More than half of young LGBT+ employees hide their sexuality or gender identity


When Roxanne* started her first full-time job at Vodafone three years ago, it was a conversation with her manager that set the precedent for how she shared her own sexual orientation. Although he was gay himself, he was initially surprised to learn of her girlfriend but quickly adopted a welcoming attitude, and invited them both along to events organised by Vodafone’s LGBT+ Network. Over time, other colleagues also found out and, these days, Roxanne is completely open about her sexuality. “Having a manager who is gay, and knowing that we are such an open-minded company, it felt okay,” she says.

Although Roxanne’s experiences have been straightforward, a startling number of her contemporaries still experience intense pressure to hide their identity in the workplace. In a recent survey commissioned by Vodafone to measure the issues faced by young LGBT+ employees, it found that more than half hide their sexual orientation or gender identity because they fear discrimination from colleagues.

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