LGBTQ+ Fear Being Out at Work While Their Expectations of Brands Rise

December 13, 2022
by Santiago Solutions Group

Throughout the past few years, society has made a concerted effort to be more inclusive of LGBTQ+ people. However, a new study from WPP shows us that we still have a long way to go, with only 40 percent of LGBTQ+ people disclosing their sexuality to work colleagues. The Ad Age article, “LGBTQ+ study from WPP Reveals Attitudes on Gender Fluidity, Queer Media, Coming Out at Work and More,” sheds light on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in the workplace.

People who identify as bisexual, pansexual, or asexual are less likely than lesbians and gay men to be open about their sexuality. Moreover, the WPP study findings suggest that white-collar and high-earning people feel more comfortable being open about their sexuality than people in lower-paying and low-skilled jobs. This is also worrisome as there is more diversity in gray and blue-collar jobs, pointing out that intersectional individuals may feel even more afraid of disclosing their sexuality. In today’s ever-evolving society, companies must foster an environment and work culture that encourages all people to feel accepted and welcome regardless of their sexuality -in the workplace or anywhere.

As new workplace entrants, GenZers are continuously disrupting long-time gender norms. GenZ is much more likely than older generations to identify as LGBTQ+. The WPP study uncovers that GenZ has steered away from binary gender perspectives, and the majority agree that more than two genders exist.

The need for inclusion across the full spectrum of LGBTQ+ people goes beyond the workplace, impacting how media and brands create accurate depictions and reflect social issues in their communications. A 2022 tracker by the Cultural Inclusion Accelerator™, co-founded by Santiago Solutions Group, shows that 83% of LGBTQ+ expect brands to take public views on discriminatory policies against them –the highest of any racial or ethnic group (Next-Level ROI: Investing in Diverse Audiences and Content, 2022).

Once again, GenZers are the catalyst as they are 21 percent more likely than Boomers+ to expect that brands should take public stances against any discrimination in their ads. Organizations and brands should leverage and plan for GenZ’s forward-thinking beliefs to become the societal benchmark in years to come, especially those brands and sectors fueled by young consumers 18-34 years old.

Implementing thoughtful and practical Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion models is good for business and society. For the last 20 years, Santiago Solutions Group has helped guide businesses toward developing proper Multicultural and Inclusive segment strategies, research and insights, analytics, and growth planning, emphasizing DE&I journeys in parallel with cultural marketing journeys. As you revamp your brands’ voices and cultural authenticity in 2023 to further align your DE&I practices with marketing efforts, it is crucial to seek help from industry professionals to ensure your success and accomplishment of your end goals.

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For 20 years, Santiago Solutions Group (SSG) has guided growth pathways for scalable returns by uncovering cultural and marketplace insights.
These insights forge the fact-based foundation for effective business and brand growth strategies aligned with cultural insights across Hispanic & Asian acculturation levels, Black, LGBTQ, Non-Hispanic White, Gen Z, Millennials, and other segments.

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