Openly gay employees at companies like Accenture, Goldman Sachs, Google and IBM in India are happier and more successful in their careers if they are out of the closet.
The results of the first Mingle (Mission for Indian Gay & Lesbian Empowerment) LGBT Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Survey showed that employees who are out of the closet have greater trust in the employers, are more likely to have entrepreneurial aims, are more satisfied with their rate of promotion, feel more loyal to their organisation and are more likely to stay working for their company, than their closeted counterparts.
‘The survey negates a lot of myths that we had, especially the fear that when LGBT employees come out there is going to be a lot of harassment and negative impact on their professional life,’ Udayan Dhar who co-ordinated the project at Mingle told Gay Star News.
‘In every single aspect that we tried to cover with regards to performance, happiness, job satisfaction or employee engagement, it is the openly LGBT employees who faired, not greatly better, but a significant degree better than employees who are closeted. So the lesson for all LGBT employees is, staying in the closet is not actually a very good idea.’
Four hundred and fifty-five respondents from 17 top companies answered the survey. Sixty-five % of respondents were gay men, 25% were lesbians and 10% were bisexual.
The fact that there were no transexual respondents suggests that they are facing discrimination before they get into the workplace in India.
A third of respondents reported harassment at the workplace and nearly 80% reported hearing homophobic comments in their offices. But most out LGBT employees had not experienced discrimination from their managers.
Dhar said that another striking aspect of the survey is LGBT employees awareness of companies’ diversity and inclusion policies - 90% said that those policies are a factor they consider before joining a company.
‘Because of this, employers have to take this into consideration, otherwise, if they aim to attract and retain the best talent, they can not do it while ignoring almost 10 per cent of the workforce,’ said Dhar.
Mingle will now meet with the employers covered by the survey to advise them on how they can improve their treatment of their LGBT employees.
‘A lot of manager from these organisations have asked us for more details, so they want to engage on this issue,’ said Dhar.
The full results of the survey are available on Mingle’s website here.