Better Business: The Benefits of LGBTQ+ Inclusion in the Workplace


March 24, 2023


In 2019, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation published a paper on LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and more) inclusive practices in the workplace through one of its research and education initiatives, Incorporating Inclusion. A key finding from interviews with Fortune 500 companies shows that companies embrace LGBTQ+ inclusion to attract the best talent, allowing them to better engage and retain LGBTQ+ employees and cultivate strong relationships with stakeholders. Additional findings pointed to businesses needing a formal communication process about their LGBTQ+ inclusion practices, and the authenticity of those practices being reinforced when businesses support the LGBTQ+ community outside of their workplace.

These results strengthened a growing body of research making the case that LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion leads to business success. This study, published in March 2023, builds on the previous work by examining lingering questions regarding the mechanics of how businesses develop and evaluate their LGBTQ+ inclusive practices.

Businesses continue to struggle with how to collect data from their LGBTQ+ employees, which can assist in LGBTQ+ recruiting and external reporting. Additionally, there is little standardization of measuring and evaluating LGBTQ+ inclusive practices, which presents challenges for businesses seeking to maximize the efficacy of their activities.

The Covid-19 pandemic and George Floyd’s death in 2020 have also generated new changes and questions regarding LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace that have developed since the 2019 report. How did these events affect businesses’ approach to LGBTQ+ inclusive practices? What were the outcomes of these changes?

To examine these issues, the U.S. Chamber Foundation gathered insights from participants who attended recent years’ forums, as well as secondary research. Findings show that businesses seek trusted expert knowledge as they develop their LGBTQ+ inclusive practices. Advances in data collection and programmatic monitoring and evaluating also contribute to the success of such activities. And, workplace changes that have evolved as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and George Floyd’s death coalesced to help businesses better support LGBTQ+ employees’ needs.

Taken together, these efforts enhance the effectiveness of businesses’ LGBTQ+ workplace initiatives. As a result of their LGBTQ+ commitments, businesses will continue to reap numerous rewards that will drive their prosperity and that of their LGBTQ+ employees.