New research from LinkedIn suggests businesses could do more to support LGBT+ employees in the workplace and reveals a pay gap with straight colleagues. The research, conducted in partnership with leading LGBTQ+ organisation UK Black Pride, was carried out by YouGov, and surveyed 4,000 UK workers who identified as being straight, gay, bisexual or other.
It reveals that while two thirds (65 per cent) of workers believe that their workplace is doing enough to support LGB+ employees, one fifth (21 per cent) think they should do more. This is particularly true of transgender employees, with 44 per cent saying more should be done, as well as 31 per cent of gay and lesbian and 29 per cent of bisexual workers – compared to just 12 per cent of hetrosexual workers.
For those who think more needs to be done, 57 per cent want to see greater transparency around employers’ stance on diversity and inclusion, while 55 per cent want more supportive environments for coming out at work. Over two-fifths (44 per cent) want to see more inspirational people within the workplace sharing their own experiences, while 37 per cent want more LGB+ events and groups at work.
Currently, 70 per cent of LGBT+ professionals say they have no senior LGBT+ people at work to look up to, a sentiment that is particularly strong for workers in the manufacturing (82 per cent) and construction (80 per cent) industries. And, this could be having an impact on people coming out at work – 28 per cent of professionals who are not currently openly LGB+ with colleagues say it’s because they worry they’ll be judged by coworkers, and 17 per cent say it’s because there are no openly LGB+ people in their workplace at the moment.
The study also looked at the experiences of the transgender community, for which the income gap compared to their straight counterparts stands at 14 per cent, or £5,340, of annual income.
The research found that prejudice still exists in the workplace, with 21 per cent of LGBT+ respondents having experienced verbal abuse in the office and almost two thirds (61 per cent) saying that they have been made to feel uncomfortable by colleagues at some point in the workplace because of their sexuality. This may be why 14 per cent of LGB+ respondents feel that their chances of promotion in their company would be hindered if they were to come out.
Joshua Graff , UK country manager at LinkedIn said: “While a significant number of UK workers feel that their employer is supportive and inclusive of LGBT+ colleagues, our research shows there is still a long way to go. It is important that businesses build on the steps that many have already taken to create more inclusive environments – places where people can bring their true, authentic selves to work.”