Out to Succeed 2.0: the Largest-Ever Global Survey of the LGBTQ+ Workplace

A new global workplace survey of over 2,700 LGBTQ+ employees from 5 continents published by Out Leadership and Out for Undergrad finds today’s workplace as overwhelmingly supportive of LGBTQ+ inclusivity and being out at work as a positive differentiator in the careers of most LGBTQ+ employees.  Despite this remarkable progress, challenges remain especially for the transgender, nonbinary, and people of color – especially women of color. Out to Succeed 2.0: Realizing the Full Potential of LGBTQ+ Talent is the largest-ever global survey conducted of the LGBTQ+ workforce and was conducted by Out Leadership in partnership with Out for Undergrad.
Out to Succeed 2.0 builds upon 15 years of research on the LGBTQ+ workforce, including the two versions of The Power of Out series and Out in the World (pioneered by Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Karen Sumberg & Kenji Yoshino with contributions from Out Leadership Founder & CEO Todd Sears) and Out To Succeed, the first-ever global millennial LGBTQ research published in 2018 by Out Leadership sponsored by PwC.
“By demonstrating how inclusive workplaces are better able to attract and retain LGBTQ+ talent, Out to Succeed 2.0 exemplifies what Out Leadership’s research has consistently shown for years: companies that invest in LGBTQ+ equality reap real bottom-line impact,” said Todd Sears, Founder and CEO of Out Leadership. “To maintain this talent advantage, avoid a brain drain, and continue realizing strong profits, business leaders must reject the rise in anti-LGBTQ+ laws in every state and country in where they operate.”


Out LGBTQ+ Leaders are Thriving Professionally 

  • 70% of out LGBTQ+ talent believe that being out in the workplace has had a positive impact on their career opportunities and advancement.
  • Nearly four out of five (78%) say that being LGBTQ+ has helped them build their personal and professional networks. 
  • 57% of the 1,438 employees in our survey cohort (94% of whom identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or non-binary) are deemed high-potential or key talent by their employers. Among transgender employees, that proportion is 64%.

Businesses Must Create Better Work Environments for LGBTQ+ Leaders

  • 92% of LGBTQ+ employees consider companies’ company’s reputation around LGBTQ+ inclusion when job seeking.
  • Trans and non-binary employees are more likely than other LGBTQ+ employees (9% vs 7%) to say they are uncomfortable being out at work, and many feel it hasn’t been good for their careers. 
  • Black lesbian employees are 1.6x more likely than other LGBTQ+ employees (41% vs 26%) to say they’ve felt uncomfortable or insulted by comments made by colleagues about the LGBTQ+ community and are much more inclined to cover.
  • Non-binary employees are the most likely of all LGBTQ+ employees to disagree (34% vs 27%) that their employer takes action to protect its LGBTQ+ employees from offensive comments or behaviors. 


Out Leadership and O4U conducted a global online survey of 2,790 LGBTQ+ and ally employees and college students (LGBTQ+ respondents constitute 94% of the survey pool) over the time period of May 2022 to November 2022. Participants self-selected to take the survey, and primarily include employees from Out Leadership’s member firms and nonprofit partners, business leaders from Out Leadership’s current and past OutNEXT cohorts, students from O4U’s talent network, and individuals from the general public. The survey was also fielded to a global audience through Toluna, a market research company that provided a small financial incentive to participants who completed the survey. In order to participate through Toluna, participants were required to self-identify as LGBTQ+ and report having “some high school and/or university experience.” For more on the survey methodology, click here. 









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