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Workplace contextual supports for LGBT employees: A review, meta-analysis, and agenda for future research


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The past decade has witnessed a rise in the visibility of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. This has resulted in some organizational researchers focusing their attention on workplace issues facing LGBT employees. While empirical research has been appropriately focused on examining the impact of workplace factors on the work lives of LGBT individuals, no research has examined these empirical relationships cumulatively. The purpose of this study was to conduct a comprehensive review and meta-analysis of the outcomes associated with three workplace contextual supports (formal LGBT policies and practices, LGBT-supportive climate, and supportive workplace relationships) and to compare the relative influence of these workplace supports on outcomes. Outcomes were grouped into four categories: (a) work attitudes, (b) psychological strain, (c) disclosure, and (d) perceived discrimination. Results show that supportive workplace relationships were more strongly related to work attitudes and strain, whereas LGBT supportive climate was more strongly related to disclosure and perceived discrimination compared to the other supports. Our findings also revealed a number of insights concerning the measurement, research design, and sample characteristics of the studies in the present review. Based on these results, we offer an agenda for future research.
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Workplace contextual supports for LGBT employees:
A review, meta-analysis, and agenda for future research
Jennica R. Webster
| Gary A. Adams
| Cheryl L. Maranto
| Katina Sawyer
Christian Thoroughgood
Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania
Jennica R. Webster, Marquette University,
P.O. Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201.
The past decade has witnessed a rise in the visibility of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgen-
der (LGBT) community. This has resulted in some organizational researchers focusing their
attention on workplace issues facing LGBT employees. While empirical research has been
appropriately focused on examining the impact of workplace factors on the work lives of LGBT
individuals, no research has examined these empirical relationships cumulatively. The purpose
of this study was to conduct a comprehensive review and meta-analysis of the outcomes asso-
ciated with three workplace contextual supports (formal LGBT policies and practices, LGBT-
supportive climate, and supportive workplace relationships) and to compare the relative influ-
ence of these workplace supports on outcomes. Outcomes were grouped into four categories:
(a) work attitudes, (b) psychological strain, (c) disclosure, and (d) perceived discrimination.
Results show that supportive workplace relationships were more strongly related to work atti-
tudes and strain, whereas LGBT supportive climate was more strongly related to disclosure and
perceived discrimination compared to the other supports. Our findings also revealed a number
of insights concerning the measurement, research design, and sample characteristics of the
studies in the present review. Based on these results, we offer an agenda for future research.
bisexual, gay, lesbian, LGBT, transgender, workplace diversity
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees comprise a
significant portion of the workforce. It is estimated that approxi-
mately 8 million people, or 3.5% of the U.S population, identify as
LGBT (Gates, 2011). This is a conservative estimate, given that LGBT
identities can be invisible and, as a result, some LGBT employees
decide to conceal their identities (King, Mohr, Peddie, Jones, & Ken-
dra, 2014). Indeed, deciding whether to disclose at work is often a
challenging process that is accompanied by fear and anxiety due to
the stigma associated with LGBT identities (Ragins, Singh, & Corn-
well, 2007; Trau, 2015). Although public perceptions of LGBT people
have become increasingly more positive in the United States, a large
portion of Americans (45%) still believe that being gay is a sin (Drake,
2013), and attitudes toward gender nonconformity are even more
unfavorable (Norton & Herek, 2013). Due in large part to social
stigma, employees who identify as LGBT are at greater risk of unfair
treatment, systematic oppression, and even violence. For example, a
2008 survey by the Williams Institute found that 38% of LGB
employees reported being harassed at work, and 27% experienced
employment discrimination based on their sexual orientation (Sears &
Mallory, 2011). More strikingly, in the National Transgender Discrimi-
nation Survey, approximately 78% of transgender employees
reported being harassed or mistreated at work, and 47% reported
being discriminated against in terms of hiring, promotion, or job
retention (Grant et al., 2010).
These negative experiences of LGBT workers not only stem from
stigma, but also from a lack of federal legislation that protects LGBT
employees from harassment and discrimination. While some states
have instituted laws that cover LGBT harassment and discrimination
directly, 30 states have no laws protecting the employment rights of
LGBT individuals, and 3 states specifically prohibit the passage of
DOI: 10.1002/hrm.21873
Hum Resour Manage. 2017;118. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. 1
such laws. This leaves approximately 52% of LGBT people living in
states where they are especially vulnerable to harassment and dis-
crimination at work (Movement Advancement Project, 2016). Con-
fronted with mistreatment and an incomplete patchwork of legal
protections, many organizations have recognized the social and eco-
nomic imperative(Day & Greene, 2008; King & Cortina, 2010) of
offering LGBT-supportive policies (Armstrong et al., 2010). In fact,
93% of Fortune 500 companies include sexual orientation and 75%
include gender identity in their nondiscrimination policies (Human
Rights Campaign, 2016).
Inconsistencies in legal and organizational protections for LGBT
employees across states and organizations have prompted
researchers to examine the impact of workplace contextual supports
on the work experiences and decisions of LGBT employees. Theoreti-
cal frameworks have been proposed to provide a better understand-
ing of these experiences, with most focusing on the management of
LGBT identities at work and across life domains (Croteau, Anderson, &
VanderWal, 2008). Two of the most prominent of these models are
the Home-Work Disclosure Model (Ragins, 2004, 2008) and the
Interpersonal Diversity Disclosure Model (Clair, Beatty, & MacLean,
2005). While these two models offer slightly different perspectives,
both agree on the importance of three common workplace contextual
supports that are expected to exacerbate or alleviate the effects of
negative work experiences for employees with stigmatized identities:
formal LGBT policies and practices, an LGBT-supportive climate, and
supportive workplace relationships.
While empirical research has been appropriately focused on
examining the impact of contextual supports on the work experiences
of LGBT employees, no research has examined these relationships
cumulatively. Narrative reviews of the literature characterize the
results of peer-reviewed studies examining the impact of contextual
supports as decidedly mixed (Curtis & Dreachslin, 2008) and lacking
in terms of empirical integration (Croteau et al., 2008). As a result,
researchers are faced with a literature that presents mixed results
from an assortment of studies on a wide array of variables, which
lacks a coherent framework. The lack of integration and presence of
mixed results provides an opportunity to fill an important gap in the
literature that would help to advance progress in this area for both
researchers and practitioners alike (Kulik & Roberson, 2008). More
specifically, synthesizing existing research, developing a cohesive
framework, and shedding light on the relative importance of contex-
tual supports on the workplace experiences of LGBT employees
could be used to enhance understanding and advance theory. Addi-
tionally, such work will provide guidance for practitioners who seek
to make their organizations more welcoming and inclusive of LGBT
employees by providing some clarity regarding the types of work-
place contextual supports that are most effective.
The purpose of the present study is to fill this gap in the litera-
ture by undertaking a cumulative review of nearly two decades of
empirical research on the effects of workplace contextual supports
(i.e., formal LBGT policies and practices, LGBT-supportive workplace
climate, and peer and leader support) on LGBT employees' work
experiences. In so doing, we contribute to the literature in four ways.
First, by adopting commonalities across the prominent conceptual
works in this area, we provide an overarching framework with which
to organize and summarize the often fragmented and diffuse litera-
ture on LGBT workplace contextual supports and outcomes. Research
in this area spans several disciplines, including psychology, psychiatry,
sociology, and business, each of which brings its own theoretical and
empirical approaches to studying this topic. While these multiple per-
spectives do advance the literature, they can also make it difficult to
draw firm conclusions. The integrative approach taken here will allow
scholars to use existing cumulative knowledge to inform subsequent
theory building and empirical research. Second, we extend previous
conceptual models of disclosure decisions across life domains
(e.g., Clair et al., 2005; Ragins, 2008) to a broader set of work out-
comes. Better understanding the multiple ways in which workplace
contextual supports may impact LGBT employees is important for
researchers but also for practitioners tasked with justifying the devel-
opment and implementation of workplace diversity initiatives. Third,
we build on and overcome limitations inherent in narrative reviews
by quantifying the direction and magnitude of the relationships
between workplace contextual supports for LGBT employees and
each of these outcomes. Finally, we compare the relative relation-
ships among the three types of workplace contextual supports and
outcomes using dominance analysis. This allows us to compare the
relative importance of various types of supports on the work lives of
LGBT employees. Disentangling the impact that these supports have
on outcomes of interest will enable policy makers to make more
informed decisions on how to create more inclusive, equitable, and
supportive work environments. Taken together, these contributions
inform and advance knowledge about LGBT experiences at work and
practice aimed at increasing LGBT inclusivity.
Although all workers can benefit from working in supportive work
contexts, contextual support is especially important for employees
with LGBT identities (Huffman, Watrous-Rodriguez, & King, 2008).
