According to a report released Monday,
nearly half of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender employees in the
United States remain closeted at work.
The Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) A
Workplace Divided: Understanding the Climate for LGBTQ Workers
Nationwide is the organization's third survey of employees
nationwide in the past decade.
Pollsters found that substantial
barriers to full inclusion remain despite significant gains in LGBT
equality, including nationwide marriage equality and corporate
policies and practices that increasingly are LGBT inclusive.
“While LGBTQ-inclusive corporate
policies are becoming the norm, LGBTQ workers too often face a
climate of bias in their workplace,” said Deena Fidas, director of
HRC’s Workplace Equality Program. “LGBTQ employees are still
avoiding making personal and professional connections at work because
they fear coming out – and that hurts not only that employee, but
the company as a whole. Even the best-of-the-best private sector
employers with top-rated policies and practices must do more to
nurture a climate of inclusion for all.”
According to the survey, forty-six
percent of LGBT workers say they are closeted at work – a decrease
of only 4 percent in the decade since HRC released its initial survey
– and fifty-three percent of LGBT workers report hearing jokes
about gay men or lesbians at least once in a while.
Pollsters also found that fifty-nine
percent of non-LGBT workers surveyed say it's unprofessional to talk
about sexual orientation and gender identity at work. These same
workers, however, report they regularly talk about their spouses,
families and life outside of work with their co-workers.
“The double standard LGBTQ workers
are held to remains a persistent barrier to full inclusion on the
job,” the organization said.