In March, New York-based EY published its 2024 EY US LGBTQ+ Workplace Barometer from an online survey that was conducted throughout December 2023 and January 2024.

“Ernst & Young LLP and FleishmanHillard TRUE Global Intelligence surveyed 500 LGBTQ+ full-time workers in the US who hold corporate roles at mid- and large-size organizations (2,500+ employees),” the organization said.

The survey found that Gen Z employees in the LGBTQ+ community gave their employers a C+ on inclusion efforts while older generations gave a B grade, meaning Gen Z may have different DEI criteria for employers than other generations.

According to EY, Gen Z identifies as LGBTQ+ at nearly six times the rate of Gen X. Gen Z is also predicted to make up 30% of the total US workforce by 2030.

Regarding employee retention, EY reported the following:

  • Only 38% of LGBTQ+ workers who rate their workplace experiences poorly on the EY US LGBTQ+ Workplace Barometer are likely to say they expect to stay with their employer for the next year.
  • LGBTQ+ workers who rate their workplace experiences high on the barometer are 2.6 times more likely to say they intend to stay with their employer for another year.

“For the average Fortune 500 company, which has about 62,000 employees, improving retention of LGBTQ+ employees by just 5% could result in annual savings of nearly $4.2 million in turnover costs alone,” EY said.

The EY report also brought up the importance of intersectionality when discussing LGBTQ+ inclusion. According to the survey, racially and ethnically diverse (R&ED) LGBTQ+ employees are 1.7 times more likely than white LGBTQ+ employees to have experienced harassment at a previous employer. R&ED LGBTQ+ employees are also 2.3 times more likely to experience microaggressions in the workplace.

“Feeling safe to be your authentic self is something that everyone should be entitled to, but we know reality is often more complex than that,” said Mitch Berlin, EY Americas vice chair, strategy and transactions and Americas executive sponsor of unity, the EY LGBTQ+ Business Resource Group. “Company leaders should remain steadfast in their commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion, cultivate an environment where people feel comfortable to be themselves and offer the right resources so employees can thrive.”

“Building and sustaining a culture where people feel seen and valued starts with leadership setting the tone at the top,” said Leslie Patterson, EY Americas and US diversity, equity and inclusiveness leader. “Through listening, learning, offering support and taking action, leaders will build trust and credibility, which in turn can help their organizations stand out with a powerful and growing segment of the population.” 

This article is an excerpt from the April 2024 issue of Supermarket Perimeter. You can read the entire DEI feature and more in the digital edition here.