Engaging Gay Workers Increased Productivity, study suggests


by Amy Husser, Canwest News Service

Corporate Canada can improve productivity and decrease turnover if more active steps are taken to engage gay workers, results of a study suggest.

According to research released Wednesday by Catalyst — a non-profit organization that promotes diversity in the workplace — “invisible” lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers are likely to be less engaged than their openly gay counterparts because of the time spent “self-editing” and an associated general lack of authenticity.

“When employees are working in an environment where it doesn’t feel inclusive . . . that creates a situation where there is invisible diversity within an organization that an employer may not even be aware of,” said Deborah Gillis, vice-president, North America of Catalyst. “(The employer) then doesn’t have the opportunity to tap into that diversity and support those employees so they can contribute fully to the success of the business and advance in their own careers.”

The study found that LGBT employees working in organizations with effective and inclusive diversity practices reported better workplace relationships, greater organization commitment and greater career satisfaction.

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