This is recognized in two of the most prominent models used to
describe the workplace experiences of those with invisible stigmas [i.-
e., the Interpersonal Diversity Disclosure Model (Clair et al., 2005)
and the Home-Work Disclosure Model (Ragins, 2004, 2008)]. Both
models call attention to personal (e.g., individual differences in per-
sonality) and contextual factors that help determine the workplace
experiences of those with invisible stigmas. A complete review of all
of the variables in these two models is beyond the scope of this
study. Rather, we focus on the contextual supports identified by
these models because they are the most often studied, most under
an organization's control, and most relevant to both human resource
management and individual workers.
Both the Interpersonal Diversity Disclosure Model (Clair et al.,
2005) and the Home-Work Disclosure Model (Ragins, 2004, 2008)
are based on stigma theory (Goffman, 1963). As described by Goff-
man (1963), a stigma is a markor badgethat indicates to others
that someone possesses a characteristic that is devalued by society,
which can lead the stigmatized person to be ostracized, rejected, har-
assed, and discriminated against. This can have negative conse-
quences in terms of poor health and well-being, job loss, and the like
for the stigma holder (Sabat, Lindsey, & King, 2014). Because of their
common grounding in stigma theory, it is not surprising that these
two models highlight the importance of the types of contextual sup-
ports that address the stigma and its outcomes for the individual.
Both models call attention to the symbolic attributes of an organiza-
tion such as policies and practices, as well as the organizational cli-
mate and supportive social relationships that may serve as contextual
supports for LGBT workers. These are seen as critically important to
preventing harassment and discrimination, conveying acceptance and
identity affirmation to the stigma holder, and protecting against sta-
tus loss and social isolation.
Stigma theory not only underlies the three types of contextual
support that are important to LGBT workers but also helps identify
the types of outcomes those contextual supports would be expected
to impact. The first of these is disclosure of the LGBT identity. Dis-
closure is the primary variable that the Interpersonal Diversity Disclo-
sure Model (Clair et al., 2005) and the Home-Work Disclosure Model
(Ragins, 2004, 2008) were intended to explain. For example, Clair
et al. (2005) argue that contextual supports increase the likelihood of
disclosure by reducing the risks associated with making one's LGBT
status known. Stigma theory points to the discrimination experienced
by the stigma holder as a result of the negative reactions of others.
Workplace contextual supports attempt to formally and informally
prohibit discrimination and reduce the negative reactions of others to
the stigma.
Stigma theory also calls attention to the negative psychological
states that those with a stigma may experience. By reducing the
degree to which stigma holders are shunned, rejected, have a core
aspect of their identity devalued, and subjected to the stress associ-
ated with having a stigma (Herek & Garnets, 2007; Meyer, 2003),
contextual supports would be expected to relate to lower psychologi-
cal strains (e.g., anxiety, depression). Similarly, contextual supports
may also impact the work-related attitudes of LGBT employees. This
is because, by conveying positive regard (acceptance and identity
affirmation) for a stigmatized identity and concern for the stigmatized
person (protection against discrimination), contextual supports are
likely to promote positive attitudes toward the employer. Work-
related attitudes are also relevant because they relate to important
work behaviors such as performance, organizational citizenship
behavior, and turnover (Saari & Judge, 2004). Taken together, the
three types of contextual support and these four outcomes provide
the framework for our review.
2.1 |Formal LGBT-supportive policies and practices
A growing body of research has found that the adoption of human
resource management policies and practices aimed at acquiring and
managing talented employees enhances the performance of individ-
uals and organizations (Combs, Liu, Hall, & Ketchen, 2006; Subra-
mony, 2009). One mechanism by which these performance-
enhancing effects occur is via the impact of policies and practices on
employee attitudes and behaviors (Gould-Williams, 2003; Kehoe &
Wright, 2013; Macky & Boxall, 2007; Posthuma, Campion, Masi-
mova, & Campion, 2013). Many organizations have adopted formal
policies and practices that support the equality of LGBT employees
(i.e., including formal written statements barring discrimination based
on LGBT status), offering same-sex benefits coverage (i.e., including
sexual orientation and gender identity in diversity training initiatives,
providing new hires and supervisors awareness training), creating
LGBT and allies-related employee resource groups, and actively invit-
ing same-sex partners to company-wide social events (Button, 2001;
Ragins & Cornwell, 2001). Over time, best practices have become
more expansive, including providing transgender-inclusive health/
medical benefits, incorporating LGBT diversity metrics into senior
management and executive performance measures, increasing LGBT
employee recruitment efforts, enhancing supplier diversity program
inclusion of certified LGBT suppliers, requiring U.S. contractors to
comply with LGBT nondiscrimination policies, and fostering public
commitment to the LGBT community, including philanthropic
Building on Schein's (1992) seminal work on organizational cul-
ture, researchers have theorized that formal policies and practices,
when consistently implemented and enforced within organizations,
can act as a visible representation of the values and beliefs held by
an organization and explicitly convey to organizational members that
discrimination and mistreatment of LGBT workers will not be toler-
ated (Ragins & Cornwell, 2001; Tejeda, 2006). This notion that formal
policies and practices convey important information is an application
of signaling theory (Spence, 1973) to the organizational context. It
suggests that formal statements by an organization send signals
about the types of behaviors that are acceptable and expected. For
non-LGBT workers, formal policies and practices signal information
about treating their LGBT coworkers in a nondiscriminatory, welcom-
ing, and inclusive manner. Importantly, they also signal information to
LGBT workers about how they can expect to be treated in terms of
hiring, promotion, termination, and other personnel decisions. They
also reassure them that leaders and coworkers will be held account-
able for instances of mistreatment even in the absence of legal pro-
tections (Ruggs, Martinez, Hebl, & Law, 2015). In this way,
organizational policies and practices may help to reduce or eliminate
discrimination and harassment toward LGBT employees.
2.2 |LGBT-supportive workplace climate
The adoption of formal LGBT-supportive policies and practices is
intended to signal the types of behaviors that are acceptable and
expected throughout the organization. However, the mere presence
of these policies and practices does not necessarily reflect the mes-
sages that workers derive from them (Dwertmann, Nishii, & van Knip-
penberg, 2016). When policies are not consistently implemented or
enforced, they are likely to be interpreted as nothing more than
empty promises(Clair et al., 2005, p. 84). This highlights the fact
that even formal policies are subject to interpretation, particularly if
actions are inconsistent. Recognizing these interpretations,
researchers have called attention to the importance of psychological
climate, which refers to a person's psychologically meaningful inter-
pretation of their proximal work environment (James, Hater, Gent, &
Bruni, 1978). James et al. (1978) suggested that perceptions of the
work environment take on significance when they are interpreted rel-
ative to employees' values and beliefs and in relation to their personal
well-being. As noted earlier, formal policies and practices can signal a
set of espoused values and beliefs and prescribe acceptable behav-
iors. Climate, on the other hand, represents the enactment of those
values, beliefs, and behaviors as perceived by the worker (McKay,
Avery, & Morris, 2009). As such, it is a property of the individual
worker that is distinguishable from the conceptualization of culture
and attitudes (C. P. Parker et al., 2003).
Research on psychological climate has focused on perceptions of
the organization broadly, as well as specific facets of the organization.
While a wide range of organizational perceptions might be conceptu-
alized in terms of a general organizational climate, taxonomies of
these perceptions commonly include an affective component
(Ostroff, 1993), sometimes referred to as psychological safety (Kahn,
1990), that reflects positive social interactions (i.e., warmth, coopera-
tion, and social rewards) and being able to express one's true feeling
and self without fear of repercussion. Meta-analytic studies show
that this aspect of climate is related to outcomes such as job atti-
tudes, performance, and psychological well-being (Carr, Schmidt,
Ford, & DeShon, 2003). With regard to climate surrounding specific
facets of the organization, researchers have proposed organizations
have a climate for diversity (Dwertmann et al., 2016). Diversity climate
is a psychologically meaningful construct that reflects the degree to
which the worker views the organizational environment as
nondiscriminatory, welcoming, and inclusive. Within the diversity cli-
mate literature, researchers have focused on climates for specific
minority groups, including LGBT individuals (Liddle, Luzzo, Hauen-
stein, & Schuck, 2004). The theorizing around diversity climate under-
pins much of the research relating LGBT-supportive workplace
climate to employee outcomes.
2.3 |Supportive workplace relationships
Supportive workplace relationships are interpersonal resources that
can influence the work experiences of employees, and can be espe-
cially crucial for those with LGBT identities. The unique work situa-
tions that LGBT employees encounter, such as social rejection and
isolation, can be mitigated by the presence of others who support
and accept them (Huffman et al., 2008), even individuals who are
non-LGBT (Ragins, 2008; Ragins et al., 2007). Social support is a per-
son's belief that he/she is held in positive regard, valued, and cared
for by others (Cobb, 1976). The theoretical foundation underlying the
relationship between social support and the work experiences of
LGBT employees is rooted in classic social support theory (Caplan,
Cobb, French, Harrison, & Pinneau, 1975; Cohen & Willis, 1985),
which asserts that having satisfying relationships with others can help
to fulfill many basic needs such as belongingness, acceptance, com-
panionship, and self-worth (Thoits, 2011). In particular, prior research
distinguishes among three forms of social support: emotional, instru-
mental, and informational (Beehr & McGrath, 1992; House, 1981).
