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New Deloitte report: LGBT+ inclusion efforts yield positive impacts in workplace, yet challenges persist

News Release

Key highlights

  • Majority of respondents believe their organisations are prioritising LGBT+ inclusion and that this is having a positive impact
  • Over four in ten have experienced non-inclusive behaviours at work
  • Despite steps taken by employers to further LGBT+ inclusion at work, many respondents choose not to share their sexual orientation and/or gender identity at work beyond their closest colleagues

NEW YORK, NY, USA, 15 June 2022—Many organisations are prioritising LGBT+ inclusion, creating an overall positive impact in the workplace, according to nearly 80% of respondents in the latest Deloitte report, “LGBT+ Inclusion @ Work: A Global Outlook”, released today. The research reveals that more than 70% of LGBT+ employees are more inclined to stay with their current employer because of its approach to LGBT+ inclusion and many cited visible allyship and the availability of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) as key enablers of an inclusive culture. Yet despite these efforts, 42% of all respondents reported experiencing non-inclusive behaviours at work.

Surveying 600 respondents from organisations across 12 geographies and a range of sectors, the research provides a snapshot of the lived experiences of LGBT+ employees (defined as those who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and more) to understand their daily realities, what organisations are getting right and what can be improved.

“It is clear that employers are taking steps to incorporate LGBT+ inclusion into their DE&I strategies, and that this is regarded positively by their LGBT+ employees,” says Emma Codd, Deloitte Global Inclusion Leader. “However, it is also clear that there is much more for these organisations to do to fully embed LGBT+ inclusion into their everyday culture. Organisations need to go beyond programmes to embed a truly respectful culture where non-inclusive behaviours are not tolerated and everyone feels able to be out at work.”

Organisations have introduced a range of actions that employees view as having led to meaningful support

Many organisations are focussing on LGBT+ inclusion within their Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) strategies, with around 80% of respondents reporting that their employers have introduced LGBT+ inclusion actions and initiatives and 95% of those believing that this has led to meaningful support for LGBT+ employees across their respective organisations.

According to respondents, actions taken by organisations vary – nearly 40% say their company leaders speak openly about LGBT+ inclusion within the organisation, a third say their organisations have LGBT+ allyship programmes, and nearly a third (31%) say their employers discuss LGBT+ inclusion at external forums such as business events.

Almost all (93%) of respondents who work for global organisations also believe that organisation-level communications and actions around LGBT+ inclusion are translating into meaningful support in their home countries.

Despite supportive actions from employers, non-inclusive behaviours persist at work

Despite the positive steps organisations are taking to support their LGBT+ employees, 42% of survey respondents reported experiencing non-inclusive behaviours at work. These non-inclusive behaviours included unwanted comments of a sexual nature (33%), unwanted comments on gender identity (25%) and broader unacceptable behaviour.

Furthermore, these behaviours are experienced in both office and remote working environments. Nearly half (47%) of those who reported experiencing non-inclusive behaviours said they experienced these in a physical office, while 20% have experienced them in a virtual setting. One-third (33%) experienced such behaviours in both physical and remote environments. Of those who encountered these behaviours, nearly three-quarters reported their experience to their employer and six in 10 were satisfied with the response.

The rationale as to why respondents didn’t report non-inclusive behaviours was generally similar across all gender identities (for example, when it came to concerns as to the perception of colleagues). Women, however, were more concerned than men that their complaints would not be taken seriously (40% vs. 22%) and that the behaviour wasn’t serious enough to report (33% vs. 16%), while men were more concerned than women that the behaviour would get worse (38% vs. 17%) if it was reported.

Many still choose not to share their sexual orientation and/or gender identity with the majority of their colleagues

Around one in five respondents are not out to anyone at work about their sexual orientation, while 34% are out only to their closest colleagues. Of the latter respondents, 36% reported that while their immediate team/colleagues made them feel comfortable disclosing their sexual orientation at work, the organisation at large did not. From a gender identity perspective, nearly one-quarter (23%) who are out to some of their colleagues are worried that being out to the majority of their colleagues will adversely impact their career.

Of those respondents who are out to the majority of their colleagues, nine in 10 agreed that this is because their workplace culture helps them feel comfortable being out.

“It has been encouraging to see a focus on LGBT+ inclusion in the workplace,” says Michele Parmelee, Deloitte Global Deputy CEO and Chief People and Purpose Officer. “However, the survey has also shown us that more needs to be done. Looking ahead as companies build future-ready organisations, it will be incumbent upon leaders and colleagues to focus on three critical elements to promote LGBT+ inclusion: enabling employees to feel comfortable being out at work, creating an environment where non-inclusive behaviour is not tolerated, and leveraging visible and vocal allyship.”

For more information and to view the full results of Deloitte’s LGBT+ Inclusion @ Work, visit:


Conducted in February 2022, Deloitte Global surveyed 600 members of the LGBT+ community currently in employment across 12 geographies and 10 major industry sectors. The LGBT+ acronym (which stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and more) is used throughout this survey for consistency and includes anyone who does not identify as heterosexual and/or cisgender. The survey respondents comprised permanent employees on a full-time basis (93%), permanent employees on a part-time basis (5%) and contractor employees (2%). Over half of respondents (55%) identified as male, 39% identified as female, 3% identified as transgender and 2% identified as non-binary. 43% identified as gay, 34% identified as bisexual and 14% identified as lesbian. Other sexual orientations and identities represented included pansexual (3%), asexual (3%), queer (2%) and heterosexual (1%). The survey respondents comprised adult LGBT+ employees across age and experience levels; a slight majority were younger than 39. Most employees surveyed have at least six years of workplace experience. Please note that Deloitte employees were not polled as part of this survey.

iThis analysis does not include a comparison of global averages to non-binary responses due to the small non-binary sample size. The analysis of responses from women also includes transgender women.