LGBT employees rate their company 6% lower than non-LGBT employees, study finds
BOSTON — The latest Gallup poll showed that about seven percent of the American population identifies with the LGBT community and data shows that a large portion of them report high levels of job dissatisfaction.
A Glassdoor study of over 200,000 people reveals that LGBT employees rate their company 6% lower than non-LGBT employees.
Many LGBTQ+ workers cited issues of bias or harassment as well as a lack of diversity or inclusion.
“Visibility is so important right now,” said Jim Smith, who is director of parking and commuter services at Boston Children’s Hospital. Smith identifies as gay and believes things have changed a lot for the better in his 17 years in hospital.
“There are fewer barriers in place now that make changes like this move faster,” Smith said.
But not all businesses move quickly. AceUp, a Boston-based company is looking to change that, and they’ve been busy.
The company consults with companies looking to make their work environment more inclusive.
“It’s not just about doing what it takes to help gay people, it’s about doing what it takes to help everyone,” said AceUp Vice President James Lopata . “If you’re trying to hide who you are and people are talking about their spouse and family and you’re trying to figure out how to match your pronouns, it can be exhausting.”
Lopata spoke of her own experience at her workplace: “I was able to be more myself at work, then I stayed longer and was happier. I started getting promoted more because I had nothing to hide,” he said.
AceUp consulted with groups like Fidelity, the City of Boston, and Boston Children’s Hospital.
Smith has worked with AceUp to help improve managers’ knowledge of LGBT workplace issues and ways to improve them. Smith said companies are smart to invest in change.
“There are fairness issues at play here,” Smith said. “There’s a quality of people’s life at stake here and I think they’re also smart to recognize that organizations that are more diverse, more inclusive, that promote a sense of belonging are places where people want to work. .”
Smith said that despite the drastic improvements he has seen over the years, more can be done.
“Organizations really need to get the job done,” Smith said. “At the end of the day, we want to be very careful that they don’t become opportunities to tick boxes and say we did this, we did that, we did that, when you don’t have really brought no organizational change.”
Smith is also a member of the hospital’s Rainbow Alliance. This is a coalition of 300 LGBT hospital staff building a sense of community and advocacy in the workplace.
“Having strong groups like this that are employee-led really makes it a better place to work and attracts good people to work here,” Smith said.
When it comes to the LGBTQ+ business climate, Massachusetts ranks third in the nation for workplace equality.