With respect to LGBT individuals, coworkers and supervisors may
offer emotional support by showing concern, listening, and empathiz-
ing with their experiences of prejudice and discrimination at work. In
turn, they may provide instrumental support by offering tangible
assistance, such as corroborating their LGBT colleagues' reports of
harassment to HR or even confronting perpetrators themselves to
deter such behavior in the future. Finally, they may offer informa-
tional support by giving advice or useful information on how to navi-
gate and address a discriminatory work environment.
To locate relevant articles and dissertations, we employed four strate-
gies. First, an electronic search was conducted using the PsychINFO,
Web of Science, and Google Scholar databases. The keywords LGBT,
lesbian, gay, homosexual, bisexual, transgender, queer, gender noncon-
forming, gender identity, sexual minority, sexual orientation were
coupled with the keywords policy, policies, practices, psychological cli-
mate, workplace climate, work environment perceptions, social support,
allies, peer/coworker support, and leader/manager support. Second, a
manual search was conducted of the conference proceedings for the
annual meetings of the Academy of Management (20132015), and
Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology (20132015). Third,
reference lists of published and unpublished sources were mined for
other potential articles. Fourth, to locate unpublished or in-press arti-
cles that would have been missed using previous methods, we sent a
call to three Academy of Management listservs, Gender & Diversity
in Organizations, Organizational Behavior Division List, and Human
Resources Division List; however, this resulted in no additional
papers or data sets.
Four inclusion criteria were selected prior to the start of the
review. First, the study had to include a correlation coefficient or
statistics that could be used to calculate a correlation. Second, the
sample had to include employees working in the United States.
Third, the sample had to be employees who were lesbian, gay,
bisexual, or transgender. Fourth, we included studies that reported a
relationship between a workplace contextual support and a plausible
We limited the analysis to studies using U.S. samples. Many
scholars have pointed out that while sex is a biological concept, gen-
der is socially constructed (e.g., Butler, 1990). Thus, in both principle
and practice, one would expect understandings of and attitudes
toward sexual and gender nonconformity to vary significantly across
societies and cultures. Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religions all con-
sider homosexuality to be a sin, but countries differ dramatically in
the degree of separation between church and state; even today,
homosexual acts are crimes with punishments ranging from fines to
jail time, to death. Thus, profound differences in culturally based atti-
tudes would be expected to impact both the levels of the constructs
in our study and the relationships among them. McDermott and Blair
(2010) examined whether the factors predicting homonegativity dif-
fer significantly in four relatively similar nations of the Western
World: Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the
Republic of Ireland. Distinct differences in the predictors of homone-
gativity were found between the North American and European sam-
ples. Similarly, Passani and Debicki (2016) found that high school
students' opinions about LGBT issues and rights differed significantly
among Belgium, Estonia, Italy, and the Netherlands, which the
authors attributed to differing national contexts of rights recognition.
These studies suggest that researchers must account for specific
sociocultural differences in analyses of prejudice toward LGBT people
across countries. Such an undertaking is beyond the scope of this
paper, so the meta-analysis was limited to studies using U.S. samples.
We should note that most of the studies presented in our review are
cross-sectional, which prohibits us from inferring a causal relation-
ship. Moreover, in two instances, authors published different studies
using the same data set. Since each of the studies reported data on
different constructs of interest, the studies were included in the
review. A total of 27 studies fit the inclusion criteria. Two of the
authors coded the following information from each study: sample
size, reliability information, and effect sizes. For studies that included
multiple measures of an outcome (e.g., included both anxiety and
depression to represent psychological strain), a composite correlation
was calculated using Hunter and Schmidt's (2004) formula that
accounted for within-study correlations. Effect sizes were estimated
for each relationship using Hunter and Schmidt's (1990, 2004)
4.1 |Measurement of workplace contextual
One strength of the studies reviewed is the range of measures used
to assess the different workplace contextual supports across studies.
As research on LGBT employees is still rather new, this range of mea-
sures provides researchers with options to choose existing measures
that best fit their research questions. Recognizing this, in the follow-
ing section and in Table 1, we provide an overview of the measures
used to assess workplace contextual supports.
4.1.1 |Formal LGBT-supportive policies and practices
The studies reviewed measured a range of formal LGBT-supportive
policies and practices. This range is reflected in the number of items
included in the measures. Some measures relied on a single item
focused on whether sexual orientation was included in an organiza-
tion's nondiscrimination policy (e.g., Day & Schoenrade, 2000; Tejeda,
2006), whereas other measures used multiple policy and practice
items. For example, Ragins and Cornwell's (2001) Organizational Poli-
cies and Practices Index includes six items, and Button's (2001)
Workplace Policies and Practices Inventory contains nine items. Both
of these measures ask participants to indicate whether or not each of
several policies are present in their organization (e.g., diversity train-
ing that includes LGBT awareness). The items are then summed to
create an index of the overall prevalence of LGBT-supportive policies
and practices. When using these types of multi-item measures, some
researchers have endorsed examining the impact of each policy and
practice individually, as well as the overall sum of the items
(Griffith & Hebl, 2002; Ragins & Cornwell, 2001). One notable issue
among the measures is that not all of the items always refer to the
full range of LGBT identities. Some refer just to sexual orientation
(e.g., Waldo, 1999), while others refer to only gender identity
(e.g., Ruggs et al., 2015). Although this is not an inherent limitation,
researchers must take care that the measures they employ make use
of the referent most germane to the population they wish to study.
4.1.2 |LGBT-supportive workplace climate
The studies reviewed showed three general approaches to measur-
ing LGBT climate. The first approach, developed by Waldo (1999), is
the Organizational Tolerance for Heterosexism Inventory. This mea-
sure asks participants to respond to four scenarios that depict situa-
tions in which LGB employees experience mistreatment at their
organization. Participants are then asked how they believe their
organization would respond if a similar situation were to occur
there. The second approach used by researchers adapts Rankin's
(2003) campus diversity climate measure to LGB populations. The
measure asks participants to rate their work environments using a
bipolar adjective measure (e.g., respectfuldisrespectful). The third
and most common approach used by researchers is the LGBT Cli-
mate Inventory (LGBTCI; Liddle et al., 2004), which is a 20-item uni-
dimensional measure assessing LGBT perceptions of their
organizations' supportiveness toward them. Although each takes a
different approach to measuring climate, they have all demonstrated
acceptable psychometric characteristics. Similar to the measures
assessing LGBT-supportive policies and practices, it is important that
researchers take care to ensure that the referent used in the mea-
sure reflects the population under study.
4.1.3 |Supportive relationships
The measures used to assess supportive relationships identified a
number of possible sources of support. For example, one often-cited
early study of LGBT social support (Day & Schoenrade, 2000) con-
sists of a single item that refers to support from top management.
Rabelo and Cortina (2014) used items adapted from Eisenberger,
Stinglhamber, Vandenberghe, Sucharski, and Rhoades (2002) to
assess perceived supervisor support, and Ragins et al. (2007) used a
classic measure of social support developed by Caplan et al. (1975) to
assess support from coworkers and supervisors. Along these same
lines, Griffith and Hebl (2002) used a composite measure that
included support from various types of coworkers (supervisors, sub-
ordinates, and peers). Finally, although not labeled as such, items
from Hebl, Tonidandel, and Rugg's (2012) measure of psychosocial
mentoring could be construed as social support from one's mentor.
Items such as I consider my mentor to be a friendand My mentor
provides support and encouragementreflect the theoretical defini-
tion of social support in terms of being held in positive regard and
valued by others. Thus, researchers have measures available to them
that can be used to study specific sources of support and composite
measures of support across those sources. We also note that all of
the studies focused on emotional support rather than other forms
identified in the broader literature (i.e., instrumental and tangible sup-
port; Beehr & McGrath, 1992; House, 1981).
