Almost half of LGBTI Aussies hide who they are at work

It was revealed during an Inclusion@Lloyd’s initiative that some 45% of LGBTI people hide their sexuality at work

Insurance News

By Mina Martin

A special session at the global Dive In event, an initiative by Inclusion@Lloyd’s, a division of the world’s leading specialty insurance market, has revealed a startling discovery: about 45 per cent of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or intersex (LGBTI) Australians hide their sexuality at work in fear of career repercussions.

The Dive In Festival, a world-first, international festival for diversity and inclusion in insurance, runs from 27-29 September 2016 and is expected to reach an audience of over one million insurance professionals worldwide.

Chris Mackinnon, Lloyd’s general representative in Australia, said helping LGBTI people feel more valued at work would benefit businesses.

“Research shows that when LGBTI staff are ‘openly out’ to all, businesses see a 15 to 30 per cent increase in productivity and retention rates improve by 10 per cent,” Mackinnon said.

“It’s not just the right thing to do; it makes good business sense.”
“If someone is spending half their energy hiding their reality, leading a dual life and making excuses, then they are not being authentic at work and they won’t be as engaged or productive.”

“It’s up to us as business leaders and managers to create and support a working environment where people know they can succeed by being themselves.”

In a statement, Lloyd’s said LGBTI people in Australia experience discrimination in the workplace – with 6 in 10 experiencing verbal homophobic abuse; 2 in 10 suffering from physical homophobic abuse; and 1 in 10 facing other types of homophobia.

In its first annual report on the progress and activity of diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the Lloyd’s insurance market, published earlier this year, Lloyd’s found that:
  • Only one third of organisations had a formal D&I policy set up;
  • There was more progress on gender diversity than on other areas, suggesting that women are the only “diverse” majority, comprising roughly 50 per cent of the population;
  • Companies with high gender diversity are 15 per cent more likely to have above average returns for their industry; and
  • Only 50 per cent of organisations said they have a positive D&I culture.

Related stories:
Insurance and the business case for diversity
Insurers to celebrate diversity and inclusion in Dive In Festival

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