” working with an LGBT+ colleague and of those that didn’t, a majority didn’t want to hear about their sex lives.