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Study: supporting LGBT staff benefits British businesses

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  • Study: supporting LGBT staff benefits British businesses

    British businesses that fail to implement supportive workplaces for LGBT employees are losing thousands of pounds annually from their bottom line, according to a study. 

Findings from the research, which was undertaken by LGBT marketing and research agency Out Now Global, were presented at a seminar for MPs and business leaders on Wednesday.

    Out Now Global CEO Ian Johnson said the findings proved a compelling argument for companies to ensure their workplaces are genuinely comfortable for LGBT staff to be open about their sexuality and gender identity. Johnson said: ‘This research shows for the first time that not only is workplace equality the right thing to do socially, but also the right thing for companies to help increase their bottom line.’

    ‘Smart companies can invest in providing an inclusive work environment to help not only increase productivity, teamwork and employee engagement, but also reduce staff turnover by attracting and then retaining the best LGBT talent available.’

    Annual savings identified by the study can reach as much as £2.7 million for larger businesses employing around 15,000 people. Even smaller companies stood to save around £90,000 a year by introducing measures to ensure LGBT staff did not quit due to homophobic working conditions.

    The research shows a 32-48% increase in LGBT people feeling a valued member of their team when they feel they can be open about being LGBT in the workplace. Meanwhile, over 20% of LGBT people would consider leaving their job when they do not feel comfortable coming out.

    Survey respondents cited media coverage of the sexuality of celebrities as frequent triggers for fuelling negative and homophobic comments and behaviour at work; others said they had been advised by colleagues to keep quiet about their sexuality, and reported the frequent abuse of the word ‘gay’ by colleagues and straight senior executives during training exercises.

    Johnson is calling for companies to adopt measures such as employee resource groups, anonymous reporting structures and performance audits that are embedded into company culture and corporate policies.

    Source: Study: supporting LGBT staff benefits British businesses