Over half of HR and DE&I managers are neglecting to provide any training on sexual orientation within their organisations, resulting in discrimination against LGBTQ+ employees, says a new survey by compliance and DE&I eLearning specialists VinciWorks.
The findings underscore the urgent need for comprehensive education and support to create a more inclusive work environment, especially concerning the treatment of sexual minorities.
Of the 136 HR and DE&I managers surveyed, 62% reported witnessing discrimination against sexual minorities within their organisations. The survey revealed that almost a quarter of respondents had witnessed such discrimination multiple times, while only one-third reported no discrimination against LGBTQ+ employees.
Sexual orientation training
The study also highlighted a significant disparity in the approach to training. A quarter of HR and DE&I managers (25%) expressed intentions to implement sexual orientation training soon. In comparison, only 22% of respondents reported providing the recommended annual training. This disparity suggests a lack of commitment to addressing discrimination against sexual minorities in the workplace.
Most HR and DE&I managers (57%) believed that their organisations offered substantial support to LGBTQ+ employees, but the survey revealed a stark contrast. A significant proportion of respondents (43%) admitted that they felt their organisations were not adequately supportive, highlighting the need for substantial improvement in creating an inclusive and accepting workplace culture.
Prioritisng LGBTQ+ inclusion
In response to these findings, Nick Henderson-Mayo, Head of D&I at VinciWorks, emphasised the importance of educating the entire workforce about the challenges faced by sexual minority employees. “Organisations must recognise the importance of supporting LGBTQ+ employees to feel comfortable in the workplace, which means educating the workforce about the challenges that sexual minority employees face.
“Regular training on sexual orientation also supports staff to know how to speak to colleagues and clients with more sensitivity, more understanding, and also challenge those potentially biased. People should be able to bring their whole selves to work including LGBTQ+ people.
“Having more comprehensive training sessions shared with all employees allows sexual minority employees to see that their organisation cares about them and creates a culture of respect for LGBTQ+ employees that helps brands build strong, inclusive reputations.”
Recognising the need to support HR and DE&I managers in combating discrimination against sexual minorities, VinciWorks has launched a new film-based training program on Sexual Orientation. To encourage organisations to take action, VinciWorks is offering a free course trial, providing an opportunity to address the pressing issue of workplace discrimination.
By implementing comprehensive training sessions accessible to all employees, organisations can demonstrate their commitment to supporting LGBTQ+ employees and fostering a culture of respect and inclusivity. This proactive approach benefits individuals and helps brands build strong reputations centred around diversity and inclusivity.