Diversity and Inclusion

10 things your LGBTQ+ employees want you to know

Dr Enya Doyle shares her top 10 insights into how organisations can create a more inclusive workplace for their LGBTQ+ employees. Challenging some common assumptions, she explores key things your LGBTQ+ employees want you to know but may not feel comfortable telling you.  

In 2021, the census of England and Wales requested census data on sexual orientation for the first time. It found that more than 1.3 million people in England and Wales identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual with a further 165,000 people identifying as “other” sexual orientations including 28,000 people who declared themselves to be asexual.

Given that at least 3.5% of the UK population falls under some part of the LGBTQ+ umbrella, you likely work alongside LGBTQ+ employees and colleagues. However, it is important to remember some may choose not to share that information at work or to not use specific labels for their sexuality or gender identity.

So, how can organisations create a more inclusive workplace for their LGBTQ+ employees? Here I share ten key pieces of advice that will help you and your colleagues to support your LGBTQ+ employees and colleagues, whether they are ‘out’ or not. At the end of each section, you will also find a useful resource where you can learn more. At the very bottom, you’ll find an accountability list that will help your organisation turn this knowledge into action.


1. LGBTQ+ is a vast acronym, our experiences are not all the same

In the same way that we have rightly moved away from using homogenous acronyms to describe the hugely varied experiences of people who are Black, Asian or from another minoritised ethnic group, LGBTQ+ covers a vast array of sexuality and gender. By always using a one-size-fits-all acronym we offer a disservice to our LGBTQ+ employees and colleagues with regards to the varying barriers and stigmas that they each face.