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Just 14% of LGBT+ employees currently feel fully supported by their employer

New research shows that 25 per cent of LGBT+ people remain closeted and nearly half are not fully open at their place of work as the majority of workers feel unsupported by their bosses.

Research from Accenture shows that a massive 86 per cent of LGBT+ employees feel unsupported by their workplace, leading to around a quarter of LGBT+ people to remain closeted.

The Accenture ‘Getting to Equal’ research, which surveyed more than 28,000 employees and business leaders across 26 countries, reveals that in the UK less than half (41%) of LGBT+ employees are fully open about their gender identity, expression, or sexual orientation at work. More worryingly, approximately one in four LGBT+ employees (26%) remain totally closeted.

“Perception gap” between bosses and LGBT+ employees

The research also reveals a significant perception gap between how UK business leaders perceive their workplace culture compared to LGBT+ employees. Globally, 68% of leaders feel that they create an empowering workplace environment where employees can be themselves, however, just 14% of LGBT+ employees currently feel fully supported by their employer when it comes to issues like gender expression and sexual orientation at work.

Globally, almost three quarters (71%) of LGBT+ employees say that seeing LGBT+ employees in leadership positions is vital to helping them thrive and that the outward support of their non-LGBT colleagues is important to their ability to enjoy being at work.

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“It has never been more important to hear and understand the experiences of minority groups”

Rebecca Tully, Inclusion and Diversity lead at Accenture in the UK said: “At a time when we are acutely aware of ongoing social injustices, it has never been more important to hear and understand the experiences of minority groups. Though we don’t have all the answers, our research highlights the fundamental questions we need to be asking when it comes to making the workplace more inclusive for LGBT+ people. It’s important for leaders to act now and strive to create a culture where LGBT+ employees not only rise professionally, but also where they feel safe, supported and able to be themselves.” 

As part of the research, Accenture has identified the top cultural issues businesses need to address now to start building a more inclusive workplace culture for LGBT+ employees and other minority groups: Getting To Equal 2020:Pride, Visible Growth; Invisible Fears.