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Employers failing to support LGBT+ talent

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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.