The Human Rights Campaign Foundation explored the prevalence of LGBTQ workers feeling pressure to hide their sexual orientation and/or gender identity on the job and the cost of that concealment both to individuals and employers at large. The foundation also researched the benefits employers and workers gain when workplace climates are more welcoming of LGBTQ people.

The foundation conducted a national study based on data from a probability-based sample of 804 self-identified LGBTQ people, plus a shorter survey to analyze perceptions and experiences of 811 non-LGBTQ people.

Key findings include:

– 46% of LGBTQ workers are closeted at work.
– 50% of non-LGBTQ workers reported that there are no employees at their company who are open about being LGBTQ.
– Sexual orientation for LGBTQ people is still sexualized.
– 54% of non-LGBTQ workers said that they would be very comfortable working with an LGBTQ coworker; those who weren’t comfortable, the majority reported they “did not want to hear about their coworker’s sex life.”
– 18% of LGBTQ workers reported someone at work has made sexually inappropriate comments to them because their coworker thought their sexual orientation or gender identity made it okay.
– 53% of LGBTQ respondents and 37% of non-LGBTQ respondents heard jokes being made about lesbian and gay people.
– Broad social acceptance for LGBTQ community is at an all-time high, but subtle biases remain.
– 73% of LGBTQ workers and 78% of non-LGBTQ workers say they are comfortable talking about their spouse, partner or dating to coworkers.

Read the report to understand the current workplace climate for LGBTQ workers.

Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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