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LGBTQ+ Professionals Fear New Laws Could Jeopardize Their Careers: Report

LGBTQ+ Professionals Fear New Laws Could Jeopardize Their Careers: Report

Business employees

As many queer people escape GOP-led state legislatures passing anti-LGBTQ+ bills, a new report indicates LGBTQ+ professionals worry about what their professional life holds.

During Pride Month, when many companies wrap themselves in multicolor support for the LGBTQ+ community, most LGBTQ+ people worry about how anti-LGBTQ+ laws and policies will affect their career opportunities, according to a new study.

Career services site Indeed released a new report on Wednesday, highlighting the results of a recent survey of 700 LGBTQ+ professionals about the work environment.

Sixty-five percent of those questioned expressed concern about the effects of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation on employment opportunities, and over half said they would not apply to a state with this legislation.

Researchers found that 77 percent of LGBTQ+ workers would hesitate to apply for work in a state with anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, and 75 percent would hesitate to work for a company headquartered in such a state.

It’s not just new anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that stands in the way of many LGBTQ+ professionals finding satisfaction with their careers.

Workplace discrimination continues to affect the majority of LGBTQ+ workers. Sixty percent of LGBTQ+ individuals say they were passed over for a promotion based on their identity. In addition, 57 percent of survey participants believe their LGBTQ+ identity resulted in a performance improvement plan. Additionally, 47 percent believe they are paid less because of it.

And while Pride parades will march down city and town streets as Pride season gets into full swing, it is estimated that more than a quarter of LGBTQ+ workers hides their identity at work. Concerns about career advancement and fear of discrimination are the top reasons why many queer professionals are not out at work.

Some 30 percent of LGBTQ+ employees reported that they had personally experienced workplace discrimination at a previous job.

Senior vice president of environmental and social governance at Indeed LaFawn Davis, said companies must step up because they are falling short of meeting queer and trans employees’ needs.

“We are at a crucial moment when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights in the US, and employers need to do their part in a real and direct way,” Davis said. “It is not enough to put a rainbow on your logo in June.”

She added, “Without real action, that is just a performative gesture called 'rainbow-washing.' The LGBTQ+ community needs benefits, employee groups, psychological safety, representation, and support. In order to truly bring your authentic self to work, which is a right, employers need to ensure all sexual and gender expressions feel included and have a sense of belonging.”

Indeed career trends expert Scott Dobroski notes that while many should be celebrating, the deep fear of discrimination in the workplace remains for many.

“Discrimination takes many forms - it’s not just microaggressions or verbal harassment. At work, it can also include a lack of career growth opportunities, promotions, or being paid less than others because of who you are,” Dobroski said.

He also noted the benefits of having a workforce that includes many diverse people.

“The LGBTQ+ community is a strong part of the American workforce, and smart employers have realized they need to better support their LGBTQ+ workers because when they do so, it helps drive their business forward. In addition, everyone deserves an inclusive and safe workplace where they can thrive.”

Dobroski added, ”When employees are authentically themselves at work, we also know productivity and morale increase as well.”

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