Workers Still Hiding Sexual Orientation

USA TODAY, November 2009 | Go to article overview

Workers Still Hiding Sexual Orientation


Some 51% of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers continue to hide their identity from most or all coworkers, according to a report released by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Washington, D.C. The report found that, despite significant advances in employment policies at major corporations, a majority of LGBT workers continues to experience a range of negative consequences because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Younger workers are even more likely to hide their LGBT identity--only five percent of LGBT employees ages 18 to 24 say they totally are open at work, compared to more than 20% of older-age cohorts.

In recent years, businesses have engaged in sustained efforts to implement policies aimed at creating safe and productive workplaces for talented LGBT employees. The number of companies that receive top ratings on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation Corporate Equality Index, for example, rose from 13 in 2002 to 305 in the latest report. Nevertheless, significant numbers of LGBT employees continue to experience a negative workplace climate that affects productivity, retention, and professional relationships. …

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