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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As U.S. LGBTQ community members await the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court on three key cases that involve workplace discrimination, studies have been ongoing to depict the actual experience of those employed by Corporate America, as well as smaller ventures.

The three studies below break down the data and show how workplace culture looks in today’s environment.

Among areas researched were: types of discrimination (age, race, gender, LGBTQ identity), attitudes of the LGBTQ community in Corporate America, as well as gender identity and workplace inclusion.

As the Trump administration continues its “war” against the LGBTQ community, now more than ever, the need for data to support claims on discrimination and more are essential in fighting back against conservative views and its agenda.

Study reveals discrimination at work

MILL VALLEY, Calif. — Glassdoor released its 2019 Increasing Investment in Diversity & Inclusion: Evidence From the Growing Job Market study during late October in the U.S., as well as the U.K., France and Germany. It was conducted online by The Harris Poll.

As part of the study (a new Glassdoor survey¹, among over 1,100 U.S. employees) found was that approximately three in five (61 percent) of U.S. employees had witnessed or experienced discrimination based on age, race, gender or LGBTQ identity in the workplace. The survey also revealed the occurrences of discrimination across each of the four categories. In addition, while the study found that the majority of U.S. employees had faced or witnessed discrimination at work, hiring for jobs to improve corporate diversity and inclusion efforts was up 30 percent year-over-year, according to Glassdoor jobs data², indicating that employers may be responding to the call for more diverse and inclusive work environments.

Specific types of discrimination U.S. employees faced, experienced or witnessed at work were: ageism, 45 percent; racism, 42 percent; gender discrimination, 42 percent; and LGBTQ discrimination, 33 percent.

“Creating a company culture that celebrates and respects people for their diverse backgrounds and experiences should be a top priority for all employers,” said Carina Cortez, Glassdoor’s chief people officer. “Employees must feel comfortable bringing their full selves to work, without the fear of prejudice or ridicule, whether intentional or not. It’s critical for employers to actively listen to how their employees feel about what it’s like to work at their company. More importantly, employers must be willing and ready to take action to foster a workplace environment in which all people feel they belong.”

The survey also showed that younger workers (between the ages of 18 and 34) were more likely to have experienced or witnessed the four types of discrimination at work than older workers (aged 55 and above). When it comes to ageism at work, younger employees (52 percent of ages 18-34) are more likely than older employees (39 percent of ages 55 plus) to have witnessed or experienced it. When it comes to racial discrimination at work, younger employees (50 percent of ages 18-34) are more likely to have experienced or witnessed it than older workers (33 percent of ages 55+).  When it comes to discrimination based on gender at work, younger workers (52 percent of ages 18-34) are more likely than older workers (30 percent of ages 55+) to have experienced or witnessed it. For LGBTQ discrimination at work, younger employees (43 percent of ages 18-34) are more likely than older employees (18 percent of ages 55+) to have experienced or witnessed it.

Additionally, employed men (38 percent) are more likely than employed women (28 percent) to have experienced or witnessed LGBTQ discrimination at work in the U.S. When it comes to LGBTQ discrimination among younger workers specifically, younger employed men (51 percent of ages 18-34) are significantly more likely than younger employed women (34 percent of ages 18-34) to have experienced or witnessed it.

While a majority of U.S. employees (61 percent) report experiencing or witnessing discrimination based on age, gender, race or LGBTQ identity at work, the survey also found that more than three in four (77 percent) employees say their company employs a diverse workforce, suggesting that the prevalence of discrimination at work may not improve unless something is proactively done, researchers said. At the same time, proactive efforts at companies may be underway now, as more than three in five (64 percent) workers also say their company is investing more in diversity and inclusion than it has in years past. As further support of what employees felt was happening at their companies now, Glassdoor’s Economic Research team studied millions of the latest job listings on Glassdoor and found that job openings for roles related to diversity and inclusion in the U.S. have increased 30 percent since last year, with approximately 810 jobs open across the country.

“With more attention on workplace diversity in recent years, it’s encouraging to see jobs data that affirms employers today are in fact investing more in diversity and inclusion by increasing hiring for jobs to support these efforts,” said Glassdoor’s Senior Economist Daniel Zhao. “Many of these open roles range from middle management all the way up to the C-suite and focus on building or strengthening workplace diversity programs. The people who work in these roles tend to have past experience in human resources or talent acquisition and have often made very deliberate decisions to work in the field of diversity and inclusion because they are passionate about ensuring employees of all backgrounds feel welcomed and heard.”

However, there is still more work to be done — more than half (55 percent) of U.S. workers believed their company should do more to increase diversity and inclusion efforts. This is even more evident among the Gen Z and millennial employees, with more than three in five (62 percent of ages 18-34) believing their company should do more to increase diversity and inclusion, compared to less than two in five (38 percent) of workers aged 55 and older.

