HomeEmployee ExperienceDEI&BDiversity & InclusionLGBTQ employees feel they cannot be themselves at work

LGBTQ employees feel they cannot be themselves at work

  • 3 Min Read

A survey of 4,000 participants found that only 50% have actually come out to their broad professional circle.

Featured Image

According to studies by BCG, it has been reported that one-third of young LGBT+ workers in the UK worry that being open about their identity in the workplace could be a career risk.

Although UK ranks 2nd in a list of countries where LGBT+ talent feel comfortable coming out at work, it has been revealed that surprisingly over a third would lie when asked by a manager if they’re in a relationship

Elliot Vaughn, a Partner in BCG’s UK office and co-founder of LGBT+ charity, GiveOut comments on these statistics, saying “Despite a positive trend toward LGBT+ inclusion, there is still a clear gap between intention and action”

Industries and Sectors 

When looking at where LGBT members feel most comfortable, and what industry most appeals to them. 58% of LGBTQ respondents said that they would like to work in a multinational, in comparison to the 69% non-LGBT+ response. Startups seem to also struggle with this issue, with these sectors appealing to only 19% of LGBT+ respondents, compared with 26% of non-LGBTQ. However the public sector and nonprofit employers seem relatively more attractive—by 6 to 10 percentage points—to LGBT+ candidates than to non-LGBTQ respondents.

When looking for a career, it is critical for LGBTQ respondents find a culture where they can ensure that they will not have to work in a hostile environment. 5% of UK respondents saying that they would put business first and accept to work on a project in a country where LGBTQ people may be prosecuted. So it is clear that in order to appeal to LGBT+ talent, companies need to ensure that they can guarantee that these members will not be criticised or receive hostile treatment for who they are.

How we can help LGBTQ members feel more inclusive

“To attract emerging LGBTQ talent, it’s not enough to focus only on recruitment. It’s also important to create a work environment that meets their expectations, and that supports them to succeed in their professional lives. Two high impact steps companies can take are to visibly signal the importance of inclusion at the most senior level, and to create networks and peer communities for mentoring and to help find solutions to difficult issues that still come up,” says Vaughn.

There are many other things that employers can do to accommodate LGBTQ issues, simply by raising awareness among all employees. As well as ensuring that these members receive the exact same benefit package as everyone else. (e.g. health insurance for same-sex partners in countries where it is not a legal obligation).

The survey was conducted by BCG’s LGBTQ network from July 2018- September 2018. 4,000 students and recent graduates representing 60 nationalities in countries including France, Germany, the UK, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Mexico, the US, and Brazil responded to an online questionnaire. In order to make comparative assessments, the survey included both LGBT+ and non-LGBTQ respondents.

The findings have been published in The Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) fourth edition of its annual survey on the perceptions and expectations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender + (LGBTQ) professionals in the workplace.

Was this article helpful?

Subscribe to get your daily business insights

Related Articles

Women still face a significant gender bias in the UK workplace

The BBC recently released a report to find that in four in 10 private companies, their gap has surprisingly widened in comparison to the year before....

  • Louron Pratt
  • Feb 20, 2019

What companies can do to make LGBT+ members feel more inclusive

Elliot Vaughn, a Partner at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), is head of BCG’s LGBT network in Europe (Pride@BCG) and will be taking over global...

  • Louron Pratt
  • Dec 20, 2018

Women in financial sectors earn 52% less in bonuses than their male colleagues

An annual report from Questback have revealed a shocking statistic for the financial services industry. This report found that 78% of businesses have...

  • Louron Pratt
  • Dec 17, 2018

The positive effect that BP pride can have on LGBT members

Recent reports have showcased the significance of LGBT inclusion, with a report revealing that 35% of LGBT members don’t feel comfortable or...

  • Louron Pratt
  • Nov 22, 2018

Do people with disabilities feel included in the workplace?

It has been revealed that disability inclusion in the workplace is becoming more of a critical issue for many companies to address in recent times....

  • Louron Pratt
  • Nov 21, 2018

Sexual harassment in the workplace

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a significant issue in today's day and age, with still a large number of victims still falling to these...

  • Louron Pratt
  • Nov 14, 2018

35% of LGBT employees feel uncomfortable at work

Stonewall, the LGBT rights charity released a report ‘LGBT in Britain’ earlier this year. The report revealed that 35% of LGBT members don't feel...

  • Louron Pratt
  • Oct 31, 2018

Young women are receiving less career support

Youth Employment UK launched the results of its national Youth Voice Census, accessing the experiences of 1500 14-24-year-olds as they transition...

  • Louron Pratt
  • Oct 29, 2018


HRD Roundtable: Combating 'Quiet Quitting'…

08 June 2023
  • E-Book
  • May 12, 2023

HRD Network Roundtable: The Retention…

15 June 2023
  • E-Book
  • May 12, 2023

Manage change and drive value…

01 June 2023
  • E-Book
  • May 12, 2023
Sign up to our Newsletter