Striving for Authenticity


“My company or organization should take a more assertive public position on LGBT+ inclusion and belonging”

87% of the jammers agree

A new report by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV), Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, and Workplace Pride provides new information on workplace discrimination faced by the LGBTIQ+ community. It also provides tangible actions that employers can take to address the troubling findings.

“I will soon be entering the workforce and would definitely hope that there were fellow transgender employees at the company.

In fact, I will actively be looking to work for a company that has high rates of LGBTQ+ employment at all levels, including executive positions”

Jam Participant

The report is the result of a two-part study: (1) a survey of more than 6,000 United States-based professionals, and (2) a facilitated digital conversation – called an “Innovation Jam” – that included more than 2,000 business leaders, subject matter experts, and thought leaders from around the globe.

To capture valuable insights from individuals across this diverse community, the IBV teamed up with Out & Equal and Workplace Pride to host a Global LGBT+ Innovation Jam. Jam participants claimed identities across the spectrum, with 43% identifying as gay or lesbian, 33% as non-LGBT+, 9% as bisexual, and 8% as queer. Transgender and non-binary people made up 15% of Jam participants.

“[Pronouns] should never be required. Safety for trans/non-binary folks should be the highest priority.

Pronouns are part of the coming out process; making them mandatory would “out” us and take away our autonomy.

It is one of the few things we actually have control over”

IBM Jam participant

Some of the key research findings showed that LGBTIQ+ discrimination remains despite employers’ drive to further inclusion. The intersection of race, gender, and sexual orientation heightens discrimination, making it more pronounced. Non-binary and gender-expansive identities are common in workplaces. COVID-19 placed an outsized burden on caregivers from the LGBTIQ+ community.

“COVID is showing home-life much more realistically than the confines of the structured office. As much as this makes some more comfortable, it makes others feel threatened and endangered.”


(Acknowledgements to the IBM Institute for Business Value and Out & Equal)