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Standing Up For LGBTQ+ Rights In The Workplace

Standing Up For LGBTQ+ Rights In The Workplace
01 June 2020 | Updated 15 November 2021

Throughout June, we are celebrating Pride Month and focussing on how we can work together to better support our LGBTQ+ colleagues and employees, all year round.

With in-person Pride events across the UK cancelled or postponed, it’s important to remember why we celebrate Pride, what it means and how we as an industry can play our part.


Stonewall’s Work Report


The last “LGBT in Britain – Work Report” was commissioned in 2018 and based on YouGov research with 3,213 LGBTQ+ employees. It revealed several key areas where employees feel unsupported and discriminated against because of their sexual orientation: 


  • Almost one in five LGBTQ+ staff (18 per cent) have been the target of negative comments or conduct from work colleagues in 2018 because they're LGBTQ+ 
  • One in eight trans people (12 per cent) have been physically attacked by customers or colleagues in the last year because of being trans
  • One in ten black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBTQ+ staff (10 per cent) have similarly been physically attacked because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, compared to three per cent of white LGBTQ+ staff
  • Almost one in five LGBTQ+ people (18 per cent) who were looking for work said they were discriminated against because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity while trying to get a job in the last year
  • One in eight black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBTQ+ employees (12 per cent) have lost a job in the last year because of being LGBTQ+, compared to four per cent of white LGBTQ+ staff
  • Almost two in five bi people (38 per cent) aren’t out to anyone at work about their sexual orientation
  • More than a third of LGBTQ+ staff (35 per cent) have hidden or disguised that they are LGBT at work in the last year because they were afraid of discrimination
  • One in eight lesbian, gay and bi people (12 per cent) wouldn’t feel confident reporting any homophobic or biphobic bullying to their employer. 
  • One in five trans people (21 per cent) wouldn’t report transphobic bullying in the workplace
  • Almost a third of non-binary people (31 per cent) and one in five trans people (18 per cent) don’t feel able to wear work attire representing their gender expression


Ten ways you can make an impact at work


The month of June was named as Pride month to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which occurred at the end of June 1969 and is widely thought of as key momement in the gay liberation movement. As a result, many pride events are usually held during this month to recognise the impact LGBTQ+ people have had in the world.

Here are some of Stonewall’s ideas on how to get started on making an impact at work to support the LGBTQ+ community:


  1. Read up on terminology so you can talk about the issues confidently
  2. Use a Come Out For LGBTQ+ mug or wear rainbow lanyards to show your support
  3. Call out offensive, negative or abusive language and “banter” when you hear it
  4. Order Stonewall resources including posters, research and reports to have in your workplace 
  5. Set up an LGBTQ+ staff network group (or LGBTQ+  Allies/ Friends group)
  6. Organise a lunch and learn about LGBTQ+ history, stories or experiences
  7. Open up space to talk – you could mention LGBTQ+ issues you’ve seen in the media and get some real conversations started
  8. Work with your HR department to make sure their policies and procedures cover diversity, inclusion, rights and protections for LGBTQ+ employees
  9. Celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month or other awareness days and campaigns to show support
  10. March, sponsor or volunteer at your local Pride as an organisation

Picture: An image of a Pride flag

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 01 June 2020


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