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date: 23 May 2024

Sexual Orientation (LGBTQ+) Issues in I&O Psychologylocked

Sexual Orientation (LGBTQ+) Issues in I&O Psychologylocked

  • Jennica WebsterJennica WebsterMarquette University
  •  and Raymond TrauRaymond TrauMacquarie University


People who identify as sexual and gender minorities (SGMs), such as those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, or queer (LGBTIQ), are an increasingly visible and vital segment of the work force. This community has begun to attract the attention of organizational decision-makers and practitioners who recognize the value that SGM inclusion has on “bottom-line” outcomes and acknowledge the moral imperative of creating equitable and inclusive workplaces. Although still under-researched, scholars have begun to theorize and empirically study the work experiences of SGM individuals. Much of the research in this area calls attention to the formal discrimination in hiring, promotions, and leadership evaluations as well as interpersonal discrimination in the form of harassment and microaggressions that SGM employees experience. These types of discrimination are most often predicted by others’ sexual prejudice and traditional gender-role stereotypes regarding people and jobs, and are more likely to be enacted by men. Because SGM status is often concealable, some SGM employees manage their identity as one way to avoid direct discrimination. Research examining workers’ decisions and disclosing, concealing, and otherwise managing their SGM identity at work finds that SGM employees who hold favorable perceptions of their own identity and anticipate favorable reactions from others are more likely to disclose at work. Fortunately, not all experiences that SGMs have at work are negative. Many straight or cisgender employees befriend, support, and actively advocate for their SGM colleagues. This support and allyship, along with organizational factors, such as antidiscrimination policies and favorable climates for SGM diversity, are related to positive outcomes for individuals and organizations. Also of note is that these workplace experiences of SGM individuals occur within a broader social context that includes societal attitudes and legal/regulatory mechanisms.


  • Organizational and Institutional Psychology

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