RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • As businesses work toward creating cultures of equality, it is imperative to enable LGBT+ women to thrive and be visible in the workplace.
  • While this is a much broader societal issue, businesses can be at the forefront in tackling it.
  • Organizations must actively recruit and advance visible female LGBT+ leaders and drive progress for both gender rights and LGBT+ equality.
  • Additionally, engaging our Allies is crucial as the path to parity affects us all.


The lack of visible LGBT+ Women in the workplace

Accenture has been a long-time supporter of our growing LGBT+ community and our 100,000+ allies. We have an unwavering commitment to diversity, working tirelessly to enable our 469,000+ employees to have a full sense of belonging within our organization. Yet, only a small percentage of LGBT+ women are visible in our community—and most don’t feel they can be. We need more visibility for LGBT+ women in our workplace; for that matter, for all of our women.

Megan Cross, UK Pride Network co-lead, raises the question of why there aren’t more visible LGBT+ women leaders in the workforce. Megan highlights some of the key reasons why, as well as what the community and our allies can do to promote awareness. We have created an opportunity to increase our diversity. Let’s continue to push that agenda—to be out and proud and to be recognized as the leader we have proven that we are.

Many LGBT+ women feel they must choose: gender rights or LGBT+ equality. I would challenge this premise and ask: Why can’t businesses rethink how their Inclusion & Diversity groups operate so their staff can fight for parity across the board?

Why does it matter?

The fabric of leaders in any sector needs to be relentlessly and unapologetically authentic. As businesses work toward gender parity in the workforce, statistically there will be more LGBT+ women in the workplace. As such, businesses cannot be truly representative until they are more diverse, and the experiences of different genders and sexual orientations can be extremely varied. We need new perceptions, stories and experiences at the table. The more diverse our visible LGBT+ communities are, the more interesting our conversations will become, and the more impact we will have as networks that stand for all forms of gender identity and sexual orientation.

This is a prevalent issue affecting LGBT+ women, and creating a culture of equality helps LGBT+ professionals to thrive:

73 %

LGBT+ women not fully "out" to colleagues in the UK

64 %

LGBT+ women experience negative treatment in the workplace

3X

more likely to advance to senior levels in inclusive environments

Meet Alicia Campbell-Hill

Alicia is a senior manager in our Strategy practice. Alicia is also involved with the wider Accenture Inclusion & Diversity agenda—particularly our Pride Network.

MEET ALICIA CAMPBELL-HILL

Meet Sonya Goldenberg

Sonya is a manager in our Financial Services Technology Consulting practice. As co-lead of our Australia/New Zealand Pride Network, Sonya believes in promoting LGBT+ visibility in Australia.

MEET SONYA GOLDENBERG

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Take action: Addressing the workplace culture

The following proposes several practical and tangible measures to develop inclusive workplace cultures.

1. Identify and support female LGBT+ role models

We need new faces and diverse voices at the table, and this also entails actively recruiting visible female LGBT+ leaders at all levels.

2. Intersectional and inclusive LGBT+ networks

LGBT+ networks must challenge societal perceptions of what it means to be an LGBT+ woman and drive progress for both gender and sexuality simultaneously.

3. Engage and embrace our LGBT+ allies

LGBT+ networks need to invite our LGBT+ Allies in. The path to parity affects all of us, and everyone has a responsibility to forge the road.

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Monica Boll

Managing Director and Global Pride Network Executive Sponsor


Megan Cross

Management Consultant and UK Pride Network Co-Lead

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