LGBTQ+ HISTORY MONTH: Students & grads want more inclusive workplaces

More than a third of students and graduates identify as LGBTQ+, according to new research, but the majority of this group are reluctant to join companies where they can’t be ‘out’ at work.

The research of over 2,000 students and recent graduates was carried out by myGwork – a global community of LGBTQ+ professionals and inclusive employers – in association with Highered. It also found that today’s young LGBTQ+ jobseekers desire to work in open and accepting working environments, with three-quarters of respondents expressing reluctance to join organisations where they couldn’t be their authentic selves, fearing being discriminated against, facing bias and being given limited opportunities for training or development required to progress.  

In addition, the research highlights the importance of seeing visible LGBTQ+ role models in senior positions. Without visible LGBTQ+ senior roles, many young LGBTQ+ professionals are unlikely to believe they will be able to get ahead at those companies. In fact, 8 out of 10 LGBTQ+ students and graduates believe that being LGBTQ+ will make it more challenging for them to reach senior leadership positions. 

The research reveals that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity remains common both in the workplace and universities/business schools. Almost half (48%) of all LGBTQ+ students/graduates have witnessed discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity at their place of study or work, compared to just 32% of non-LGBTQ+ students and graduates. Additionally, 36% of all responding LGBTQ+ students/graduates have personally experienced discrimination, such as homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, at their place of study/work.

Currently, very few students and graduates worldwide believe that organisations are taking enough proactive action to be LGBTQ+ inclusive, and the figures are much lower for LGBTQ+ students (5%), compared to non-LGBTQ+ (14%). The research also sheds light on key factors that influence the employment choices of young LGBTQ+ professionals entering the workforce, revealing what credentials they use to assess how inclusive an employer is before even considering applying for a job there.  

“Our latest research goes beyond highlighting industries perceived to be more LGBTQ+ friendly by young job seekers. It provides insights into the criteria LGBTQ+ students and recent graduates seek in inclusive employers and the essential benefits necessary to attract and retain them,” said myGwork’s co-founders Adrien and Pierre Gaubert“In an era where inclusion and belonging are critical to progressive workplaces, myGwork’s research serves as an indispensable guide for organisations aiming to create fair and inclusive environments to attract the valuable talent they need to succeed.” 

To read the full report, click here –

Register or log in to get started in your organisation

Get our EDI news and guides straight to your inbox

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Login or Sign Up

You'll need an Empower Up members account to access this awesome content.

Our members get free access to:

Don't have an account? Sign up