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Shattering Stereotypes: Addressing LGBTQ+ Workplace Discrimination

LGBTQ+ Workplace Discrimination Statistics: A Harsh Reality

Imagine going to work every day and feeling on edge, unsure of what kind of treatment you might face based on your sexual orientation or gender identity. This is the unfortunate reality for many LGBTQ+ workers across various industries, despite growing acceptance and progress towards equality in recent years.

In this article, we will examine the discriminations that LGBTQ+ workers face in the workplace, including general statistics and industry-specific data. General LGBTQ+ Workplace Discrimination Statistics

LGBTQ+ workers experience unjust treatment in the workplace.

According to a report by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), 46% of LGBTQ+ workers reported experiencing unfair treatment by employers or co-workers because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Additionally, 52% of LGBTQ+ workers experienced verbal abuse, and 31% experienced physical threats or workplace violence.

Sexual harassment is also prevalent in the workplace, with 20% of LGBTQ+ workers having experienced unwanted sexual contact or touching. Furthermore, gender identity and sexual orientation can negatively impact employment opportunities and career advancement.

HRC reports that 9% of LGBTQ+ people were denied a promotion simply because of their sexual orientation, and another 14% were refused raises. These statistics underscore the prevalence of workplace discrimination faced by LGBTQ+ people, highlighting how sexual orientation and gender identity impact their opportunities for education and professional advancement.

Companies need to take proactive steps to combat discrimination. LGBTQ+ Workplace Discrimination Statistics by Evaluation and Promotion

Employment evaluation and promotion processes are an essential aspect of workplace dynamics.

However, these processes can be highly discriminatory against LGBTQ+ workers. In addition to the HRC report, independent studies have looked at specific aspects of discrimination based on orientation or gender identity-effectiveness evaluations, promotion possibilities, pay, and likelihood of dismissal.

One-fifth of LGBTQ+ people reported having been firedunfairly, factoring in their sexual orientation and gender identity. However, job security is not the only issue.

When evaluated for work effectiveness, a transgender employee is three times more likely to receive low ratings or negative feedback. Career mobility and promotion opportunities are also impacted by orientation and gender identity, with some employers offering fewer responsibilities or work assignments, intentionally passing over qualified LGBTQ+ job candidates.

LGBTQ+ Workplace Discrimination Statistics by Industry

Different industries manifest discrimination towards LGBTQ+ employees in complex ways. Let us explore the statistics in the restaurant and foodservice, as well as the tech industry.

In the restaurant industry, 60% of workers reported verbal abuse and found their sexual orientation specifically ridiculed by customers. Servers are often subject to hostility by customers because of their appearance or sexual orientation.

Furthermore, restaurant workers may be reluctant to report discrimination because of stringent labor laws and employers that are unlikely to take corrective measures. The tech industry exemplifies the ways in which bullying and intimidation occur in the workplace.

According to a report by Fortune, LGBTQ+ tech workers share experiences of public humiliation to instances of workplace harassment (such as being told to act like a man), including coworker transphobic jokes and cyberbullying. Fortune stated that out of 3,500 LGBTQ+ employed in the tech industry, 42% had experienced discriminatory or harassing behaviours.


Discrimination in the workplace is a harsh reality for many LGBTQ+ workers. Despite some improvements in recent years, employers must feel compelled to continue to fight against workplace discrimination by building more inclusive policies, embracing diverse cultures, fostering advocacy, providing training and harassment reporting remedies, and remaining up-to-date on labour policies and law changes.

All in all, it would create a more welcoming, safer and more productive environment for LGBTQ+ workers. LGBTQ+ Workplace Discrimination during the Application Process Statistics

The job application process can be a stressful time for anyone seeking a new job.

However, for LGBTQ+ individuals, there are added stressors that come with trying to navigate discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In this article, we will examine the discrimination that LGBTQ+ individuals face during the application process, including discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and the concealment of LGBTQ+ identities in resumes.