4.2 |Workplace contextual supports and outcomes
Based on stigma theory (Goffman, 1963), we sought to identify out-
comes represented in the literature that we reviewed in four mean-
ingful categories. These four categories included: (a) work attitudes,
TABLE 1 Summary of studies and their characteristics
Author(s) and dates/Sample
LGBT identity characteristic
Workplace contextual supports/
Measures Outcomes/Measures N Recruitment strategy Education/Salary
Allan, Tebbe, Duffy, and Autin
ClimateLiddle et al. (2004) Work attitudesjob satisfaction (Judge, Locke,
Durham, & Kluger, 1998)
171 posted online announcement to
social and professional sites and
sent e-mail announcement to
targeted listservs
Androsiglio (2004)
ClimateLiddle et al. (2004) Psychological strainemotional exhaustion
(Maslach et al., 1996)
181 E-mailed online announcement to
targeted social and professional
networking listservs
Solicited members at a Gay Pride
Parade in NYC
Completed a college degree (100%)
Average salary ($83 k)
Boyles (2008)
ClimateLiddle et al. (2004)
Social supportrewarding coworker
interactions (May, Gilson, &
Harter, 2004)
Work attitudesengagement (Schaufeli,
Bakker, & Salanova, 2006)
Disclosureintegrating (Button, 1996)
295 Posted online announcement to LG
news and information sites and
sent e-mail announcement to
targeted listservs
Completed a college degree (73%)
$26 k to $50 k (31%); $51 k to
$75 k (26%)
Policies & PracticesRagins and
Cornwell (2001)
DiscriminationWorkplace Prejudice/
Discrimination Inventory developed by
James et al. (1994) and modified by Ragins
and Cornwell (2001)
89 Solicited members at a San Diego
LG Community Center
Completed at least some
college (90%)
Brenner, Lyons, and Fassinger
LG (2 samples)
ClimateWaldo's (1999)
Organizational Tolerance for
Heterosexism Inventory (OTHI)
DisclosureMohr & Fassinger's (2000) Outness
Part of a large online national study Completed a bachelor's degree
(sample 1, 76%; sample 2, 75%)
Brewster, Velez, DeBlaere, and
Moradi (2012)
ClimateLiddle et al. (2004) Work attitudesjob satisfaction (Smith,
Kendal, & Hulin, 1969)
DisclosureMohr & Fassinger's (2000) Outness
DiscriminationWaldo's (1999) Workplace
Heterosexist Experiences
Questionnaire (WHEQ)
263 Posted online announcement to
social and professional sites
Completed at least some
college (91%)
Button (2001)
Policies & Practicesself-developed Work attitudesjob satisfaction (Weiss, Davis,
England, & Lofquist, 1967); affective
commitment (J. P. Meyer, Allen, and
Smith, 1993)
Disclosureintegrating (Button, 1996)
537 E-mailed announcement to
organizations included in an
e-mail distribution list compiled
by the National Gay and Lesbian
Task Force
Chrobot-Mason, Button, and
DiClementi (2001)
ClimateButton (1996) Disclosureintegrating (Button, 1996) 255 Solicited attendees at a national
conference of LG workplace
Contacted members of corporate LG
employee groups
Posted online announcement to
social and professional sites
Average education was college or
secondary education degree
Over 25% reported completion of a
master's or doctorate degree
Day and Schoenrade (2000)
Policies & Practicessingle item
Social supportsingle item of
supervisor support (self-
Work attitudesjob satisfaction (Ironson,
Smith, Brannick, Gibson, & Paul, 1989);
organizational commitment (N. J. Allen &
Meyer, 1999)
Psychological strainIronson et al., 1989)
744 Mailed announcement to list
populated by the Human Rights
Posted announcement in print
TABLE 1 (Continued)
Author(s) and dates/Sample
LGBT identity characteristic
Workplace contextual supports/
Measures Outcomes/Measures N Recruitment strategy Education/Salary
Driscoll, Kelley, and Fassinger
Climateadapted the Campus
Environment Survey
(Blankenship & Leonard, 1985)
Work attitudeswork satisfaction (Weiss,
Dawis, England, & Lofquist, 1967)
Psychological strainOsipow & Spokane's
(1992) Personal Strain Questionnaire (PSQ)
123 Personally contacted potential
Posted announcement in local LG
Used snowball sampling
Average years of education
was 16.62
Modal annual income ranged from
$30 to $39 k
Griffith and Hebl (2002)
Policies & Practices self-
Climate Waldo (1999)
Social supportcoworkers reactions
Work attitudesjob satisfaction (Ironson
et al., 1989)
Psychological strainanxiety (self-developed)
Disclosuredisclosure behaviors
(Croteau, 1996)
379 Mailed surveys to LG-related
nonprofit clubs and organizations
Posted announcement in LG
Solicited attendees from a LG
business exposition
Average salary ($49,430)
Hebl, Tonidandel, and Ruggs
Social supportpsychosocial
support (self-developed)
Work attitudesjob satisfaction (Balzer
et al., 1990)
207 Solicited attendees at a gay-friendly
business convention
Completed a bachelor's degree or
higher (55.3%)
Huebner and Davis (2005)
Social supportFrankenhaeueser
et al. (1989)
Work attitudeswork satisfaction (Caplan
et al., 1980)
DisclosureMohr & Fassinger's (2000) Outness
73 Solicited patrons of gay-friendly
Posted announcement in various
media outlets
Completed a college degree (45%)
Modal annual income ranged from
$25 to $35 k
Huffman, Watrous-Rodriguez,
and King (2008)
ClimateLiddle et al. (2004)
Social supportcoworker support
(Baruch-Feldman, Brondolo, Ben-
Dayan, & Schwartz, 2002);
supervisor support (Eisenberger,
Huntington, Hutchison, &
Sowa, 1986)
Work attitudesjob satisfaction (Cammann,
Fichman, Jenkins, & Klesh, 1983)
DiscriminationWaldo's (1999) WHEQ
99 Solicited patrons at gay-friendly
establishments and a gay-pride
Completed a bachelor's degree or
higher (78.7%)
King, Mohr, Peddie, Jones, and
Kendra (2014)
Policies & PracticesButton (2001)
ClimateRankin (2001, 2003)
Disclosureself-developed 61 Posted announcement in various
printed media outlets
Used snowball sampling
Law, Martinez, Ruggs, Hebl, and
Akers (2011)
Policies & Practicesself-developed
(adapted from Friskopp &
Silverstein, 1995; Ragins &
Cornwell, 2001)
Social supportcoworker reactions
(Griffith & Hebl, 2002)
Work attitudesjob satisfaction (Ironson et al.,
1989); organizational commitment (Meyer
et al., 1993)
Psychological strainanxiety (self-developed)
DisclosureGriffith & Hebl's (2002) Disclosure
114 Solicited attendees at a transgender
health conference
Posted online announcement to
social and professional sites
Used snowball sampling
Liddle, Luzzo, Hauenstein, and
Schuck (2004)
Climateself-developed Work attitudeswork satisfaction (Weiss
et al., 1977)
DiscriminationCroteau et al. (1998)
93 Contacted researchers nationwide
and asked them to distribute a
paperpencil survey to potential
Average salary ($53,500)
Munoz (2005)
ClimateLiddle et al. (2004) Work attitudesjob satisfaction (Cammann
et al., 1983); organizational commitment
(Mowday, Steers, & Porter, 1979)
Psychological strainanxiety (D. F. Parker &
Decotiis, 1983)
Disclosureintegrating (Button, 1999)
DiscriminationWorkplace Prejudice/
Discrimination Inventory developed by
James et al. (1994) and modified by Ragins
and Cornwell (2001)
346 Solicited members of a local
professional association to
participate through a newsletter
Posted announcement in online
Used snowball sampling
Completed a college degree (80%)
$26 k to $50 k (39%); $51 k to
$75 k (23%)
TABLE 1 (Continued)
Author(s) and dates/Sample
LGBT identity characteristic
Workplace contextual supports/
Measures Outcomes/Measures N Recruitment strategy Education/Salary
Rabelo and Cortina (2014)
Social supportsupervisor support
(Eisenberger et al., 2002)
Work attitudesjob satisfaction (Cammann
et al., 1979)
Psychological strainemotional exhaustion
(Demerouti et al., 2001)
DiscriminationWaldo's (1999) WHEQ
267 Mailed paperpencil surveys to staff
at small public university
E-mailed announcement to LGBT
staff from other universities
Ragins and Cornwell (2001)
Policies & Practicesself-developed Work attitudesjob satisfaction (R. P. Quinn &
Staines, 1979); organizational commitment
(Mowday et al., 1979)
DiscriminationWorkplace Prejudice/
Discrimination Inventory developed by
James et al. (1994)
534 Mailed surveys to members of three
national gay rights organizations
in the United States
Completed a bachelor's degree or
higher (84.7%)
$26 k to $50 k (42.1%); $51 k to
$75 k (25.1%)
Ragins et al. (2007)
Same sample as used in Ragins &
Cornwell (2001)
Social supportcoworker and
supervisor support (Caplan
et al., 1975)
Work attitudesjob satisfaction (Quinn &
Staines, 1979); organizational commitment
(Mowday et al., 1979)
Psychological straindepression and anxiety
(Caplan et al., 1975)
534 Mailed surveys to members of three
national gay rights organizations
in the United States
Completed a bachelor's degree or
higher (84.7%)
$26 k to $50 k (42.1%); $51 k to
$75 k (25.1%)
Reed and Leuty (2015)
ClimateLiddle et al. (2004) Disclosureexplicitly out (Anderson, Croteau,
Chung, & DiStefano, 2001)
DiscriminationWaldo's (1999) WHEQ
135 Posted online announcement to
social and professional sites
Used snowball sampling
Completed a bachelor's degree or
higher (62.2%)
Rostosky and Riggle (2002)
Policies & Practicessingle item
Disclosureself-developed 261 E-mailed online announcement to
targeted listservs
Ruggs, Martinez, Hebl, and Law
Same sample as used in Law
et al. (2011)
Policies & Practicesself-developed
(adapted from Friskopp &
Silverstein, 1995; Ragins &
Cornwell, 2001)
Social supportcoworker reactions
(Griffith & Hebl, 2002)
DisclosureGriffith & Hebl's (2002) Disclosure
118 Solicited attendees at a transgender
health conference
Posted online announcement to
social and professional sites
Used snowball sampling
Tejeda (2006)
Policies & Practicessingle item
Work attitudeswork satisfaction (Smith
et al., 1969)
Disclosuresingle item (self-developed)
65 Sent e-mail announcement to
targeted listserv
Completed a bachelor's degree or
higher (72%)
Velez and Moradi (2012)
Climate: Liddle et al. (2004) Work attitudesjob satisfaction (Weiss
et al., 1967)
Discrimination: Waldo's (1999) WHEQ
326 Posted online announcement to
social and professional sites and
sent online announcement to
targeted listservs
Completed a bachelor's degree or
higher (83%)
$30 k to $50 k (21%); $51 k to
$70 k (20%)
Waldo (1999)
Policies & Practicesself-developed
Climateself-developed the OTHI
Work attitudeswork satisfaction (Smith
et al., 1969)
Psychological strain: Derogatis & Spencer's
(1982) Brief Symptoms Inventory
Discriminationself-developed the WHEQ
287 Solicited attendees at two gay
community events
Mailed surveys to members of an
LGBT community center
More than half of the sample
completed a bachelor's degree or
Note: L = lesbian, G = gay, B = bisexual, T = transgender.
