May 27, 2021 - Economy

LGBTQ+ employees less satisfied at work

Illustration of the shape of a briefcase revealing a rainbow flag.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Despite promises of building more equitable workplaces, the newest Diversity and Inclusion report from Glassdoor shows the reality is still far off — especially for LGBTQ+ employees who report less satisfaction at work.

Why it matters: Companies have been on a hiring frenzy for chief diversity officers in the year since George Floyd's murder, but workplace perception is not changing on pace with the effort.

What they did: Glassdoor looked at companies with at least 25 reviews from LGBTQ+ workers, a self-identifying feature that it launched in September.

  • Across all companies that more than 3,000 LGBTQ members rated, the overall average was 3.27 stars out of 5 — lower than the overall average (3.47) for non-LGBTQ+ employees.

What they found: Six out of the 10 companies that Glassdoor examined saw LGBTQ+ employee satisfaction lower than their overall ratings.

  • LGBTQ+ employees at Walgreens, Apple, Kroger and McDonald's, however, rated the four companies higher than non-LGBTQ+ employees.
  • At the bottom of the inaugural list were Wells Fargo, Amazon and Walmart. The three had the biggest discrepancies between overall satisfaction ratings of LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ employees.

What they're saying: "It's the employer's responsibility to educate themselves and to deliver the most equitable benefits as possible," Scott Dobroski, VP of corporate communications and a member of Glassdoor’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group, tells Axios.

  • "As someone who is part of an underrepresented group, I also encourage everyone to ask for what they want."

The reality: "Employees who face onlyness across multiple dimensions face even more pressure to perform," McKinsey wrote in a 2020 research report. And yet they also feel they face greater barriers to advancement.

  • LGBTQ+ women, for example, are vastly underrepresented in corporate America, increasing the stress they feel when they are the only one on a team or at a company with their gender identity, sexual orientation or race.
  • Transgender people specifically are more likely to see their gender or orientation as a barrier to career progression — as they are much more likely to hear demeaning comments and sexist jokes and to frequently consider leaving companies because of feeling isolated at work, the McKinsey report notes.
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