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Why managing LGBTI+ diversity in the workplace is still key

Only 59.5% of LGBTI+ people are visible in the workplace. This was made known by the Federación Estatal de Lesbianas, Gais, Trans, Bisexuales, Intersexuales y más (FELGTBI+) at the talk on 'Family diversity and its visibility in the workplace' held in conjunction with BBVA on the occasion of International LGBTI+ Pride Day.

Por qué sigue siendo importante la gestión de la diversidad LGTBI+ en la empresa

The work environment can become hostile for LGBTI+ people. Unfortunately, discrimination against them is still prevalent in many workplaces. According to figures provided by FELGTBI+, only 23.6% of LGBTI+ people are visible to their peers, 11.1% to their superiors and 6.6% to customers.

These results are thought-provoking. LGBTI+ people in the workplace have certain deep-rooted beliefs. 54% believe that their private life should be of no interest to anyone, 43% prefer to avoid unnecessary rumors and comments, and 32% seek to avoid explaining themselves. Such perceptions reflect the concerns faced by this community in their workplaces. It is thus vital to promote an inclusive environment where their rights are respected and acceptance is fostered.

Although the movement is now well established, challenges and discrimination remain. According to the survey 'State of LGBTI+ 2023,' approximately 6 out of 10 LGBTI+ people hide their sexual orientation and gender identity from their birth families, which has consequences for their physical health as well as their mental and emotional health.

New family patterns

An estimated 19 million families exist in Spain, including single-person households, childless couples, couples with children and single-parent families. A survey conducted by Continua de Hogares 2020 indicates that there are 115,300 same-sex couples and 7,953 children and young people under the age of 25 living with a same-gender couple. And yet, 1 in 3 LGBTI+ people have been homeless at some point in their lives, i.e. they have been forced to live on the streets.

Another of the situations affecting this group is the 'sexile,' meaning LGBTI+ people fleeing their place of residence due to rejection, discrimination or violence. Both are considered in Spanish Ley 4/2023, de 28 de febrero, a statute designed to safeguard real and effective equality for trans and LGBTI+ people.

Some of the adverse effects that can affect this group are minority stress (the investment of time and effort to hide belonging), work-life balance problems, restriction of benefits such as health insurance, welfare measures, allowances, incentives and other family opportunities, and sacrifices and gaps that lead to stress and low sense of permanence, ultimately leading to so-called self-exclusion.

The talk, hosted by BBVA Volunteers during Pride week, emphasizes the need to raise awareness of family diversity and promote acceptance and respect for all forms of family. By involving experts and opening up to questions and opinions, the forum sought to foster constructive dialogue and contribute to building a fairer, more inclusive and more equitable society.

BBVA is a leading player in labor inclusion

Event held in Ciudad BBVA on the occasion of Pride 2023 - BBVA

Given these data, it is essential to have measures that favor the inclusion of LGBTI+ people in the workplace. Companies such as BBVA are already seeing the benefits of giving a voice to all diversities in their workforce. The bank closed the Pride celebrations with an event at its headquarters in Ciudad BBVA, Madrid, to share its achievements in LGBTI+ issues over the past few years with all its employees. Victoria del Castillo, Global Head of Strategy and M&A, and Javier Rodríguez Soler, Global Head of Sustainability, stressed the value of diversity, the progress made by BBVA in this area and the competitive edge that a diverse workforce means for the company.

During the event, leaders of BBVA's LGBTI+ diversity programs in Peru, Colombia, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Spain explained the current situation in each of their countries and the projects that are currently underway in support of inclusion. Finally, employees of each of the letters that represent the acronym LGBTI+ shared their own 'Pride stories' and how they continue to promote LGBTI+ diversity on a daily basis in their own spheres of activity.