80 percent of people in China now believe the LGBT community should have equal rights in the workplace, according to a new study.
The first annual national research study regarding attitudes towards LGBT people in China was conducted by the organizations Shanghai LGBT Professionals, WorkForLGBT, and YouGov. Data was collected between November 21 and 26 via online surveys, which obtained responses from 2,400 people across the nation.
Gay Star News reported that the founder of WorkForLGBT and Shanghai LGBT Professionals, Steven Paul Bielinski, said in a statement, “This data shows how being out in life and at work impacts society, changing hearts and minds.
“Those that know someone who is gay or lesbian in China are 35% more likely than those who don’t to say society should accept homosexuality, 70% more likely to say their attitude has become more accepting of gays and lesbians over the past few years, and 74% more likely to say they support same-sex marriage.”
The survey also showed that 83 percent of Chinese residents believe that workplaces should be welcoming to all, regardless of orientation.
Bielinski added, “Of course the data is exciting and encouraging, but it’s not at all surprising to us that we are getting data that is consistently more open and honest about traditionally very personal matters.
“People are comfortable communicating and sharing information via digital devices and platforms as they don’t feel they are being judged. We know this allows us to get more accurate reads on perceptions and opinions.”
The executive director of PFLAG China, A. Qiang, also told GSN, “According to the survey, 21% of people in China today know someone who is LGBT, demonstrating that the number of people coming out of the closet is increasing rapidly as the social climate slowly gets better.”
Additionally, in today’s global economy, an absence of laws protecting the LGBT community is rapidly becoming a business liability. As British consul general Caroline Wilson pointed out, when a region lacks discrimination protections, talented expatriates have reason to be put off by the idea of moving there.
Wilson told press that not everyone “is able to realise their potential in a situation where you’ve got rights…not being protected, and people suffering discrimination and harassment as a result of their sexual orientation.”