Companies are increasingly asking LGBT employees to self-identify

Increasingly, human resource departments at major corporations are asking employees to self-identify as LGBT. Almost 50% of the largest companies in the U.S. gather information on the sexual orientation and gender identity of their employees.

A number of firms collect this information anonymously.  However, some companies like JPMorgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, and EY have started to ask the question on HR paperwork. Therese Bechet Blake, Head of Diversity, Corporate Sector at JPMorgan, told Bloomberg Business that LGBT workers requested that the information be collected officially, in part, “to make themselves visible.”

Companies are wary, however, about collecting this information in jurisdictions where LGBT employees might not be legally protected from discrimination or where homosexuality is illegal. There is a fear that if the information were leaked it could perhaps endanger employees. Chris Crespo, Inclusiveness Director at EY, stated that there were “mixed feelings,” when the firm stopped collecting the information anonymously. Providing such information, however, is completely voluntary.

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