The reality behind the Rainbow Flags:
ManpowerGroup’s study on post-COVID diversity and inclusion at European workplaces
Coming out at work enhances productivity:
62% of LGBTQI+ people, more committed and innovative after sharing their identity with colleagues
- Diversity, a benefit for all employees: 8 out of 10 Europeans think inclusive environments promote innovative ideas and better results
- 1 out of 3 professionals selects job offers based on the company’s inclusive policies
- Remote working, an obstacle for 38% of LGBTQI+ professionals to “coming out” at work
Bratislava, July, 26th, 2021. Days after celebrating the Pride Month, it’s time to analyse the true reality for LGBTQI+ people at workplaces: 6 out of 10 LGBTQI+ professionals who have come out in the workplace feel more committed to the productivity of their company. For 8 out of 10 Europeans, working in inclusive and diverse environments boosts the generation of ideas and innovation, particularly in the post-COVID era. Lastly, 1 out of 3 professionals in Europe selects job offers from companies that have inclusion and diversity policies. These three conclusions are only some of those achieved in the ManpowerGroup’s study on LGBTQI+ inclusion in the workplace in post-COVID Europe, which has received almost 4800 responses from 14 countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and United Kingdom).
These responses symbolise a clear message for 21st-century employers that, at this critical time in terms of Talent Shortage (68% in Slovakia), see the advocacy of an open inclusion policy as key to attracting Talent to their organisations in post-COVID Europe.
“Such a study is highly relevant and timely”, said Vicenç Álvaro, ManpowerGroup’s Marketing Director for Southern Europe. “Inclusion and diversity at work are inalienable for companies as competitive Talent attractors. The document reflects a reality within Europe that requires an unwavering commitment from companies and leaders to institutions and professionals. As the Pride Month ended, it’s time now to claim for a long-term strategy, instead a simply yearly activation”.
Remote working and the hybrid model are precisely the most widespread trends during the pandemic, and the ones that will have greater continuity. ManpowerGroup’s analysis confirms that new work models condition the degree of inclusion in the workplace in general and, in particular, of LGBTQI+ people. Therefore, nearly half of respondents (47.8%) affirm to have experienced, to different degrees, more inclusion within the company. However, it seems that “coming out” with this new work models will not be as easy for LGBTQI+ people: 39% think it will be more difficult to openly show their sexual orientation or gender in a remote or hybrid environment.
Openness in the workplace
In reviewing the data, some figures and behaviours within the work environment stand out and require the attention of companies. Thus, only 6 out of 10 LGBTQI+ people (57%) feel at ease to share this aspect of their personal life with their colleagues, and 44% of LGBTQI+ respondents (and 34% of the total participants) consider it advisable to conceal this information in recruitment processes. Moreover, 33.7% of LGBTQI+ professionals deliberately conceal their sexual orientation, partly motivated by the fact that 20% affirm to have been discriminated against on those grounds in the past.
As in other similar research projects, male gay people have the greatest visibility (49%), followed by lesbian women (42%). Trans people hit 47%. ManpowerGroup’s study shows a reality to be considered: the higher their position is within the organisation, the more willingness among respondents to share their LGBTQI+ identity in their workplace. Thus, 58.5% are directors, 58.16% are managers, and 57.43% have a middle management position. On the contrary, interns (37.5%), employees (43.6%) are lagging in this ranking. 45% of respondents consider their company as tolerant or very tolerant of LGBTQI+ people, although 55% of respondents state that their LGBTQI+ identity has conditioned their work opportunities, and it has decreased their chances to get a promotion for 20.7% of respondents.
Everything that remains to be done
By mid-2021, only 58% of LGBTQI+ people feel at ease to share this aspect of their personal life in the workplace. 23.3% of the total population claim to have been victims of unpleasant comments based on their gender or sexual orientation (this figure rises to 35% for LGBTQI+ people). 53% of respondents state to have heard inappropriate or abusive language against LGBTQI+ people in the workplace. This percentage rises to 59% for LGBTQI+ people. What is more worrying is that in more than half of cases (56%), the inappropriate language was used by a leader or a manager working in the company.
“It is necessary to give a voice to these testimonies that remind us that there is still much to be done”, continued Vicenç Álvaro. “The post-COVID Europe we are building must be aware of the situation of LGBTQI+ people and, by extension, of all professionals, in order to avoid and penalise bad practices, identify them quickly and implement solutions, and, lastly, achieve the ultimate goal of full inclusion and equality in the workplace, as stated in Goal 5 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals”.
ManpowerGroup® (NYSE: MAN), the leading global workforce solutions company, helps organizations transform in a fast-changing world of work by sourcing, assessing, developing, and managing the talent that enables them to win. We develop innovative solutions for hundreds of thousands of organizations every year, providing them with skilled talent while finding meaningful, sustainable employment for millions of people across a wide range of industries and skills. Our expert family of brands – Manpower, Experis and Talent Solutions – creates substantial value for candidates and clients across more than 75 countries and territories and has done so for over 70 years. We are recognized consistently for our diversity – as a best place to work for Women, Inclusion, Equality and Disability and in 2021 ManpowerGroup was named one of the World´s Most Ethical Companies for the 12th year all confirming our position as the brand of choice for in-demand talent.