LGBTQIA+ discrimination in the workplace is a pressing issue in India, as in many other countries. A 2017 survey by the International Labor Organization found that over half of LGBTQIA+ employees in the country had experienced some form of discrimination or harassment in the workplace. This can have severe consequences for the well-being and careers of LGBTQIA+ individuals.
LGBTQIA+ discrimination in the workplace can take many forms, such as:
- Being passed over for promotions
- Being mistreated by colleagues or superiors
- Being subjected to derogatory comments or jokes.
These and similar experiences can lead to feelings of isolation, anxiety, and low self-esteem. They can even result in physical and mental health problems. Even though some legal protections exist for LGBTQIA+ people in the workplace in India, such as the Constitution’s prohibition on discrimination based on sex, these protections aren’t always enforced.
Moreover, LGBTQIA+ people may face discrimination and harassment in industries or regions where no explicit protections exist. Employers and HR departments in India have a vital role to play in creating a more inclusive and welcoming workplace for LGBTQIA+ employees.
This can include:
- Offering diversity and inclusion training for employees
- Adopting policies that explicitly prohibit LGBTQIA+ discrimination
- Creating a safe and welcoming environment for all employees
By taking steps to combat LGBTQIA+ discrimination in the workplace, we can create more equitable and inclusive workplaces for all employees, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Impact of LGBTQIA+ Discrimination in the Workplace
Many people who discriminate against LGBTQIA+ employees don’t realize the damage they can do to one’s physical, mental, emotional, and financial health. Let’s take a look at how discrimination can impact LGBTQIA+ individuals in the workplace:
It Can Lead to Isolation and Low Self Esteem
Discrimination and ill-treatment can lead to feelings of isolation, anxiety, and low self-esteem. When an individual experiences discrimination or is treated unfairly or disrespectfully, it can significantly affect their emotional well-being. They may feel isolated from their colleagues or excluded from specific opportunities, leading to anxiety and low self-esteem.
Mental and Physical Health Issues
Discrimination in the workplace can result in physical and mental health issues. Discrimination and ill-treatment can severely affect an individual’s physical and psychological health. It can lead to stress, depression, mental health issues, and physical health problems.
Loss of Income and Opportunities
Discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people in the workplace can lead to individuals leaving their jobs or changing careers, resulting in lost income and opportunities for advancement. If someone experiences discrimination or is treated poorly in their current job, they may feel their only choice is to leave their position.
This can result in a loss of income and opportunities for career growth. People who leave their jobs can also spend much more time and resources finding new ones. What’s more, discrimination in the workplace can damage an individual’s professional reputation and make it difficult for them to find new employment opportunities.
Discrimination and ill-treatment can damage an individual’s reputation and make it difficult for them to find new employment opportunities. This can be especially damaging if the individual has been fired or forced to leave their job because of discrimination.
Creation of Toxic Work Environments
Workplace discrimination against LGBTQIA+ individuals can create a toxic work environment that is difficult to work in and can lead to decreased productivity and job satisfaction. When someone is mistreated or disrespected in the workplace, it can create a hostile and toxic work environment for everyone. This can lead to decreased productivity, decreased job satisfaction, and high turnover rates.
Limiting Individual Opportunities
Workplace discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people may discourage individuals from pursuing certain career paths or industries. Discrimination and ill-treatment can discourage individuals from pursuing certain career paths or industries if they believe they will face discrimination or unfair treatment because of their identity. This can limit an individual’s opportunities and prevent them from pursuing their dreams.