Although LGBTQ+ rights have come a long way since the June 1969 Stonewall Riots commemorated as part of Pride Month, the community still faces marginalization and repression even in the most liberal societies. About two-thirds of self-identified LGBTQ+ Americans say they have experienced discrimination in their personal lives, and about half say they are locked in at work.
Research by the University of Cologne also found that LGBTQ+ people are almost three times more likely to suffer from depression and burnout due to chronic stress and homophobia and the researcher, Dr Miriam Fischersaid that the health services must solve this problem.
“In our societies, many LGBTQ+ people experience chronic stress due to homophobia and heterosexism, which can lead to health problems. Even the anticipation of discrimination, regardless of experiences of discrimination, can create and exacerbate health problems. As a society, we need to address this disadvantage,” says Dr. Fischer.
Dr. Fischer recommends that the health industry emphasize counseling and mental health services, especially for the LGBTQ+ community, and encourage society to strengthen LGBTQ+ community structures, such as sports, cultural and leisure.
This is not the only area where the health sector needs to improve for the LGBTQ+ community. Many have had personal experiences where there has been medical bias against them for being a sexual minority, which has prevented them from receiving a high standard of health care.
Research at Northwestern Kellogg supports this. The study, co-authored by Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations, Ivuoma N. Onyeadorfound that physician bias against sexual minorities contributes to the prevalence of negative health outcomes, but they say this can — and should — be changed.
Researchers have found that while formal medical school curricula help prepare students to provide care, their informal curricula can play a critical role in shaping students’ social attitudes. By simply changing the curriculum they study in medical school, we can reduce physician bias against sexual minorities.
They recommend that course directors identify elements of the informal curriculum that mitigate or exacerbate physician bias against LQBTQ+ people. This is a critical step towards building inclusive medical institutions, improving the quality of care provided, and reducing health disparities between LGBTQ+ and heterosexual people.
It’s not just the health sector that needs to improve its policies for the LGBTQ+ community. Organizations in many other sectors must also strive to create a better environment for their employees. According research at harvardmany LGBTQ+ people do not honestly report their sexuality, even in highly private and anonymous settings, because they believe the stigma against them has not been eliminated.
This feeling is further reinforced by the research of Professor Sara Louise Muhr, who teaches at Copenhagen Business School’s Executive MBA. Muhr investigated the relationship between the body and leadership through the case study of a transgender leader. She conducted interviews with the employees of a transgender leader and found that although they accepted the transition from “John” to “Claire”, both pseudonyms, they viewed his leadership abilities as a natural pre-transition, but against nature as a woman.
To give her meaning as a leader, they split her into two characters; one who possesses Claire’s feminine qualities, and one who is allowed to be strict, masculine, and bossy, like John.
“The ‘masculine’ leadership behavior exhibited by Claire, seen as natural when dealing with men, didn’t make sense to the employees in relation to Claire’s female body. As a result, they make comments like that ‘John came back’ or use male pronouns when discussing Claire’s leadership style,” says Professor Muhr.
The stigma faced by the LGBTQ+ community needs to end, and businesses should be driving that change. As many say, a business is only as good as its people, and creating a safe and welcoming environment for everyone should be a priority. This can be done by creating LGBTQ+ friendly policies, which can actually benefit your organization in many ways.
Although the main benefit is to protect LGBTQ+ people from any form of discrimination, LGBTQ-friendly corporate policies can also improve business performanceaccording to a study by the Aalto University School of Business.
The research, led by Assistant Professor Digitalization in Accounting, Jukka Sihvonen, found strong evidence that more LGBTQ-friendly companies have higher profitability and higher stock market valuations. Indeed, LGBTQ-friendly companies are associated with greater employee engagement, better job satisfaction, increased employee productivity, and more altruistic behavior in the workplace.
LGBTQ-friendly companies tending to be more successful have led to more companies promoting the policies and initiatives they have in place, but in some scenarios these are superficial commitments and not something that actually generates change.
A study conducted by emlyon business school indicates that this can be fought by insider activists. The study, by Assistant Professor Lisa Bucherfound that LGBTQ+ rights activists increased their influence on organizations by developing implementation resources that companies could easily use to flesh out their diversity commitments and implement diversity programs to promote gender inclusion. LGBTQ+ employees.
We’ve come a long way over the past two decades in terms of human rights for the LGBTQ+ community, but there’s still a long way to go. Research from business schools and universities identifies areas for change, with recommendations for successful implementation. It is now up to us, as organizations and society, to take it to the next level.