Discrimination in the Application Process Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity

Discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals during the job application process is often hidden, yet pervasive. A report by the National Center for Transgender Equality states that 26% of transgender individuals reported having lost a job because of their gender identity.

Meanwhile, a study conducted by the Williams Institute found that 58% of LGBT workers experience mistreatment on the job due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Furthermore, 14% of these individuals report losing a job due to their identity.

Adding to this, queer and transgender people frequently come across prejudices in the interview process. Unconscious bias on behalf of the interviewer or employer may lead to discriminatory questioning or generalisations about a candidate’s capabilities.

Being ‘out’ as LGBTQ+ during the job application process can be a risk for some people, as negative opinions around sexual orientation or gender expression persist. Therefore covering up personal identities becomes a solution, and that leads to further complications and stress.

Concealing Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity in Resumes

A sad reality of the job application process for LGBTQ+ individuals is concealing their identity in their resumes. Some work experience may imply sexual orientation or gender identity, while others may sound neutral.

Changing how experiences are presented o editing personal information about a candidate is also necessary, depending on the industry.

A survey conducted by LinkedIn, reported that only 39% of LGBTQ+ individuals included their sexual orientation in their resume.

It highlights that a large percentage of these individuals still feel the need to conceal their identities in their job application material. The report also demonstrated that more than two-thirds of individuals said they believed that employers can discriminate against LGBTQ+ applicants who mention their sexual orientation or gender identity.

This demonstrates a catch-22 situation for LGBTQ+ individuals who are trying to be transparent in their application processes. On one hand, if they decide to be forthcoming about their sexual orientation or gender identity, they might face discrimination.

On the other hand, if they conceal their identity or use gender-neutral pronouns, they feel like they’re losing part of their identity and the ability to express themselves freely. LGBTQ+ Workplace Discrimination Statistics by Being ‘Out’ at Work

Being out at work can be stressful and, in some unfortunate circumstances, unbearable for many who come from the LGBTQ+ community.

In a survey conducted by Human Rights Campaign (HRC) about the role of orientation and gender identity in the workplace, it was found that 46% of LGBTQ+ employees remain closeted in professional environments, and half of those that are open experience negative or unwelcoming environments.

LGBTQ+ individuals bear the brunt of uncomfortable situations, which can cause detrimental impacts, such as stress, anxiety, and low productivity.

Employees may feel uncomfortable or awkward with their colleagues after they learn about their sexuality, or regularly experience microaggressions, including passing comments that can infer discrimination or ignorance.

LGBTQ+ Individuals Lying or Covering up Identities at Work

Some workers may feel as though they have no other choice than to lie or cover up their identities at work.

In the same HRC report, it was found that nearly a quarter of LGBTQ+ individuals reported changing their physicality or name to appear less queer at work or fit into heteronormative or cis-normative culture. It is an alarming percentage that shows the amount of pressure most of the LGBTQ+ workers go through, and the lengths they are willing to take to fit into their workplaces’ norm.

Individuals may assume that remaining closeted or hiding their identities may increase their chances of job safety or better treatment. Still, this strategy may ultimately lead to a toxic work environment, personal confliction, and a loss of self-identity, none of which are sustainable in the long term.


Eliminating discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity at all employment stages is crucial. More than ever, it is essential that employers strive to diversify their workforce, actively work to create inclusive working environments and establish fair and honest evaluation systems.

Individuals should be confident that their identity will not hinder their career opportunities. Creating comfortable and safe environments for all workers, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, is essential to combating discrimination and creating a more productive and happy workplace.

LGBTQ+ Employment Statistics

While there have been significant strides towards equality for the LGBTQ+ community, many employers and industries continue to underrepresent these individuals. In this article, we will explore general LGBTQ+ employment statistics and discrimination based on inclusivity/exclusivity and income.

