Over 41% of LGBTQ+ employees feel discriminated in a professional context. This is the result of the Workmonitor Pulse Study published by Randstad in May 2024. 

Anyone who still thinks that the topic of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (EDI & B) is sufficiently addressed with a bit of rainbow colors during Pride Month in June has not yet understood the LGBTQ+ community. Companies have a social responsibility and if they want to be at the forefront of business, they need to make serious efforts to live an inclusive culture in the workplace. In times of talent shortages, this is even more important, as the current Workmonitor Pulse Study by Randstad shows, in which over 2000 members of the LGBTQ+ community in seven countries were surveyed in spring 2024.

The facts about the current integration situation

  • 41% of the members of the LGBTQ+ community surveyed have already been discriminated against during their career.

  • Likewise, 41% have experienced less discrimination in the last five years - 28% have experienced more. 

  • 32% feel more isolated at work than 5 years ago. Gen Z and Millennials are particularly affected (34% & 35%), Gen X and Baby Boomers feel slightly less isolated (29% & 27%).

  • Almost half of respondents (48%) say they value connectedness at work more than they did 5 years ago.

  • A third think their sexuality or gender identity has negatively impacted their career.

Diversity & Inclusion Workmonitor Pulse 2024
Diversity & Inclusion Workmonitor Pulse 2024

A lot has happened since the Stonewall riots in New York 55 years ago, with 49% of respondents currently feeling comfortable talking about their sexuality or gender identity at work. But there is still a lot to do: More than a quarter (28%) avoid talking about it altogether. An inclusive environment is not a given in every workplace. Nevertheless, 51% of study participants feel that their employer has taken serious steps to create an equal working space for employees from the LGBTQ+ community. But this is only half the battle.

Companies lose good employees due to lack of integration

One in three respondents has already quit their job because they did not feel comfortable there. For members of the LGBTQ+ community, workplace culture has a major influence on their choice of employer. Their career development also depends on it: 36% see an impact on their motivation and productivity if they cannot be themselves at work. 

The bottom line for companies is that they lose employees or cannot fully realize their potential if they do not develop serious measures for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging. Initiatives that do not go beyond symbolic measures are quickly recognized and have the opposite effect. Companies should therefore treat the issue seriously.

Diversity & Inclusion Workmonitor Pulse 2024
Diversity & Inclusion Workmonitor Pulse 2024

How to create a true EDI & B environment

Taking a serious look at sustainable impact can only take your company forward. And it takes less than you might think:

  • Promote groups of employees that already exist within your organization. This will ensure that your measures are based on the actual experiences of your employees.
  • Embrace the diversity of your LGBTQ+ employees and don't reduce them to their sexuality or gender identity. This will help you create a corporate culture of empathy and respect.
  • Stand up for your solidarity and stand up for it - even in front of other colleagues. A no-tolerance culture towards discrimination should always be practiced at all times. Silence or looking the other way is not an option. 
  • Show your colors: A small rainbow symbol on your desk, on the server, on the website or on social media can give your counterpart a feeling of security and conscious acceptance.
  • Show authentic solidarity - all year round. Pride Month provides an important opportunity for companies to reflect on and showcase their inclusion efforts, but this awareness needs to go beyond the one month.

Sander van 't Noordende, CEO, Randstad said: “As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I’ve seen throughout my career the positive strides companies have taken to create more inclusive and equitable workplaces, but the journey is not over. A concerning proportion of LGBTQ+ workers are still facing discrimination and experience consequences on their career progression due to just being themselves.

Business leaders have a responsibility to continue to make improvements. They need to take actions that lead to meaningful change and increase the feeling of belonging in the workplace. Workers consistently tell us that the ability to be themselves at work means that they feel more productive, motivated and can reach their full potential at work. In a talent scarce world of work, companies need to attract and retain their best talent more than ever. It’s not just the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense.”

about workmonitor pulse

The Randstad Workmonitor Pulse survey, May 2024 edition, explores the views of working people in Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America. Data was collected from 2,361 LGBTQI+ respondents in seven markets (UK, US, Australia, Japan, France, the Netherlands and Germany) between 15 April and 3 May 2024.

For this research, Randstad partnered with Evalueserve, a global research and analysis firm.