Only half of UK workers are certain their employer is LGBT-inclusive

two men at work talking

Only half of UK employees are certain that their employer has LGBT-inclusive policies, new polling by YouGov and PinkNews has found.

To coincide with the PinkNews Trans Summit, YouGov and PinkNews questioned over 2,141 adults across the UK on their work lives.

Of these, 744 non-LGBT+ employees shared how comfortable they would be if a queer colleague was talking about their sexuality or gender identity at work.

The survey found that half (50 per cent) of these respondents would feel “very comfortable”, while 30 per cent said they would be “fairly comfortable” in such a scenario.

Nine per cent of adults surveyed said they would be “fairly uncomfortable” if an LGBT+ co-worker was discussing their identity at work. Only five per cent said they would be “very uncomfortable” in such circumstances.

The YouGov and PinkNews polling also quizzed workers on whether their employer had LGBT-inclusive policies. Of the 1014 who responded to the question, just over half (52 per cent) were confident that they did. A third (33 per cent) admitted they did not know if their workplace had such policies.

Six per cent said their workplace did not have LGBT-inclusive policies, while nine per cent said the question did not apply to them.

Of a sample of 130 LGBT+ workers, only 50 per cent were open about their sexual orientation or gender identity to all their work colleagues.

Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) said they were open about their sexual orientation or gender identity, but only to certain colleagues.

A similar percentage (25 per cent) said they are not out at work. Of those who are not out at work, 20 per cent said they have chosen to keep their queerness private while 22 per cent said they don’t find it necessary or relevant to share.

Sadly, a fifth (19 per cent) said they were not out at work because they don’t want to be viewed or treated differently by their colleagues if they shared their sexuality or gender identity.

The survey comes as PinkNews launches its global, digital Trans Summit, which runs from 18 to 20 May. The summit looks at how UK employers can attract, retain and protect LGBT+ talent within their organisation.

Benjamin Cohen, chief executive of PinkNews, said there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure companies have the “right tools to start building and improving their LGBT-inclusive policies”.

“It’s our mission to inform, inspire change and empower people, including the LGBT+ community, to be authentically themselves, so it’s great to see how open younger generations are when it comes to discussing their sexuality and gender identity in the workplace,” he added.

“However, there’s still a lot of work to be done when it comes to trans visibility and ensuring that companies have policies in place (and actually follow them through), creating open and safe workplaces for both LGBT+ people and allies.”