A new study today confirms not only the personal benefits of being able to come out, but the economic benefits as well. According to the Center for Work-Life Policy, LGBT employees “who are out flourish at work, while those who are in the closet languish or leave.” This has huge implications for employers, because the study also found that LGBT employees are highly desirable workers, but almost half of them (48 percent) are closeted.
Here are some of the study’s findings:
– DESIRABLE WORK FORCE: As a group, LGBT employees are the kind of workers employers should want:
– 71 percent are “ambitious.”- 88 percent are “committed” and “willing to go the extra mile for employers.”- 48 percent have graduate degrees (compared to 40 percent of their straight counterparts).
– CLOSET IS STIFLING: Of those in the closet:
– 52 percent feel stalled in their careers (compared to only 36 percent of those out).- Only 48 percent feel satisfied with their rate of advancement (compared to 64 percent of those out). They are significantly less likely to achieve senior management positions.- They are 73 percent more likely to say they’ll leave their companies within the next three years.- They are 75 percent more likely to feel isolated at work; even moreso if they are men.- They are more likely to perceive the work environment as hostile and 40 percent less likely to trust their employer.
– MONEY TO BE LOST: Studies show the LGBT community’s collective buying power in the U.S. is over $700 billion.
A similar report this week from the University of Rochester shows that LGBT people who are out are generally happier and healthier. Employers should consider how their commitment to an inclusive workplace influences the caliber of employee they are able to recruit and retain.