(b) psychological strain, (c) disclosure, and (d) perceived discrimina-
tion. Based on our review of the literature, the outcomes commonly
studied coincided with this framework. In the sections that follow,
we summarize the meta-analytic findings relating the three work-
place contextual supports to each of these outcome variables (see
Table 2).
4.2.1 |Work attitudes
The work attitudes that have received the most attention were job
satisfaction and organizational commitment. As shown in Table 2,
LGBT employees who worked in organizations with supportive formal
LGBT policies and practices, informal climates, and relationships
reported more positive work attitudes. Specifically, the relationship
between supportive LGBT policies and practices and work attitudes
was .16. Across the studies, the effect sizes ranged from .07 to .42.
The largest effect size was reported by Tejda (2006). It is interesting
to note that this study had a relatively small (N=65) and homoge-
neous sample of gay men who worked full-time in geographic loca-
tions with no state legal protections for LGBT employees. In contrast,
most other studies, with the exception of Law, Martinez, Ruggs, Hebl,
and Akers (2011), who had a relatively small sample (N= 88) of trans-
gender employees, included samples that were more heterogeneous
and consisted of LGB employees. The relationship between LGBT-
supportive workplace climates and work attitudes was .43. The effect
sizes across the studies ranged from .20 to .58. The study with the
smallest effect size was reported by Waldo (1999). Finally, the rela-
tionship found between supportive relationships and work attitudes
was .48, and effect sizes ranged from .11 and .85. The lowest effect
size was reported by Hebl et al. (2012). Relative to other studies,
Hebl et al.s study focused on support within the context of a very
specific type of relationship (i.e., mentoring). This was a different
approach than that used by Griffith and Hebl (2002), who reported
the largest effect size. Griffith and Hebl's measure of social support
captured the degree of social support from various sources (supervi-
sors, subordinates, and peers).
4.2.2 |Psychological strain
The psychological strains most commonly measured were anxiety,
depression, and emotional exhaustion. As shown in Table 2, the three
workplace supports tended to reduce the degree to which partici-
pants reported these psychological strains. The average corrected
meta-analytic correlation found between formal LGBT-supportive
policies and practices and psychological strain was .07. In general,
the effect sizes were relatively small and ranged from .00 to .09, the
smallest of which was reported by Waldo (1999). The average cor-
rected meta-analytic correlation between LGBT-supportive climates
and psychological strain was .29. Across studies, effect sizes ranged
from .05 to .42. The smallest effect size was from a dissertation
(Androsiglio, 2009) based on a sample of 181 professional gay men
with an average annual salary of approximately $83,000. Conversely,
the highest effect size was reported by Driscoll, Kelley, and Fassinger
(1996), who used a sample of 123 lesbian employees. In that study,
the modal annual salary for the sample ranged from $30,000 to
$39,000. The other samples in the analysis consisted of both men
and women who identified as either lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Finally,
the average corrected meta-analytic correlation found between sup-
portive workplace relationships and psychological strains was .32.
The range of effect sizes reported was .48 to .09, the smallest of
which was reported by Day and Schoenrade (2000). One notable fea-
ture about this study was that it relied on a single item to assess top
management support as the only source of support. The other studies
included in this analysis relied on multiple-item measures that
TABLE 2 Correlations between workplace contextual supports and outcomes
Variable k N r ρSD
95%CI Q
Work Attitudes
Formal policies and practices 7 2,634 .15 .16 .08 [.11, .22] 13.10
LGBT supportive climate 10 2,362 .39 .43 .12 [.35, .50] 43.35
Supportive relationships 9 2,688 .43 .48 .23 [.33, .62] 168.64
Psychological Strain
Formal policies and practices 4 1,498 .06 .07 .04 [.12, .02] 1.68
LGBT supportive climate 6 1,600 .26 .29 .13 [.39, .19] 25.65
Supportive relationships 6 2,296 .28 .32 .16 [.45, .19] 55.56
Formal policies and practices 10 2,979 .28 .29 .08 [.25, .34] 16.32
LGBT supportive climate 12 2,837 .48 .56 .11 [.50, .62] 41.64
Supportive relationships 9 2,599 .30 .32 .19 [.20, .45] 89.27
Perceived Discrimination
Formal policies and practices 5 1,093 .20 .22 .17 [.36, .07] 26.11
LGBT supportive climate 6 1,441 .64 .69 .13 [.79, .59] 58.20
Supportive relationships 3 919 .17 .21 .13 [.35, .07] 11.10
Note: k is the number of independent samples; Nis the total sample size; ris the sample weighted mean correlation; ρis the mean score correlation cor-
rected for measurement error in the predictor; SD
is the standard deviation of the corrected correlations; CI is the confidence interval around the cor-
rected correlation; Qis Cochran's Q, which is a measure of heterogeneity.
examined leader and coworker support. Interestingly, the study that
reported the strongest effect size (Law et al., 2011) was the only
study that focused on transgender workers.
4.2.3 |Disclosure
As noted earlier, there have been conceptual models and narrative
reviews describing the management of concealable stigmatized identi-
ties in general (e.g., Clair et al., 2005) and LGBT identities in particular
(Croteau et al., 2008). These models describe a range of strategies and
behaviors LGBT employees use to manage their identities at work.
While some of the strategies and behaviors identified focus on the
ways in which workers conceal their stigmas, our focus was on disclo-
sure of the stigmatized identity. Disclosure was one of the most often
studied outcomes among the studies included in this review, and was
operationalized in a number of ways. Some studies used a single item
that asked, At work, have you disclosed your sexual orientation to: 1)
no one 2) some people 3) most people 4) everyone(Ragins & Corn-
well, 2001, pp. 1250). Other studies used multiple items asking respon-
dent to rate the degree to which they were out to various others at
work, such as coworkers, supervisors, and subordinates (Huffman
et al., 2008; Rabelo & Cortina, 2014). Still, other studies assessed a
range of identity management strategies; when this was the case we
focused on the one facet addressing disclosure [e.g., explicitly out
(Reed & Leuty, 2016) and integrating(Button, 2001)]. The average
corrected meta-analytic correlation found between formal LGBT sup-
portive policies and practices and disclosure was .29, with a range of
.14 to .42. As was the case for the relationships between policies and
practices and work attitudes (r= .20), as well as policies and practices
and psychological strain (r= .00), we note that the smallest of these
effect sizes was estimated in the study by Waldo (1999). The average
corrected meta-analytic correlation found between LGBT-supportive
climate and disclosure was .56, with a range from .32 to .69. In general,
the estimated effect sizes were fairly similar and with no outliers. The
average corrected meta-analytic correlation found between social sup-
port and disclosure was .32. The effect sizes reported ranged from
.08 to .50. Within this range, both Huebner and Davis (2005) and
Ruggs et al. (2015) reported small negative effect sizes for the relation-
ship between social support and disclosure (r=.08 and .06, respec-
tively). These counterintuitive results were found despite that at least
one of them (Ruggs et al., 2015) used the same measures and sampling
strategy as many of the other studies in the analysis.
