Workplace Equality

Less than half of LGBT Australian’s are out at work!


A new report has discovered that less than half of all Australian LGBT employees are completely out at work.

The study, by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and Deloitte, surveyed 1,600 LGBT employees and found that only 32% of respondents are out to all of their colleagues. While to many people, this was regarded as an opportunity to have a say on an issue that had been in the public domain, for Australia’s LGBTIQ+ community the issue was deeply personal, and the national conversation about their lives and relationships was a difficult time.

The report, titled ‘Out at Work‘, also revealed that the employees who aren’t out at work suffer from decreased wellbeing and productivity.

It also discovered that workers who are not out at their workplace are 50% less satisfied with their job compared to LGBT employees who are out.

In addition, results revealed that employees who are out at work are 28% more likely to provide great customer service, 50% more likely to innovate than those who are not out and 35% more likely to work effectively in their team.

In 2017, the Australian public was invited to vote on marriage equality. While this debate was happening around them, LGBTIQ+ people continued to come to work. And so for many Australian workplaces, this national debate became a test about what inclusion means for the LGBTIQ+ people in their ranks.

LGBTIQ+ inclusion is a relatively new component of diversity and inclusion. But the conversations we had with over 1600 LGBTQ+ workers about their experiences showed us just how important it is for Australian organisations to continue to build on that work. In this report, we present the evidence about what it means to be out at work, and what organisations can do to make everyone feel included.

This report is a timely contribution to the evidence on how important genuine inclusion is for LGBTIQ+ people to stay safe, feel welcome and to contribute their best at work.” – LISA ANNESE, Chief Executive Officer.

About Lisa Annese

Lisa Annese, the CEO of Diversity Council of Australia, said the results prove that being out and open at work is essential for a happier work-life.

She said: “A large proportion of LGBTITQ+ employees are still not comfortable being themselves at work. And yet hiding who they are can be costly not only to their own wellbeing but also to the organisations they work for.

She continued: “This report comprehensively quantifies the business case for creating LGBTIQ+ inclusive workplaces in Australia. I urge employers to take a good look at what they can do to take advantage of the benefits; not only for their LGBTIQ+ employees but for their organisation as a whole.”

About Diversity Council Australia.

Diversity Council Australia (DCA) is the only independent, not-for-profit workplace diversity advisor to business in Australia. We offer a unique knowledge bank of research, practice and expertise across diversity dimensions developed over 30 years of operation. In partnership with our members, our mission is to: lead debate on diversity in the public arena; develop and promote the latest diversity research, thinking and practice; and deliver innovative diversity practice resources and services to enable our members to drive business improvement.

DCA works in partnership with members to generate groundbreaking high impact diversity research that drives business improvement through providing evidencebased
guidance on how to fully leverage the benefits of a diverse talent pool.


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