New Poll: Over 50% of LGBT Community Closeted At Work
A new Human Rights Campaign poll finds that more than half of LGBT workers say they are in the closet at their job, Gay Star News reports.
The study, which surveyed 806 people, revealed that 53 percent of LGBT employees say they do not feel comfortable with coming out at the workplace.
Although attitudes towards the LGBT community and same-sex marriage have improved over the years, and are on the rise, not much has changed from five years ago: In 2009 51 percent of LGBT workers said they felt comfortable to come out at work.
The new poll found that one in four LGBT people who responded to the survey said they hear offensive remarks, like "that’s so gay" at work. Additionally, 20 percent of LGBT workers say they looked for a new job because their workplace was not accepting.
Thirty-five percent of people surveyed said they actively lie about their personal lives because of the workplace’s climate.
"It’s not enough to simply implement inclusive policies -- those policies need to be augmented by training and accountability, and [leaders] need to be on the lookout for unconscious bias," Deena Fidas, director of HRC’s Workplace Equality Program, said. "Employees are getting married without telling their coworkers for fear of losing social connections, or they’re not transitioning even though they know they need to for fear of losing their jobs. The inclusive policies coming from the boardroom have not fully made it into the everyday culture of the American workplace."
Though many LGBT workers say their work environment is a negative one, the HRC research found that 81 percent of non-LGBT workers say LGBT people "Should not have to hide who they are at work. But less than half would feel comfortable hearing about an LGBT coworker discuss their dating life.