General LGBTQ+ Employment Statistics

The employment statistics for LGBTQ+ individuals are not as bright as they are for other groups. According to research conducted by the Movement Advancement Project in partnership with the Human Rights Campaign and other advocacy organisations, LGBTQ+ individuals are more likely to experience unemployment, poverty, and earn less as compared to non-LGBTQ+ counterparts.

It is unfortunate to note that despite this community’s significant workforce contribution, LGBTQ+ individuals remain underrepresented in senior leadership roles, including corporate leadership positions, with a limited presence at higher levels of organisation hierarchies. This trend has started to shift gradually, with an increasing number of inclusive policies becoming implemented by companies that promote fairness and equality in hiring.

LGBTQ+ Employment Statistics by Workplace Inclusivity/Exclusivity

It is important to understand the impact of workplace inclusivity for the LGBTQ+ community. One study found that inclusivity is not only beneficial for employees in this community but also for the company because it fosters greater productivity and performance for all employees.

Unfortunately, some employers continue to adopt workplace practices that exclude the LGBTQ+ community based on negative prejudices, conscious or unconscious bias against specific sexual orientations and gender identity. A report published by the UCLA Law School found that, out of 51% of LGBTQ+ individuals living in states lacking non-discrimination statutes protecting them, 41% reported hearing offensive comments at work about their sexuality or gender identity.

In contrast, only 8% of those living in states with such legislation reported any discriminatory environment.

Moreover, in a survey conducted by the Human Rights Campaign, only 71% of LGBTQ+ individuals disclosed their sexual orientation or gender identity to their colleagues.

While that may not be shocking, the report also highlighted that LGBTQ+ people are more concerned about their co-worker’s reaction rather than employers when they express their identity, which underlines the importance of having an inclusive work environment. LGBTQ+ Workplace Discrimination Statistics by Income

Income disparities are prevalent throughout the LGBTQ+ community and have increasingly harmful effects, including disproportionate poverty rates among members of this community and a higher chance of lower earnings.

This is regardless of an increase in the number of legal provisions extended to combat workplace discrimination. In fact, a study conducted by the Williams Institute found that almost 30% of LGBT individuals reported poverty rates compared to 21% of their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts.

LGBTQ+ Individuals Earning Less and Higher Unemployment Rates

More LGBTQ+ individuals are underemployed or unemployed compared to other communities. The report by the Movement Advancement Project found that, regardless of legal provisions that prevent workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the unemployment rate is approximately double that of non-LGBTQ+ counterparts.

Many of the LGBTQ+ individuals that do find work face additional barriers, including implicit and explicit bias from employers that limit career advancement opportunities and lower earnings. Income Disparities within the LGBTQ+ Community

Income disparities are not evenly distributed within the LGBTQ+ community.

For instance, gay men have higher average earnings and are less likely to face discrimination than lesbian women. A report published by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) found that lesbian, bisexual women, and transgender individuals earn less than both gay and heterosexual men and that LGBTQ+ individuals are more likely to report earning less than $24,000 per year than heterosexual counterparts.

HIV and AIDS-healthcare providers are among the low-paying earners within the LGBTQ+ community.


Despite progress in recent years, persistent workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity continues to harm the LGBTQ+ community. Overcoming these employment-related employment hardships requires inclusive policies, anti-discrimination regulation, and proactive advocacy to encourage a more extensive and fair representation of LGBTQ+ individuals in the workforce.

It is essential to note that this fight is more than just one for the LGBTQ+ community; it is about building a more tolerant and productive society by raising awareness and taking concrete measures from the bottom to the top hierarchy in workplaces and industries. LGBTQ+ Workplace Discrimination FAQ

In order to combat workplace discrimination and create a more inclusive environment, it is important for employees and employers to be well-informed about the rights and considerations surrounding LGBTQ+ individuals.

