Employers failing to support LGBT+ talent


My favourite colour is green. Nobody cares. Nobody asks. I wear green quite a lot and, whilst I'm sure that everyone has noticed, nobody has taken the trouble to comment on it. My organisation ...

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39% of LGBT+ employees believe their organisation isn’t doing enough to encourage LGBT+ inclusion

Research from PwC and Out Leadership found that the majority (85%) of the high-performing LGBT+ employees surveyed felt comfortable at work, and 74% said that being out at work has had a positive impact on their career.

However, respondents felt that employers are not doing enough to support them, and are missing out on business growth as a result. Just 35% stated that their company leverages LGBT+ inclusion for business advantage.

While all respondents said that progression is important to them, only 29% said their organisation has programmes specifically focused on retaining LGBT+ talent. Just 12% said they are aware that such programmes exist within their organisation.

In addition, while nearly 60% of employers said they take steps to create a pathway to senior management for LGBT+ people, only 43% of employees believed this to be the case.

The report emphasised the business case for LGBT+ inclusion, citing that 83% of the LGBT+ employees surveyed believe that having an openly supportive focus on LGBT+ issues has improved their organisation’s market position as a result of being recognised as an inclusive employer. Additionally, 67% of employees and 89% of employers believe that having a supportive focus on LGBT+ issues has given their organisation a better understanding of customers.

Jon Terry, HR consulting partner at PwC, said that failing to embrace LGBT+ talent is hindering the success of both employees and organisations.

“For too many LGBT+ employees many organisations still feel closeted. This hinders not only the careers of LGBT+ professionals, but also means that organisations are missing out on talented people,” he said.

“All of us need to create inclusive environments where LGBT+ talent can feel safe, free to be their true selves, and fully participate in the workplace. A good leader must represent an inclusive culture and inspire others to do the same. Being an active advocate and ally for LGBT+ equality and inclusion is a clear case in point. Leaders can't hide or ignore these issues – this is where we must act, where we must be loud in our support for LGBT+ colleagues.”

The research by PwC and Out Leadership, Out to Succeed: Realising the full potential of your LGBT+ talent, surveyed 231 high-potential LGBT+ employees and 28 corporate leaders from Out Leadership member organisations.


My favourite colour is green. Nobody cares. Nobody asks. I wear green quite a lot and, whilst I'm sure that everyone has noticed, nobody has taken the trouble to comment on it. My organisation encourages talent. My favourite colour being green has no bearing on whether I am affected by this or not. Instead the focus is on how much I know, how well I apply it, my motivation and how effective I am in my relationships with colleagues. Oddly enough, I have not lobbied my organisation to have an inclusion programme for employees whose favourite colour is green. Neither do I hire an open top bus to parade through town loudly celebrating my green-ness. Green is just my colour : it just is. Shouldn't this be the way it is with LGBT+ ? People may know my LGBT+ status. But nobody cares, nobody asks. It has no bearing on anything at work. The more fuss we make, the more light we shine on it, the more programmes designed to deal with it, the more "important" it becomes. Actually it's not important - any more then my favourite colour. We have LGBT+ employees here. I don't care. I care about whether they know what they are talking about and whether they are they competent - like I do about everyone.


I'm guessing you never feel the need to hide your preference for green. That no one has ever bullied you for it or shouted at you in the street about it. So comparing this trivial fact with the lived experience of LGBT people is not really helpful or relevant. The important point here is that 'the company' believes their initiative works but the people who are supposed to benefit don't think it does.

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