4.2.4 |Perceived discrimination
The studies in this review focused on LGBT employees' perceptions of
workplace treatment discrimination. In contrast to access discrimina-
tion that focuses on the differential access that marginalized groups
have to employment opportunities (e.g., hiring), treatment discrimina-
tion focuses on how these groups are treated once they are hired
(Dwertmann et al., 2016). Perceived discrimination was the least stud-
ied among the outcomes. Some studies measured perceived discrimi-
nation using Waldo's (1999) 22-item Workplace Heterosexist
Experiences Questionnaire (WHEQ; e.g., Rabelo & Cortina, 2014;
Velez & Moradi, 2012). The measure asks respondents whether they
have been in a number of social situations with coworkers or
supervisors during the past year. Example items include made you feel
it was necessary for you to act straight’” and called you a dyke,
faggot,’‘fence-sitter,or some other slur.Other studies developed
specific items for the study (e.g., Ragins et al., 2007; Tejda, 2006) and
some adapted James, Lovato, and Cropanzano's (1994) Workplace
Prejudice/Discrimination Inventory (Munoz, 2005; Ragins & Cornwell,
2001). In general, the results of the meta-analysis show that workplace
contextual supports related to lower reported levels of discrimination.
More specifically, the average corrected meta-analytic correlation
between formal LGBT policies and practices and perceived discrimina-
tion was .22. The effect sizes reported in the studies ranged from .31
to .35. Tejada (2006) reported the only positive effect (.31) among
the studies, and offered two explanations for this finding. First, he
argued that unless a formal policy is enforced, employees may disre-
gard that policy and engage in inappropriate behavior. The second
explanation Tejada proposed was that in environments with formal
LGBT supportive policies, LGBT minorities may feel more stigmatized
and nonminorities may feel more threatened, thereby creating an envi-
ronment conducive to greater hostility. Of the five studies that exam-
ined this relationship, this was the only counterintuitive finding. The
next relationship examined was between LGBT supportive climates
and perceived discrimination. The average corrected meta-analytic
effect size found was .69, and effect sizes ranged from .52 to .79.
In general, the results seemed fairly consistent across studies, and all
of the studies used similar measures and data collection strategies.
Finally, the average corrected meta-analytic effect size was calculated
for the relationship between supportive work relationships and per-
ceived discrimination. Here, only three studies were located (N= 919).
The estimated meta-analytic correlation was .21, and ranged from
.12 to .42. It is interesting to note that the study that reported the
strongest relationship (.42; Ruggs et al., 2015) was the only study in
the analysis to include only participants who were transgender.
In summary, based on the meta-analytic correlations, each of the
three contextual supports demonstrated a significant relationship
with work attitudes, psychological strains, disclosure, and discrimina-
tion across studies. One study that stood out from the others in some
ways was the study by Waldo (1999). First, this was one of the earli-
est studies to examine supportive LGBT climate and policies on work
attitudes and psychological strain. As such, it called attention to an
area that had been largely neglected among those studying minority
experiences in the workplace. It is also interesting to note that the
results of this particular study reported some of the smallest relation-
ships between, for example, LGBT-supportive climate and attitudes.
It differed from the other studies included in the review in that it was
the only study to rely on the Organizational Tolerance for Heterosex-
ism Inventory to assess climate's relationship to attitudes and strains.
As noted above, this measure assesses climate perceptions using a
vignette methodology. The only other study to use this vignette
methodology was by Brenner, Lyons, and Fassinger (2010), who
examined its relationship to disclosure as opposed to attitudes and
strains. One other feature of the Waldo study, compared to the
others, was that it combined data from two different samples using
two different methodologies. One portion of the sample came from
data that were collected at two community events in a Northeastern
city where researchers approached potential participants. For the
second portion of the sample, data were collected by mailing surveys
to members of an LGB community center in a Midwestern city. These
differences in terms of measures used, data collection methods, and
combing geographic locations may have played a role in the relation-
ships reported relative to those reported in other studies.
4.3 |Relative importance of workplace contextual
supports on outcomes
One of the contributions of this review is to determine the relative
importance of the three types of workplace supports in shaping the
work experiences of LGBT employees. In order to do this, we con-
ducted a dominance analysis (Budescu, 1993) using the meta-analytic
correlation matrix in Table 3. The matrix includes the corrected corre-
lation coefficients among the study variables. In order to have a com-
plete matrix, we coded all of the relationships from the primary
studies (Viswesvaran & Ones, 1995). As shown in Table 4, 26% of
the total explained variance in the work attitudes of LGBT workers
was attributable to the workplace contextual supports. Of that
explained variance, supportive workplace relationships contributed
55%, LGBT-supportive workplace climate contributed 41%, and for-
mal LGBT policies and practices contributed only 4%. For psychologi-
cal strain, the workplace contextual supports accounted for 12% of
the total explained variance, of which supportive workplace relation-
ships contributed 57%, LGBT climate contributed 41%, and formal
policies and practices only contributed 2%. Thus, for both work atti-
tudes and psychological strain, supportive workplace relationships
had the strongest effects, followed by LGBT-supportive climate.
Regarding disclosure, the workplace contextual supports accounted
for 34% of the total variance explained, as shown in Table 4. Of that
explained variance, LGBT supportive climate contributed 73%, formal
policies and practices contributed 14%, and supportive workplace
relationships contributed 13% of the total variance explained. Finally,
55% of the total variance explained in perceived discrimination was
attributed to the workplace supports, of which LGBT supportive cli-
mate accounted for 86%, supportive workplace relationships
accounted for 9%, and formal policies and practices accounted for
4% of the total variance explained. For the outcomes of both disclo-
sure and perceived discrimination, LGBT supportive workplace cli-
mate accounted for the vast majority of variance explained.
An examination of these results reveals several clear patterns.
First, formal policies and practices were found to be the weakest
predictor of all four outcomes relative to each of the other workplace
supports based on the dominance analysis (Table 4). This does not
imply that they are unimportant. After all, formal policies and prac-
tices were predictive of all four outcomes. Instead, this finding pro-
vides evidence for the often-made assertion that, by themselves,
formal policies and practices are not enoughto protect LGBT
workers (Ragins et al., 2007). Indeed, as noted earlier, it is not simply
the presence of formal policies and procedures that matters, but also
the extent to which they are consistently implemented and enforced
within the organization; that is, the extent to which such policies and
procedures are embedded in the organization's culture. One explana-
tion for why policies may not be consistently embedded in an organi-
zation's culture can be drawn from the work of Martin (1992, 2001),
who proposed that culture need not be uniform throughout the orga-
nization. Rather, she suggested that culture can be differentiated
(i.e., subcultures) and even fragmented (i.e., around a specific issue).
Based on this logic, there need not be consensus about the interpre-
tation and implementation of policies organization-wide, across sub-
cultures within the organization, or around specific LGBT policies.
Further support for this observation can be seen in the finding that
supportive workplace climate had the strongest relative importance
to both disclosure and discrimination and the second-strongest rela-
tive importance to work attitudes and strain. This suggests that, in
contrast to formal policies and practices that merely espouse a set of
values, beliefs, and behaviors, it is the perception of these that matter
more to LGBT workers especially with respect to their disclosure and
perceptions of discrimination. The relatively strong findings for
LGBT-supportive workplace climate vis-à-vis work attitudes and
strains is also noteworthy. They support theories of work adjustment
(Dawis & Lofquist, 1984) and personenvironment fit (Kristof, 1996),
which assert that favorable job attitudes and even well-being result
when there is a match between characteristics of the work environ-
ment and of the worker. The results reported here extend the empiri-
cal findings of these theories to include LGBT-supportive workplace
climate as an organizational characteristic and an LGBT identity as an
employee characteristic. Finally, even more so than an LGBT-
supportive workplace climate, our results call attention to the impor-
tance of supportive workplace relationships. This type of support was
found to be the strongest predictor of work attitudes and well-being
relative to the other types of workplace supports. This finding is con-
sistent with models of occupational stress in general (Ganster &
Rosen, 2013) and theories of minority stress in particular
(I. H. Meyer, 1995, 2003). Both of these literatures suggest that social
support provides important coping resources that can help mitigate
the negative effects of stressors that are experienced in the work-
place. Moreover, social support may play a particularly important role
in directly reducing specific stressors (e.g., social isolation; Sabat
et al., 2014) experienced by LGBT workers.
