LGBT+ employees' experiences in the workplace

LGBT+ employees' experiences in the workplace

Wednesday, 28th of June

LGBT+ employees' experiences in the workplace

How supportive and inclusive is the workplace at present for LGBT+ people? We asked first-hand two undergraduates who were willing to share their experiences of both inclusion and discrimination within employment, and asked what measures could be taken to make the workplace a more supportive environment.

Jas

20 years old / Female

Discussion perspective: Gender identity

Identifies as: Trans

Have you ever felt uncomfortable at work, or experienced direct discrimination within the workplace regarding your gender identity?

I worked in retail when I started university and faced discrimination because at the time I was seen as a ‘man in makeup’, a co-worker jokingly asked a supervisor if I was male or female in a nasty way and they did not tackle the situation.

Would you feel comfortable being open about your gender identity within the workplace, to colleagues and/or line managers?

I feel like if people want to know, I wouldn’t hide it, but it’s not the first thing that I feel I should tell someone about myself.

Would you feel comfortable and inclined to report any harassment you experienced/are experiencing from others within the workplace to a line manager?

I would definitely report it because I wouldn’t want it happening to anyone else.

What support/networks does your employment provide to LGBT+ employees? Do you find them helpful?

I haven’t come across any.

Name one thing you feel employers could do to make the workplace a more inclusive environment in general.

I feel that training and awareness on LGBTQ+ matters/rights/people would be great for employees, as sometimes ignorance on these matters simply comes from people not knowing about them.

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Owen

20 years old / Student / Male

Discussion perspective: Sexual orientation

Identifies as: Gay

Have you ever felt uncomfortable at work, or experienced direct discrimination within the workplace regarding your gender identity?

I have experienced harassment from a manger in a hotel/restaurant I worked in, he too was gay and much older than me. He used to follow me around without reason, ask me questions he knew I wouldn’t know the answer to and attempt to make comments that would make me look stupid in front of other members of staff as well as insist he drove me home when I would finish work at midnight which I didn’t feel was acceptable.

Would you feel comfortable being open about your gender identity within the workplace, to colleagues and/or line managers?

Of course.

Would you feel comfortable and inclined to report any harassment you experienced/are experiencing from others within the workplace to a line manager?

No, in relation to my experience as answered in question 1 he was one of the managers and so the level of authority he held made it difficult and so I remained silent in regards to any form of complaint, however I do feel my complaint would have been taken seriously if I chose to complain.

What support/networks does your employment provide to LGBT+ employees? Do you find them helpful?

I am not aware of any support systems for LGBT+ people in the work place.

Name one thing you feel employers could do to make the workplace a more inclusive environment in general.

I think striving for equality is the most important and I believe this can be achieved through tolerance and educating staff which can be included within staff inductions/training. Also I think gender free bathrooms are essential.

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