How Can You Create an LGBT-Friendly Workplace?

When companies foster LGBT-inclusive working environments, the benefits are widespread-from opening communication among allies and improving recruitment to engaging LGBT employees in decision-making roles. Learn more about how a few corporations have created thriving atmospheres for LGBT employees and their allied colleagues.


  • I believe that the dialogic approach to diversity training might well be more effective, especially in helping to change person’s mindsets, which are at the root of changing person’s behaviors.

  • While the efforts of companies like American Express and Pfizer are, on surface, laudable thaty sound remarkably like efforts to address racial minorities in the past, e.g including minority leaders in business development; supporting minority causes and events; adding minority owned business suppliers; starting a dialogue. As a Black man with three decades working in corporations, my experience tells me that this is all transitory.

    As interest fades, the business environment changes and management moves on the support and momentum of these initiatives will diminish. You can take an Affirmative Action written in the 1980’s, change the dates, and present it now in 2010 and still get push back because it’s “too aggressive”.

    In the business world, people (and the organizations they populate) do what they do because there’s a payoff … people do what they get rewarded for. Until there’s a direct correlation between diversity results and compensation, LGBT initiatives – like minority and women’s corporate initiatives – will ultimately become the next movement of the moment.

  • I have no need to know of anyone’s sexual orientation in the workplace.

  • Do we have to know about anyone sexul orientation??? It is their own business and should and must not impact on the business needs.
    Help me understand the need?

  • Hey, I’m asexual. Can we create a more work-friendly environment for me? If not, then can we call that discrimination?

  • I absolutely agree with Luke’s comment above (21Jun2010). Seeing it from a business perspective, team leaders usually strive to create cross-functional teams with as much diversity as possible in a bid to bring in the X-factor(s) that all this imported diversity carries along.. The more diverse a team is, the more creative the interaction will be. See it from a completely different angle now.. When you’re faced with an issue that bothers you, one might want to seek advice or talk about it with as many of their friends (family, or social circle for that matter), again in a bid to analyse the problem from various angles and seek various feedback that might contribute to a better choice. To sum it up, acknowledging, accepting and promoting diversity in the modern workplace, is a clear win-win situation for both parties involved (employer+employee). As far as Guest’s comment (17Jun2010) is concerned, NO you don’t have to be out, or know anyone’s sexual orientation, but it’s certainly good to know that the support network exists, because people can show/unleash their true potential and evolve, in open and including environments. Best regards to all, Dimitris from Greece.

  • You are right we do not need to know people´s sexual orientation but heterosexual community always talk about it my wife/husband , my son , my daugther , etc …. so why is it important for them to share such things … what makes them acceptable and the gay community is not acceptable … that is not equality … so inclusion and tolerance and non discrimmination environment is in order Thanks

  • While it may not be necessary for someone to know their coworker’s sexual orientation, the fact that there are companies out there who seek to make their workplace more open for the LGBT community can be extremely comforting to those of us who are in said community. The fact that there is support out there for them can help them excel at their job, and can help them to be an overall happier person. I feel like regardless of sexual orientation, you should be able to talk about your family at work without discrimination. Personally, I would be proud to work for a company like Pfizer or American Express, one that promotes a safe work space for their LGBT employees.

    • I really don’t know much about Pfizer or American Express -neither are on our Top 50 list, and neither are on our Top 10 companies for LGBT employees

      Wells Fargo
      Time Warner
      Marriott International
      Eli Lilly and Company
      MassMutual Financial Group

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