In this article, we will address frequently asked questions related to LGBTQ+ workplace discrimination, including employers’ ability to ask about LGBTQ+ identity, the decision to disclose LGBTQ+ identity on resumes, and LGBTQ+ individuals’ openness about their sexuality at work. Employer’s Ability to Ask about LGBTQ+ Identity

Question: Can an employer ask about an employee’s sexual orientation or gender identity during the hiring process?

Answer: In most cases, it is illegal and highly discouraged for employers to ask about an employee’s sexual orientation or gender identity during the hiring process. Asking such questions can be interpreted as discriminatory and can create a hostile work environment.

It is vital for employers and hiring managers to focus only on job-related qualifications and criteria rather than personal and irrelevant matters such as one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. In many countries, anti-discrimination laws are in place to protect LGBTQ+ individuals from being subjected to discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Employers should ensure they are familiar with these laws and comply with them in order to foster a culture of inclusivity and equality within their organizations. Deciding Whether to Disclose LGBTQ+ Identity on Resumes

Question: Should an LGBTQ+ individual disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity on their resume?

Answer: The decision to disclose one’s LGBTQ+ identity on a resume is a personal one that should be based on several factors, including the nature of the job, the company culture, and the individual’s comfort level. While it is unfortunate that LGBTQ+ individuals may feel the need to conceal their identities, it is also important to prioritize personal safety and well-being.

In some industries and organizations that value diversity and inclusivity, openly identifying as LGBTQ+ may be seen as a positive attribute. However, it is crucial to recognize that discrimination still exists in many workplaces.

Therefore, LGBTQ+ individuals may choose to disclose their identities strategically, such as during the interview process or after securing the job, when they can assess the company’s commitment to creating an inclusive environment. Ultimately, it is important for individuals to feel empowered to make decisions that best suit their needs and comfort levels, while also being aware of potential risks in certain work environments.

LGBTQ+ Individuals’ Openness about Sexuality at Work

Question: Should LGBTQ+ individuals be open about their sexuality in the workplace? Answer: Whether to be open about one’s sexuality at work is a deeply personal decision that depends on various factors, including company culture, inclusivity policies, and personal comfort.

Some LGBTQ+ individuals choose to be open about their sexuality as a way to be true to themselves, build authentic relationships, and foster a sense of belonging in the workplace. However, it is important to consider potential risks before being open about sexuality.

LGBTQ+ individuals may face discrimination, microaggressions, or discomfort from colleagues or supervisors who hold prejudiced beliefs. Therefore, it is crucial to assess the level of inclusivity in the workplace, the presence of anti-discrimination policies, and the attitudes of co-workers and management before making a decision.

Additionally, being open about one’s sexuality can be empowering and contribute to creating a more inclusive work environment. It can help challenge stereotypes, break down barriers, and promote acceptance and understanding.

It is vital for individuals to prioritize their safety and well-being and make decisions that feel right for them.


Navigating LGBTQ+ workplace discrimination requires knowledge, awareness, and a commitment to fostering inclusivity. Employers should understand their legal obligations and strive to create an environment free from discrimination.

Likewise, LGBTQ+ individuals should be empowered to make informed decisions about disclosing their identities and being open about their sexuality at work. By promoting dialogue, understanding, and acceptance, workplaces can become spaces where LGBTQ+ individuals can thrive, confident that they will be treated with dignity and respect.

In conclusion, LGBTQ+ workplace discrimination remains a pressing issue that negatively impacts the lives of many individuals. The ability for employers to ask about LGBTQ+ identity during the hiring process is limited and often considered discriminatory.

LGBTQ+ individuals face the challenging decision of whether or not to disclose their identity on resumes, influenced by factors such as company culture and personal comfort. Being open about one’s sexuality at work can foster inclusivity, but it is crucial to consider potential risks.

Overall, creating inclusive and accepting workplaces is vital for combating discrimination and providing equal opportunities. By promoting understanding, education, and empathy, we can build environments where all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, can thrive and contribute their valuable skills and perspectives.

Let us work towards a future where everyone feels safe, accepted, and celebrated in the workplace.

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