Like many others, LGBT+ History Month has been an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come in the last few decades and even the last ten years in how society treats the LGBT+ community. However, the report published this month by CIPD, Inclusion at Work Perspectives on LGBT+ working lives, demonstrates that we still have a way to go with workplaces.
I am very happy to say that I have never felt discriminated against or held back by the fact that I am gay. I am also proud of the fact that Anthony Collins Solicitors (ACS) has an LGBT+ group (now in its second year) and that we had the opportunity to march at Birmingham Pride in 2019.
However, everybody's experience is different and this report is an opportunity for all employers to consider their approach to LGBT+ colleagues. That is just what we will be doing at ACS through our LGBT+ group and ED&I committee.
While workplace inclusivity is fundamental to good, fair work and positive employee outcomes, many organisations have been slow to make headway in this area. This CIPD research report explores LGBT+ experiences of work, from conflict and wellbeing to job outcomes, and finds that LGBT+ employees are more likely to experience workplace conflict and harassment than their heterosexual, cisgender counterparts. Forty per cent of LGB+ workers and 55% of trans workers have experienced such conflict, compared with 29% of heterosexual, cisgender employees. In addition, a higher proportion of LGB+ workers (16%) feel psychologically unsafe in the workplace compared with heterosexual workers (10%), while for trans workers, this figure is even higher at 18%. This suggests that organisations’ handling of conflict and harassment must improve, and employers must develop a greater understanding of the specific experiences – and needs – of LGBT+ employees, particularly when it comes to building awareness and taking action on trans policies and practices.