Nearly half of LGBT+ people, or 49.7 percent, are concerned that their workplace relations would be affected if they came out at work, a survey released yesterday by two groups showed.
The respondents were also worried that disclosing their sexual orientation or gender identity at work could affect their chances at promotion or career development (38.2 percent), or that it could lead to bullying or harassment (35.5 percent), the survey conducted by Taiwan Tongzhi (LGBTQ) Hotline Association and Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan showed.
Fifty-five percent of respondents said they came out to a “small number of colleagues,” while less than 30 percent said they came out to a direct supervisor or someone in a more senior position than themselves, the survey showed.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
One respondent, an engineer working for a technology firm in Hsinchu, said that he decided to come out at work because he was expecting to become a father and would have to ask for more time off.
Another respondent, a public servant from Kaohsiung, said that she came out at work so that she could “share the joy” with her colleagues if she marries one day and claim a financial aid that her employer offers to employees who marry.
According to the survey, 38.1 percent of respondents said there were employees at their workplace who were “openly out,” up from 27.3 percent in a similar survey conducted by the association in 2016.
Chiu Yu-fan (邱羽凡), an assistant professor of law at National Chiao Tung University, said that despite the increase, she believes there has not been much improvement in the daily lives of LGBT+ people, particularly in the workplace.
While there are legal protections against discriminatory practices in the workplace in Taiwan, their enforcement could be improved, she said.
According to the poll, 53.1 percent of respondents said their employers “do not have any gender-friendly measures or have never expressed LGBT-friendly views.”
About 70 percent of respondents said they hoped their employers would host “LGBT and gender-friendly courses, talks or educational training.”
Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan chief coordinator Jennifer Lu (呂欣潔) called for cooperation to create work environments that are more friendly toward LGBT+ people.
Work is an important part of people’s lives, with some people spending more time with their colleagues than their family members, she said.
A majority of people who participated in the survey (84.3 percent) work full-time and more than half (58.7 percent) were aged 26 to 35.
Among the respondents, 74.5 percent identified as homosexual and 22.4 percent identified as bisexual, the groups said.
They said that 42.4 percent of respondents identified as cisgender male, 48.6 percent identified as cisgender female and 7.7 percent identified as transgender men or women.
The survey collected 2,121 valid responses online from Jan. 20 to March 2 and has a margin of error of 2.1 percentage points.
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