Diversity and inclusion enables businesses to gather a plethora of ideas and succeed.
The survey was carried out over a ten-month period as employers responded to multiple lockdowns during the course of the pandemic.
After speaking to 2,000 respondents from 38 countries, Out Now uncovered an alarming rate of LGBTQ+ people who feel unseen at work.
Challenges for the LGBTQ+ community
The study noted 58% of LGBTQ+ respondents feel that “visibility is more difficult” in a remote environment.
This will undoubtedly be because of less open discussions about gender and sexual orientation amongst colleagues.
In fact, 46% of correspondents say that “the topic of LGBTQ+ inclusion is discussed less often with colleagues when working from home”.
Perhaps the most concerning statistic to come from this far-reaching survey is that 70% of LGBTQ+ respondents and 73% of allies said that “we need new ways to discuss LGBTQ+ inclusion at work”.
Out Now chief executive officer Ian Johnson discussed the findings of the study: “Visibility of support for LGBTQ+ inclusion is a critical factor in whether LGBTQ+ people feel safe to come out with their colleagues at work.
“Removing the usual in-person cues of showing support risks making LGBTQ+ people feel less able to be open with colleagues.”
Johnson went on to say: “So many people don’t realize what an effort it can be to conceal from colleagues such a fundamental aspect of who we are.
“Making sure LGBTQ+ inclusion support remains visible when working remotely is not only important for LGBTQ+ people to feel safe to discuss their sexual orientation or gender identity with colleagues – it is valuable for the success of business that they continue to be able to do so.”
In terms of making progress, Johnson said that working from home need not automatically lead to poorer outcomes.
What can companies do?
To get an idea of how groups within the workforce are feeling it is important to do pulse checks.
Nick Matthews, VP and general manager of employee engagement software company Culture Amp, told UNLEASH that it is important to understand the feeling within the company and integrate data into a proactive plan.
The report from Out Now also notes that companies can do virtual advocacy days, and enable staff to have LGBTQ+ supportive backdrops on their video calls.
On top of that, employers can enable staff to put their pronouns on their email signatures and on Zoom.
Despite the challenges of visibility, the survey found that the majority of respondents wanted to work in a hybrid environment.
With that in mind, it’s time to incorporate LGBTQ+ visibility into the new processes of work.
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