Being Out at Work: Cultural Implications for the “L” in LGBT

I am delighted to welcome you to our first in the series of reports on Managing Identities at Work. This report focuses on “Being out at Work” and we look at the LGBT experience through a gender lens. By conducting research and hosting career panels exploring career challenges for certain talent groups, such as LGBT employees, we aim to shed light on what companies can do better for diverse high performers.

After all, if culture can be defined by “the way we do things around here” then it is critical for leaders to understand how to engage and include different types of people so that every individual in the firm can bring their best selves to work. This research report is the first of its kind to explore specifically the workplace perceptions and experiences of professional lesbians in financial and professional services.

The Glass Hammer is perfectly placed to examine deeper issues around gender and identity at work and our goal is to empower women of all types to advance in their careers. Our research arm, Evolved Employer, is working hard to benchmark diversity so that the industry as a whole can better understand how to remove and reduce systemic biases. In my opinion, it is only when we work in this manner that we can truly further the dialogue around diversity – to start leveraging diversity as a business driver. Achieving inclusion is a cultural change project; changing culture is only possible when led with a vision and backed by compliance, not the other way around.

The most striking finding from this report is that many women, despite being out to everyone, are still uncomfortable in their immediate environment and would like their company to do more education around LGBT issues. Reassuringly, several companies were recognized as going above and beyond in their efforts to ensure organizational and managerial support, reinforced with strong networks and programmatic solutions.

I hope that you enjoy this whitepaper and share it with leaders, managers, employee networks, straight allies, and LGBT employees alike.

Download here