Story at a glance

  • June is traditionally observed by the LGBTQ+ community as Pride month in remembrance of the Stonewall Riots of 1969.
  • A new report by Glassdoor shows that LGBTQ+ employees are less satisfied with their workplaces than their non-LGBTQ+ peers.
  • Despite legal protections against discrimination, LGBTQ+ employees still struggle with senior leadership, career opportunities, compensation and benefits.

Ahead of Pride month, companies are racing to earn their rainbow stripes and prove to LGBTQ+ customers that they are inclusive — or at least inclusive enough that those customers should continue to support their brand. But a new report from Glassdoor reveals a different story, one in which LGBTQ+ employees are less satisfied at work than their non-LGBTQ+ peers. 

“Unfortunately, it’s not surprising to see that LGBTQ+ employees rate their workplace experiences lower across the board when compared to non-LGBTQ+ employees,” said Scott Dobroski, VP of Corporate Communications and a member of Glassdoor’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group. “While many companies will turn their logos and social profiles to rainbows for Pride Month, creating a more equitable company is more than just symbolic or superficial moves. It’s about action. Company leaders should take time to solicit feedback from their LGBTQ+ employees to better understand what’s working well and what needs improvement to further support their workers.” 


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Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQ+ employees from discrimination based on their gender or sexuality, but as Dobroski pointed out, true inclusion isn't merely the absence of discrimination. 

LGBTQ+ employees gave their companies an average overall company rating of 3.27 stars out of 5 through Glassdoor's new Diversity and Inclusion tools, allowing employees to anonymously share their sexual orientation and other identity markers on the website. Across six workplace factor ratings, the study found that LGBTQ+ employees are less satisfied with companies' senior leadership, career opportunities and compensation and benefits compared to non-LGBTQ+ employees, who gave an average overall rating of 3.47. 


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“Choosing where to work is an incredibly important and personal decision, especially for those who identify as LGBTQ+,” said Dobroski. “There are a variety of factors that can make their work experiences potentially more challenging, from differences in health care coverage to cases of employment discrimination and more. To find a company that is truly the right fit, we encourage job seekers to go deeper into the employee experience on Glassdoor and leverage LGBTQ+ company ratings and pay data to help them make more informed decisions about where to work.” 

So what companies are friendly to LGBTQ+ employees? The study found that LGBTQ+ employees reported being more satisfied working in industries "recognized for giving back and creating change," including in government, education and nonprofit sectors. On the other end fell customer support and service jobs, including telecommunications, business services and even health care. 

To name some names: Wells Fargo had one of the lowest average overall ratings by LGBTQ+ employees at 2.65, compared to 3.27 by non-LGBTQ+ employees. Amazon and Walmart also fell below 3 in their ratings and Apple came in with the highest overall rating by LGBTQ+ employees at 4.14. 

"Wells Fargo's commitment and service to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community dates back more than 30 years when the company added sexual orientation to its non-discrimination policy in 1987," a spokesperson for the company told Changing America, noting their support for the Equality Act and marriage equality as well as a recent statement against anti-LGBTQ legislation. 

Changing America has reached out to Amazon and Apple, who also signed the statement, as well as Walmart for comment.


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Published on May 26, 2021