Close Icon
CareerCircle Logo


Job Search & More

Retaining LGBTQ+ Talent in the Workplace

Author profile picture
Staff Writer
Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedin icon
Retaining LGBTQ+ Talent in the Workplace Banner

Many companies may hire someone without any real plan for how they will keep this person with them long-term. 
As a result, if the employee leaves with all of their talents and skills, they will create a hole in the team’s workflow and impact productivity. It also costs a significant amount of money to replace an employee, not to mention how time-consuming it is to onboard and train new workers. Employee retention matters in every workplace. Workers are more loyal when a company cares about keeping them long-term. They become highly-skilled, more productive, and better able to care for customers. Company culture and morale improve too. It’s proven difficult for many businesses to retain LGBTQIA+ workers, in particular, because of the barriers they face in the workplace.

According to a 2021 UCLA School of Law survey, over 45% of LGBTQ workers experienced unfair treatment at work, including being fired, harassed, or being passed over for employment opportunities due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
These barriers are causing companies to miss out on all that LGBTQIA+ employees bring to the workplace. But yours doesn’t have to. Retain and nurture LGBTQIA+ talent in your workplace by creating a welcoming, safe, supportive environment. You can start by establishing inclusive workplace policies. LGBTQIA+ individuals will be more likely to stay in your workplace if they feel like it’s accepting of who they are.

Establish Inclusive Policies

Inclusive policies ensure your employees are protected, treated fairly, and can fully be themselves without fear of losing their jobs or being treated differently.

Your inclusive workplace policies can include:

  • Flexible working policies;
  • Offering gender-neutral restrooms;
  • Treating others with respect and dignity;
  • An open dress code that allows employees to express themselves so long as they maintain a professional look.


Aside from the policies above, a zero-tolerance harassment policy is also essential.

No Tolerance for Harassment in the Workplace

LGBTQIA+ workers can’t stay in workplaces that perpetuate this harassment and bullying for too long. And they shouldn’t have to. Make it a point to set expectations around bullying and harassment of anyone in the workplace. Create a clear policy that condemns this behavior and lets employees know the consequences if they are to engage in it.

Understand the Unique Mental Health Needs of LGBTQIA+ Individuals

The American Psychiatric Association revealed that LGBTQIA+ people are twice as likely to experience a mental health disorder in their lifetime than heterosexual people. They are also more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and substance misuse. Where these mental health issues stem from varies, but they’re likely connected to challenges with life outside of work and family obligations. Situational conflicts that are unique to the individual, such as housing discrimination, perpetuate work-life balance challenges.


According to a Center for American Progress survey, 13% of LGBTQIA+ U.S. adults experience high levels of discrimination in housing — and they may have to move because of it. Also, many LGBTQIA+ individuals deal with others having a negative attitude about who they are. 28% of LGBTQIA+ respondents in the survey reported experiences of discrimination in public spaces. The same survey also revealed that LGBTQIA+ people were three times more likely to say they postponed or avoided medical care because of disrespect or discrimination from a healthcare provider they experienced in the prior year.


Keep in mind that many LGBTQIA+ individuals have families. 14.3% of same-sex couples had children in their households in 2022. Many are single parents as well, making the obligation to provide financially and emotionally solely theirs. Not being able to meet family needs, get adequate medical care, and navigate the often negative public perception of the LGBTQIA+ community can wreak havoc on these workers' mental health, causing employees to leave your company because they can’t cope and leading to higher turnover rates. 


Understanding the unique family and life-based conflicts LGBTQIA+ employees face and how these things affect their mental health will help you provide better support and resources for these challenges. Offering this level of support for LGBTQIA+ employees’ mental health can help them feel supported both in and out of the workplace.

Provide Inclusive Healthcare Benefits and Wellness Perks

Your efforts to create an inclusive, supportive workplace environment for LGBTQIA+ employees would be incomplete without a focus on providing inclusive healthcare benefits and wellness perks.


Unfortunately, the attack on LGBTQIA+ rights when it comes to health insurance and accessing quality care is well-documented. Whether it’s because they can’t get coverage, can’t afford services, or because they’re being discriminated against in healthcare facilities, many LGBTQIA+ people don’t get the care they need. You can show your support for your LGBTQIA+ employees by providing inclusive healthcare benefits and wellness perks.


Make sure that the insurance you offer covers gender-affirming care and accepts domestic partnerships. Do your research on the healthcare facilities in the area and compile a list of the ones known to give great care to all individuals. Create parental leave policies that extend to all types of parents.  Also, offer wellness perks, like memberships to accessible gyms and access to employee resource groups tailored to LGBTQIA+ workers that provide inclusive professional development opportunities.


If you want your LGBTQIA+ employees to feel welcome and empowered in your workplace, take good care of them. Understand and accommodate their needs and protect them in the workplace for the best chance at them staying long-term.


Interested in partnering with us?

 To learn more about CareerCircle, contact us at


Content Contributor:

Ainsley Lawrence is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. She is interested in better living through technology and education. She loves traveling to beautiful places and is frequently lost in a good book.