Nearly half of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex Australians hide their sexual identity at work, for fear it may harm their career, according to a new report.
The findings are part of international festival Dive In, initiated by insurer Lloyd’s, which is looking into the progress and activity of diversity and inclusion in workplaces. It was expected to reach an audience of over one million insurance professionals worldwide.
It also found that six in 10 LGBTI people in Australia experience verbal homophobic abuse in the workplace, while two in 10 experience physical violence.
In a statement, Chris Mackinnon, Lloyd’s general representative in Australia, said: “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.”
Lloyd’s found if English is not a worker’s primary language, they are three times more likely to experience workplace discrimination than a native English speaker.
“Australia is one of the most multicultural countries in the world, with more than one-third of us having migrated here over the last 70 years,” Mr Mackinnon said.
Lloyd’s chief executive Inga Beale, is the first female head in the company’s 328-year history, launched the report in Sydney via video messaging.
“We must make sure that we have practices that welcome everybody, whatever their background, their experience, whatever it is about them that perhaps makes them a little bit different,” she said.