LGBTQ+ in the Workplace || #TheFightContinues

Ray Slater Berry
20 June 2019

We’ve seen a huge increase in support for the LGBTQ+ community in recent years. From fashion brands such as Bonobos highlighting the progress the community has made in their model campaigns, to mainstream media front-running members of the community. Fun fact: Janet Mock was the First Trans Woman to Sign an Overall Deal with Netflix, this year. 

Corporations are actively showing their support too, raising the pride flag wherever possible. US diplomats have been finding creative ways to show support for LGBTQ+ Pride month after the White House banned them from flying the rainbow flag. Plus, in celebration of Pride Month, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park will be transforming its well-known staircase into what is being called the “largest Pride flag” in the city. 


Countries are also coming together (whether for the first time or with record breaking numbers) to embrace the community as well. We recently saw 250,000 people from around the world gather in Tel Aviv to march in the largest pride parade in the Middle East and this year Bermuda will have the first Pride event in the territory's history after gay marriage was legalized there last year. 

There is absolutely no doubt that the world is taking great steps towards equality. However, we’re not there just yet. This years hashtag is #TheFightContinues. The tag was printed on the rainbow flag and led the Pride Parade in Sitges earlier this month. While Lesbian and Gay culture is becoming more radically accepted, it is the smaller minorities within the community that still have a long way to go. This is not to say that Lesbian and Gay culture is now fairly represented, but they are certainly closer to it than our bi-sexual, transgender and queer friends. 


LGBTQ+ In the Workplace 

As of 2018, 93% of Fortune 500 companies have non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation. Eighty-five percent have non-discrimination policies that include gender identity. Yet, fewer than 20 board directors in Fortune 500 companies were openly LGBT+ in 2018.

Hostility and inequality is still rife for the community. One-fifth (20%) of LGBTQ Americans have experienced discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity when applying for jobs. 22% of LGBTQ Americans have not been paid equally or promoted at the same rate as their peers.


Furthermore, 80% of the transgender population who were employed experienced harassment or mistreatment on the job or took steps to avoid it. 80%! 41% of the community have heard transgender jokes in 2018. Whilst nearly two thirds (59%) of non-LGBTQ employees believe it is “unprofessional” to discuss sexual orientation or gender identity in the workplace. 

Most of these numbers are a scary truth of the ground we have yet to cover. We’re applauding any attempt, big or small, to represent the LGBTQ+ Community, not only this Pride month but all year round. It’s  a battle that is far from over but one that we as a world can fight together. Inclusivity and Diversity are two pillars that OneCoWork have built themselves on and, to whatever extent we can, we’ll continue to help support underrepresented communities, in the workplace and beyond. 


Of course the battle must be fought from within as well as Jonathan Van Ness recently brought up in his interview with Out Magazine. Discussing femme-shaming he said: ‘Within our own community, we need to be more sensitive or kind to each other.’ Taylor Swift recently took to the fight as well in her latest music video, You Need to Calm Down which pushed viewers to sign the Equality Act at the end and fights political injustice with class and comedy. Moving forward, whether you choose to take huge steps alone, or do so within your corporation; let’s deliver these acts of inclusivity with complete kindness, inside and out. Happy Pride. 


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