“Highly desirable” LGBT workers coming out more often in US

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A recent study shows that its not just entertainment stars now being open about their sexuality. The Center for Talent Innovation found that an increasing number of LGBT workers are coming out as gay in their office environment.

As workplaces have become more accepting and colleagues’ attitudes are changing, there has been a noticeable rise in the percentage of out employees, compared with previous figures from 2011.

The statistics now show that 59 percent of LGBT workers in the US have come out at the office. This is a 7 percent increase from a similar finding in 2011.

The study also highlights how LGBT employees equate to a “highly desirable labor pool.” Figures show that they are better educated, which is evidenced by the fact that 48 percent of gay respondents to the survey have graduate degrees compared with 40 percent of
heterosexual counterparts.

Also, of those who took part in the survey, 71 percent called themselves ambitious and 88 percent were described as “willing to go the extra mile” for employers.

A key aspect of why LGBT employees can be viewed as favorable versus others is based on adaptability, according to Tony Moraga, Director of Operations at StartOut – an organization focusing on building and fostering LGBT entrepreneurship.

“Our community is extremely adaptable and that ability has contributed to our professional success, especially when in a supportive environment,” he told 429Magazine.

“I think we’re also seen as better candidates because of our diverse interests and experiences which enable us to really think outside the box and challenge the norm,” he continued.

The study provides some evidence that companies are now realizing, that their LGBT employees should be supported in bringing themselves wholly to work to create advantages for innovation and growth.

Workplace equality advocacy group Out & Equal champions this cause. They hosted a networking event in San Francisco on Wednesday for LGBT professionals, which not only aimed to allow attendees to make connections, but also for the organization to spread its reach.

“We offer the opportunity for companies to cross-pollinate and then carry this back. Its all about networking and to go beyond the scope of your own company,” Out & Equal San Francisco’s affiliate member Gary Murakami told 429Magazine.

Murakami said that youth within organizations and the national movement on LGBT rights meant that workplace equality was “moving in such a positive way.”

“Companies now know that in order to gain talent, they must have the right policies in place. It makes no economic sense not to,” he added.

429Magazine

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