4.4 |Theoretical implications
Although not always explicitly stated, a number of different theories
were used across the studies to explain the relationship between
workplace contextual supports and outcomes. For policies and prac-
tices, most studies use signaling theory to justify the relationships
TABLE 3 Meta-analytic correlation matrix used for dominance
Variable 1234567
Formal policy
LBGT climate .26
Supportive relationships .32 .59
Work attitudes .16 .43 .47
Psychological strain .07 .29 .32 .30
Disclosure .29 .56 .32 .13 .12
Discrimination .22 .69 .21 .34 .28 .22
Note: All the correlations are corrected correlations that are calculated
with the Hunter and Schmidt method.
between LGBT supportive policy and practices and outcomes
(e.g., Day & Schoenrade, 2000; Law et al., 2011; Rostosky & Riggle,
2002). Other studies relied on Schein's (1984, 1992) work that points
out that policies and practices are visible artifacts for organizational
culture and represent expected employee behavior (e.g., Ragins &
Cornwell, 2001; Tejeda, 2006). Few studies explicitly pointed out the
underlying theory used in making predictions about LGBT-supportive
climates and outcomes. Brenner et al. (2010) suggested that a sup-
portive climate implicitly signals to LGBT employees whether the
work environment is one in which they are protected and feel com-
fortable in revealing their status. Others have employed Kahn's
(1990) theory of employee engagement, which suggests that one of
the key drivers of engagement is the condition of psychological
safety (e.g., Boyles, 2008). Studies involving social support varied in
terms of underlying theory. These theories included Blau's (1964)
social exchange theory (e.g., Huffman et al., 2008), Kahn's (1990) the-
ory regarding psychological meaningfulness (e.g., Boyles, 2008), and
Goffman's (1963) stigma theory (e.g., Ragins et al., 2007). This use of
multiple theories to explain complex phenomena such as workplace
experiences of LGBT workers is neither surprising nor should it be
considered a weakness of the literature reviewed. Studies come from
multiple disciplinary areas that bring to bear their own dominant the-
oretical lenses. An advantage of this is that there is the potential for
cross-fertilization across disciplinary boundaries that may advance
science and practice. On the other hand, when diffuse perspectives
are not integrated, it can lead to a lack of clarity and duplication of
In the present study, we empirically integrate and summarize
research on the workplace contextual support variables included in
the two most prominent conceptual models describing the experi-
ences of LGBT workers: the Home-Work Disclosure Model (Ragins,
2004, 2008) and the Interpersonal Diversity Disclosure Model (Clair
et al., 2005). Although we did not test these models in their entirety
(i.e., did not include individual differences owing to too few studies),
our results provide important insights about them. First, we provide
meta-analytic evidence for the proposition that workplace contextual
supports are related to disclosure decisions as predicted by the
models. In addition, we extend those models to include a wider range
of outcomes, including work-related attitudes, psychological strain,
and experienced discrimination. In so doing, we demonstrate the effi-
cacy of stigma theory, which lies at the base of both models, for
understanding the workplace experiences of LGBT workers. We also
make it possible to draw firm conclusions from past research. First, in
support of signaling theory, LGBT-supportive policies and practices
and climate convey important information to LGBT workers. Second,
social support theory (Beehr & McGrath, 1992; Cohen & Willis,
1984) was also supported as key to their experiences at work. Taken
together, the contextual supports previously examined relate to the
work attitudes, well-being, and behaviors of LGBT workers. These
findings should steer research toward the less well understood
aspects of the processes linking contextual support to outcomes for
LGBT workers. This could be done, for example, by examining theo-
retical mechanisms (e.g., mediators such as belongingness, self-
esteem, identity affirmation derived from social support theory) for
the relationships we found, and the boundary conditions under which
theory would suggest the favorable effects of supportive workplace
contexts are more (or less) likely to be realized. Other suggestions for
future research are given below.
4.5 |Future research
Our review reveals important insights regarding the relationships
between workplace supports, both individually and relative to each
other, and the experiences of LGBT employees at work. It also iden-
tifies a number of areas for future research. From a methodological
perspective, it is important to note that nearly all of the studies
included in our review used cross-sectional designs. This makes it
impossible to determine the causal ordering of contextual support
variables in relation to each other and to the four outcomes. For
example, some researchers have suggested that formal policies and
practices stem from and reflect the values and beliefs of an organiza-
tion's members (Ragins & Cornwell, 2001; Tejeda, 2006). This implies
that the values and beliefs temporally precede the adoption of poli-
cies and practices. An alternative to this view is that like other HRM
policies (e.g., Bowen & Ostroff, 2004; Ferris et al., 1998), the imple-
mentation of LGBT-supportive policies and practices can influence
TABLE 4 Summary of dominance analysis for workplace contextual supports and outcomes
Work Attitudes Psychological Strain Disclosure Discrimination
X1 X2 X3 R
X1 X2 X3 R
X1 X2 X3 R
X1 X2 X3
.03 .19 .22 .01 .08 .10 .08 .31 .10 .05 .48 .04
X1. Policy .03 .16 .20 .01 .08 .10 .08 .25 .06 .05 .43 .02
X2. LBGT Climate .19 .01 .07 .08 .00 .03 .31 .02 .00 .48 .01 .06
X3. Social Support .22 .00 .04 .10 .01 .02 .10 .04 .21 .04 .03 .49
X1, X2 .19 .07 .08 .04 .34 .01 .48 .07
X1, X3 .22 .36 .10 .02 .14 .20 .07 .48
X2, X3 .26 .36 .12 .01 .31 .02 .54 .01
X1, X2, X3 .26 .12 .34 .55
Overall Avg. (C) .01 .11 .14 .01 .05 .07 .05 .25 .04 .02 .47 .05
% of Explainable Variance 4% 41% 55% 2% 41% 57% 14% 73% 13% 4% 86% 9%
Note: DW = dominance weights.
the values and beliefs held by employees. This would suggest organi-
zational policies and practices would temporally precede employee
values and beliefs. In order to determine this type of temporal prece-
dence, a necessary condition for establishing causality, longitudinal
studies are needed.
Another area warranting further investigation concerns the possi-
ble impact of sampling strategies used in most LGBT studies, includ-
ing social and professional websites, LGBT conference attendees, and
members of LGBT national organizations. As reported in Table 1, all
of the studies that report education and/or salary data (k=18) for
respondents use sampling methodologies that yield a substantially
more educated and higher earning sample than national averages.
According to the 2000 Census, 24.4% of adults had a bachelor's
(BA) degree or above. In 2015, it had risen to 44%. In comparison,
educational attainment of the samples used in the studies ranged
from 53 to 100% BA or above. Most samples also had substantially
higher earnings than the 2015 national average of $48,000. The use
of convenience samples are not automatically problematic. However,
researchers should articulate why the convenience sample is suffi-
ciently similar to the intended population. The characteristics of the
samples for which we have demographic data clearly exhibit range
restriction on education and earnings. To the extent that these vari-
ables are correlated with the workplace contextual supports exam-
ined in the present study or that respondents have higher than
average occupational status (which tends to provide greater
resources that may buffer the experience of harassment), the external
validity of the findings is compromised. One must also question
whether these samples represent the overall LGBT population, partic-
ularly women. Lesbians and bisexual women are least likely to have
completed college and have high levels of occupational attainment
(Ueno, Pena-Talamantes, & Roach, 2013). Thus, additional research
that captures the experiences of a broader range of LGBT workers is
One of the more exciting findings in our review was the over-
whelming positive impact that supportive workplace relationships can
have on the work attitudes and well-being of LGBT employees. It is
important to recognize that the studies in the review operationalized
social support as a general support measure. It seems likely that there
may be differences among the types of support received. For exam-
ple, it is unclear whether the support was active, passive, or specific
to one's LGBT identity. This difference may help to explain some of
the variation in effect sizes across studies. Future research on sup-
port for LGBT employees should investigate possible differences in
types of support by focusing more broadly on the developments in
the ally literature. Allies are nonstigmatized individuals who support
and advocate on behalf of those who are stigmatized (Ragins, 2008).
Sabat et al. (2014) distinguished between two types of ally strategies:
(a) ally confrontation and (b) ally acknowledgment. Ally confrontation
is the outward expression of dissatisfaction toward acts of prejudice
and discrimination by others that are targeted toward LGBT
employees. Ally acknowledgment, on the other hand, refers to posi-
tively demonstrating support for and acknowledgment of LGBT iden-
tities. Both strategies of support are specific to one's LGBT identity.
Future research should examine the ways that allies can help improve
the work lives of LGBT employees by specifically identifying
behaviors that are beneficial in the workplace. For example,
researchers could examine the ways in which allies can stand up to or
confrontthose who act in a discriminatory manner toward LGBT
employees. The current work highlights the potentially untapped
power of allies and creates an impetus for organizations to engage all
employees in supporting their LGBT peers.
Future research might also focus on the links between the micro
perspective taken in the present review with a more macro perspec-
tive. The micro perspective focuses on variables measured at the indi-
vidual level, while a macro view focuses on variables aggregated at
the firm or industry level. Research adopting a macro focus shows
that adoption of LGBT supportive policies and practices provides
benefits to the organization relative to their competitors (Badgett,
Durso, Kastanis, & Mallory, 2013), including increased financial per-
formance (Johnston & Malina, 2008). Although this is important
research, it suffers from what is sometimes referred to as the black
box(Becker & Gerhart, 1996); the underlying mechanisms linking
formal policies to firm performance remain unexamined. That is, cur-
rent macro-level research does not specify the intervening mecha-
nisms that link HR policies and practices to financial performance.
