Nearly half of LGBTQ employees feel discriminated against by their employer, IBM study finds

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Pride Month has highlighted the initiatives hospitals are taking to promote inclusion and diversity for their LGBT staff, yet nearly half of employees feel their employer discriminates against people of their sexual orientation, a June study by IBM found.

A June 9 news release said IBM partnered with research firm Oxford Economics to survey 6,000 Americans between August and January, including 700 individuals who self-identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual. IBM didn't have any survey participants who identified as nonbinary, and "the nuances of gender identity were not included in the initial survey," according to the press release..

Five key takeaways:

  1. Nearly half of LGB respondents (45 percent) said their employer discriminates against people of their sexual orientation. For heterosexual respondents, 43 percent agree their employer discriminates against LGB people. 

  2. Sixty-three percent of LGB respondents said those who share their sexual orientation are less successful than the general U.S. population.

  3. In February, the number of Americans who self-identified as LGBTQ hit a record high of 5.6 percent, up 60 percent over the numbers from 2012, a Gallup poll found. 

  4. Seven percent of senior executives in the U.S. identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual. There are three Black CEOs and four LGBTQ CEOs in the Fortune 500, IBM found. There are no Fortune 500 CEOs who are both Black and LGBTQ.

  5. Just 17 percent of CEOs ranked diversity and inclusion among the most important organization attributes for engaging employees, according to an IBM study on the top challenges facing executives published earlier this year.

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