Businesses need to do more to welcome LGBT employees: survey

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Two-thirds of the employed adult population (67 per cent) feel more can be done to welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered employees

A Pride flag is raised during a ceremony at Queen's Park in Toronto on Monday, June 23.

Canadian businesses need to do more to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered employees feel welcome and valued in the workplace according to the newly released Sodexo Workplace Diversity Survey, a Leger poll of employed Canadians. Sodexo is a global leader in services that improve quality of life, an essential factor in individual and organizational performance.

Two-thirds of the employed adult population (67 per cent) feel more can be done to welcome LGBT employees. However, the LGBT community is more likely (81 per cent) to feel that businesses generally need to strive harder.


The survey also found that half of working Canadians (49 per cent) believe their employer should do more to ensure that LGBT employees feel comfortable being themselves in the workplace. However, when the same question is asked of working Canadians in the LGBT community that number jumps considerably to 59 per cent.

Overall, support for work cultures more welcoming of LGBT employees is widespread. Nine-in-10 employees (89 per cent) believe that workplace cultures should welcome all employees, regardless of sexual orientation.

When asked about overall workplace diversity, 72 per cent of Canadians feel that it should be a priority for Canada's business leaders. Again, in the LGBT community that number jumps significantly to 85 per cent.

"Diversity is a tremendous source of strength for all businesses," said Dean Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Sodexo Canada. "It's not just the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do."

"We envision a nation where LGBT individuals can bring their authentic and whole selves to work enabling them to achieve their full potential," said Matt Petersen, chair of Pride at Work Canada. "It's important to celebrate the high degree of support among working Canadians for workplace cultures that welcome LGBT employees, just as it's vital to highlight and address the areas for improvement."

Source: CNW

Organizations: Sodexo Canada, Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion, Work Canada

Geographic location: Canada

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Recent comments

  • Applying for Work
    June 25, 2014 - 23:47

    The next time I am applying for a job, I will remember to identify myself as a white, over weight, white, female, single (although living in sin) catholic and a single parent so then I can complain about not getting the job due to TMI .

  • nitpicker
    June 25, 2014 - 19:03

    The culture that we should be striving for in the workplace for LGTB should be "I will treat you the same as anyone else because its none of my business and I don't really care who you have sex with ." Full stop. No need for special activities or welcoming events or whatever else this story is implying should be done.

  • This is getting out of hand
    June 25, 2014 - 09:41

    I'm am getting very sick and tired of the call for equality and such, from LGBT as well as natives. Since when did being treated equally mean being treated special! When you put yourself above others, and perceive yourself as "different"; what are other peoples perception of you supposed to be? I certainly agree with equality, I don't have to agree, but I do respect; just the same as any human being, not everyone is going to agree with them, but they should respect them! If people want to be treated respectfully then earn it, don't put yourself in the special catagory and ask for special treatement!

  • pleasestop
    June 24, 2014 - 07:38

    I think its great. Question....Could we who are not lesbian, gay, transgendered or bi sexual have our own set of rights and flag as well? Seems fair......

    • Wow
      June 24, 2014 - 09:33

      You are the epitome of ignorance.

    • Steve
      June 24, 2014 - 10:47

      'Epitome of ignorance' = how liberals respond to those who oppose them. So what sort of offerings would make the workplace more LGBT compatible? And shall those that do not wish to have their workplace involved with their colleagues sexual preference/genitals can be prosecuted or relieved of their duty/livelihood? Way to make progress!!

    • Dear Steve
      June 24, 2014 - 11:30

      As evident in the story, workplaces have improved significantly for LGBTQ individuals, though cases of discrimination are still frequent. The solution is for everyone to simply not make a deal out of a persons sexuality. For most, this isn't an issue, but some still take exception to anything other than the norm. The ignorance in the first comment is that they do not realize that the rainbow flag is for equality, inclusive of heterosexuality. LGBTQ advocates don't ask for anything other than the privileges that straight people already have, so the original comment is just plain ignorant.

  • PEI Resident
    June 23, 2014 - 12:50

    This underlines the very point on this matter: "Nine-in-10 employees (89 per cent) believe that workplace cultures should welcome all employees, regardless of sexual orientation." What is the point in this for LGBT?