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'Out' Is In: Gay Workers Find Workplaces More Welcoming

'Out' Is In: Gay Workers Find Workplaces More Welcoming
Photograph by Javier Larrea

Coming out as gay in the entertainment world has become a near-surefire way to revamp a sagging career. Now a study finds that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) workers are benefiting from an increasingly accepting work environment. As corporate policies and peer attitudes have changed, 59 percent of gay workers reported having come out at work, a 7 percentage point increase from the previous year.

The study, The Power of Out 2.0, released by the Center for Talent Innovation, surveyed 983 LGBT employees in the U.S., following up a survey conducted in 2011. Study co-author Sylvia Ann Hewlett, the founding president and chief executive officer of CTI, said the findings show that companies employing LGBT workers can benefit as much from an accepting office environment as the employees do. “After our 2011 work, we felt there was still much to explore with respect to how employers can make full use of their LGBT talent: Specifically, the opportunity companies have to drive business and the bottom line by leveraging the leadership potential and connections of their LGBT employees and allies,” Hewlett told the blog for Passport, a gay travel magazine. “Our new study finds that while progress has been made, discrimination remains pervasive. We outline a number of steps employers can take to improve the climate in the workplace and enable their LGBT employees to maximize their potential.”