Employers need to do more to welcome LGBT employees: Survey

One-half of Canadian workers feel their employers need to do more to make LGBT workers comfortable

Organizations need to do more to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered employees feel welcomed, valued and comfortable in the workplace, according to a survey by Sodexo.

Two-thirds of Canadians (67 per cent) feel that more should be done to welcome LBGT employees, according to the Sodexo Workplace Diversity Survey of 1090 employed Canadians.

That proportion was even higher within the LGBT community, with 81 per cent reporting that businesses should strive harder to be welcoming.

One-half of working Canadians (49 per cent) feel employers should do more to ensure LGBT employees feel comfortable being themselves in the workplace. When asked the same question, 59 per cent of the LGBT community answered that employers need to do more to increase the comfort level.

Nine in 10 employees (89 per cent) feel workplace cultures should be welcoming of all employees, regardless of sexual orientation. And 72 per cent of working Canadians feel that overall workplace diversity should be a priority for business leaders.

"These numbers flag the need for more action to create inclusive workplaces across the country," said Michael Bach, founder and CEO of the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion (CIDI).

"The fact that LGBT employees are more skeptical strongly suggests there is still considerable room for improvement to employer diversity policies."

Other key findings:

81 per cent of working Canadians agree that companies committed to diversity find it easier to attract and keep the best employees, compared to 93 per cent of LGBT employees polled.

• 84 per cent agree that workplace diversity helps companies deal with business challenges by enabling them to access new ways of thinking and perspectives, compared to 93 per cent of LGBT employees.

• 85 per cent agree that employees working for organizations committed to diversity and inclusiveness are more likely to have positive attitudes towards their work and their employer, compared with 91 per cent of LGBT employees.

93 per cent of working Canadians believe that employees who feel comfortable being who they are in the workplace are more likely to contribute to the success of their company.

• 87 per cent of working Canadians believe that companies that treat employees equally regardless of sexual orientation, race, culture or religion are more likely to be successful.

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