Among the four countries surveyed, the percentage of employees reporting having experienced or witnessed workplace discrimination relating to age, race, gender or LGBTQ identity was highest in the U.S. (61 percent), followed by the U.K. (55 percent), France (43 percent) and Germany (37 percent). The U.S. rates also ranked highest among each of the individual categories.

More survey results and data from Glassdoor’s Economic Research study can be found in the company’s 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Study Supplement. The supplement details employee sentiment around discrimination in the workplace, their views on how companies are tackling diversity and inclusion and the investment that employers are making to improve diversity and inclusion.

info: glassdoor.com/research.


¹ This survey was conducted online within the United States (U.S.), United Kingdom (UK), France and Germany by The Harris Poll on behalf of Glassdoor from July 29 – 31, 2019 among 5,241 adults aged 18 and older, among which 2,028 are in the U.S., 1,071 are in the UK, 1,052 are in France, and 1,090 are in Germany. Furthermore, among all countries, 3,137 are employed full-time/part-time/self-employed, 1,113 are employees in the U.S., 725 are employees in the UK, 654 are employees in France, and 645 are employees in Germany.  This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact pr@glassdoor.com.

² Glassdoor Economic Research analysis is based on a sample of millions of online job postings and search logs on Glassdoor current as of August 2019.

To measure the number of job openings, Glassdoor Economic Research performed a text search of Glassdoor’s real-time job openings database for any job posting with a job title containing English keywords related to diversity and inclusion. Searches were also made for equivalent terms in German, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Company surveys LGBTQ community attitudes

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings, Inc. announced the completion of a national survey of LGBTQ adults created to invite the LGBTQ community to express their attitudes about a certain number of the nation’s high performing corporations to guide the development of Loyalty’s LGBTQ100 Index methodology. The survey, administered by The Harris Poll, represented contributions to the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Index which included demographic survey data in the financial services industry.


“Encouraging the LGBTQ community to recognize and evaluate the top equality-driven companies in the United States, to be reflected by our LGBTQ100 Index, is a measurable step towards advancing equality. It empowers our community and our allies along with the investment community to have the ability to track a financial Index of high-performing companies who are proven to support our core principles and values,” said tennis icon Martina Navratilova, an LGBTQ Loyalty director on its board.

The company also announced the launch of a newsletter that focuses on advancing equality in Corporate America. The digital newsletter, delivered every Thursday to subscribers, features news on corporate culture and policies that impact how the LGBTQ community experience their lives in the workplace, as consumers and as business owners.

LGBTQ Loyalty’s newsletter, Advancing Equality, showcases four articles and a video, Executive Editor Richard Hack shared. It will offer “busy LGBTQ citizens and the companies they frequent, news on the emerging efforts to bring full inclusion and non-discrimination into the workplace, for customers and employees alike,” added Hack.

“With the completion of the survey, the LGBTQ community will have their voices heard about the companies that they believe demonstrate the most support to the LGBTQ community — we couldn’t be more appreciative of their experiences and opinions,” said CEO Bobby Blair.

LGBTQ Loyalty launched its LGBTQ100 Index in late October 2019.

info: lgbtqloyalty.com.

Gender identity, inclusion at center of study

WALTHAM, Mass. — WFD Consulting unveiled its new research report: Gender Identity and the Dynamic Workforce: Creating an Inclusive Workplace to understand how organizations could better support employees who are transgender, as well as those who identify as gender non-binary, non-conforming and fluid, including support for parents who have children who identify as transgender and non-binary. Chapter 4 of the report, Taking Action, provides organizations with a -set of recommendations to create inclusive, welcoming experiences for all employees, WFD stated.


The Summary of Findings provided nine findings and conclusions from the experiences and stories shared by all study participants. Some of those areas were respect and value, medical benefits, inclusive policies and practices and cultural competence.

Generation Z is entering the workforce with the inclusive perspective that gender and gender expression can exist on a continuum between the traditional binary male and female and can be fluid.

Through interviews with employers, employees, gender identity experts and parents of transgender children, the study uncovered the gaps between the desired workplace culture and the day-to-day experiences of parents and transgender and non-binary individuals.

“The insights from this research are important to understanding how we can continue to take thoughtful steps to ensure the workplace is even more supportive and conducive to employees in the transgender, non-binary and gender-fluid communities. It is our hope that through this research, we can spark a new, open conversation that allows us to help everyone in the workplace understand where we are in this part of our inclusion journey,” said Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, chief diversity officer at Microsoft.

An advisory team, all active allies and advocates in the transgender community, were assembled to inform the study design. Between April and August 2019, more than 110 individuals from all regions of the country were interviewed. They ranged in age from 24 to 69 and worked in diverse industries including banking, financial and professional services, education, government, health care, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, retail and transportation, and technology.

The research study was sponsored by Microsoft Corporation.

info: wfd.com.

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.