Research relating other types of HR policies to firm performance sug-
gests that individual-level variables, such as attitudes and psychologi-
cal climate, may play just such a linking role (e.g., Gardner et al.,
2001). It seems likely that LGBT supportive policies and practices
would be linked to firm performance via some of the individual-level
variables included in this review. Thus, future research may benefit
from empirically testing such linkages.
Given the negative public relations that might result for companies
that do not support LGBT employees, organizations wishing to be
labeled best in classfor diversity and inclusion would stand to bene-
fit from proactively supporting LGBT employees instead of waiting
for formal legislation that protects LGBT individuals from discrimina-
tion. However, our findings demonstrate that employers who wish to
truly be inclusive of LGBT employees need more than just policies
and practices; they need cultures of support for LGBT employees
that are grounded in supportive coworker interactions. In 2016, there
were 321 organizations in the Fortune 500 that participated in the
Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index (CEI) ranking of
Best Companies to Work Forfor LGBT employees in 2016 (Human
Rights Campaign, 2016). However, the requirements for a 100%
ranking are entirely based on the presence of policies and proce-
dures, and not on corporate culture. Thus, while 165 of these compa-
nies received a perfect score on the CEI (Human Rights Campaign,
2016), this may not be enough evidence to suggest that these com-
panies truly have a positive impact on LGBT employees' workplace
outcomes. As a result, these companies may continue to experience a
lack of engagement and higher turnover rates for LGBT employees
relative to the general population, causing both talent and productiv-
ity losses.
Although companies ranked at the top of the list might appear
externally to be inclusive, our study demonstrates that true inclusivity
starts with the attitudes, well-being, and experiences of individual
employees. Companies might be best served by asking LGBT
employees about their perceptions of the corporate climate and
active initiatives that truly inspire attitudinal change in employees
who may have misconceptions about the LGBT community (or who
are simply unaware of the concerns of the community in general).
Leveraging employee resource groups might provide an avenue for
employers to engage LGBT employees as partners in creating positive
organizational change. Proactively engaging LGBT allies might also
enable an inclusive climate to take root, mobilizing those who wish to
support LGBT employees but who are unaware of how or when it is
appropriate (Brooks & Edwards, 2009). Promoting allyship might be
particularly useful given that allies have been characterized as engag-
ing in both supportive and advocacy behaviors (Ji, 2007). Because
this study provides evidence that supportive behaviors are effective
in increasing positive workplace outcomes for LGBT employees,
empowering allies may help to create true organizational change.
Thus, finding ways to create and engage allies at work may be an
effective practice to enhance LGBT inclusivity.
Overall, managers would be well suited to use the findings from
our study as leverage to enhance organizational-level commitment to
creating truly inclusive workplace cultures, as opposed to solely
focusing on eliminating bias from the workplace. While avoiding neg-
ative, discriminatory behaviors is certainly important, an absence of
negative work behaviors does not mean that the workplace overall,
or coworkers more specifically, will be actively inclusive of LGBT
employees (i.e., focusing on being diversewithout also focusing on
breeding inclusivity; Hope Pelled, Ledford, & Albers Mohrman, 1999).
Thus, our findings suggest that managers, and organizational leaders
more broadly, should shift their focus from avoiding traditional forms
of deviance (Bennett & Robinson, 2000; Robinson & Bennett, 1995)
to modeling positive deviance (Cameron, Dutton, & Quinn, 2003).
Positive deviance, or honorable and voluntary behaviors that depart
from current organizational or team norms (Spreitzer & Sonenshein,
2004), has been linked to a host of positive workplace outcomes out-
side of the diversity and inclusion literature (R. E. Quinn, 1996; R. E.
Quinn & Quinn, 2002). By encouraging employees to actively and
voluntarily (i.e., not because a policy requires it) treat LGBT
employees honorably, managers may be able to improve the work
attitudes of LGBT employees, ostensibly improving their workplace
performance as a result. Further, given that increased representation
of minority groups can enhance the job attitudes of majority group
members, but only if the workplace culture is inclusive (Kossek, Mar-
kel, & McHugh, 2003), this strategy may increase job attitudes and
work performance for non-LGBT employees as well. Finally, because
top management team support of diversity initiatives is key in sup-
porting workplace culture (Konrad & Linnehan, 1995; Roberson,
2006), managers should view our findings as further impetus to
become fully invested in LGBT equality at work. This might mean
attending or leading LGBT employee resource group meetings or
events or taking a public stand on issues of LGBT equality at a
national, state, or local level. By role modeling ally behavior from the
top down, leaders may be in a unique position to create or expand an
LGBT inclusive work climate, as well as the number of supportive
relationships at work.
Finally, our findings demonstrate that disclosure is related to sup-
portive relationships and organizational climate. We also mentioned
previously that a bulk of the participants in prior studies came from
white collar jobs, with higher than average salaries. As a result, it is
important to note that our participants may have had more access to
support and positive organizational climates because they were in
greater positions of power within their organizations and society at
large. Prior work has demonstrated that LGBT employees often have
to choose between being satisfied at work and being successful,
given that being outcan have detrimental consequences on percep-
tions of promotability and salary (Ellis & Riggle, 1996). Thus, while
some LGBT individuals may benefit from coming out at work, those
in noninclusive cultures may be negatively affected. For example,
research has shown that men are more likely to discriminate against
gay men (Fasoli, Maas, Paladino, Sulpizio, 2017), and that individuals
living in particular regions within the United States (Hasenbush, Flo-
res, Kastanis, Sears, & Gates, 2017) or in other countries globally (see
Barak, 2016, for a review) may also face greater discrimination. If
possible, we recommend that employees who work in noninclusive
workplace climates might attempt to create change from within by
making the business case for inclusivity. Specifically, the findings
derived from the current study help to make the case for the nega-
tive impact of heterosexism and the positive impact of LGBT inclusiv-
ity at work, using rigorous methodology. If the risks of advocating for
oneself are too high, we hope that LGBT employees who are con-
cerned about broader disclosure and advocacy at work might make
known allies aware of the current findings and request help in raising
awareness about the importance of LGBT inclusivity at work. This
kind of action may be possible even in workplaces that have a nonin-
clusive climate, given LGBT employees often come out to select,
trusted individuals even under adverse circumstances (Ragins, 2008).
Of course, not every workplace contains allies or leaders open to
positive change. In these instances, we hope that our findings are
useful to LGBT employees who might look for more fulfilling and
affirming organizations to work for in the future.
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JENNICA R. WEBSTER, PhD, is an Associate Professor of
Management at Marquette University. She received a PhD from
Central Michigan University, an MS from the University of Wis-
consin Oshkosh, and a BA from Bowling Green State University.
Dr. Webster's research interests lie in the areas of occupational
health, gender, and diversity. She has published her research in
journals such as the Journal of Vocational Behavior, Journal of
Organizational Behavior, Journal of Business and Psychology, and
Psychology of Women Quarterly.
GARY A. ADAMS, PhD, is a Professor of Management and
Director of the Master of Science in Human Resources program
in the College of Business at Marquette University. He received
his PhD from Central Michigan University. His research interests
include older workers, diversity, and occupational health. His
research has been published in journals such as Personnel Psychol-
ogy, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Occupational Health
Psychology, Journal of Organizational Behavior, and American
CHERYL L. MARANTO, PhD, is an Associate Professor of
Management in the College of Business at Marquette University.
She received her PhD from Michigan State University. Her
research interests include various perspectives on gender in orga-
nizations and diversity management. Her work has been pub-
lished in Human Relations, International Journal of Selection and
Assessment, and Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal.
KATINA SAWYER, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at Villanova
University in the Graduate Programs in Human Resource Devel-
opment, in the psychology department. Her areas of expertise
include leadership, diversity, and work-family conflict. Currently,
Katina is the owner and operator of K. Sawyer Solutions, LLC,
which offers consulting services in selection, assessment, perfor-
mance management, training, and diversity/inclusion. Over the
years, Katina has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and
book chapters about leadership, diversity, and workfamily con-
flict. Katina received a dual PhD from Pennsylvania State Univer-
sity in psychology and women's studies. She holds a BA from
Villanova University in Psychology.
CHRISTIAN THOROUGHGOOD earned his PhD in Industrial/
Organizational Psychology from the Pennsylvania State Univer-
sity. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology and
Human Resource Development at Villanova University.
Dr. Thoroughgood's research focuses on leadership, diversity, and
the darkside of organizational behavior. He has published his
work in top-tier industrialorganizational journals, such as the
Journal of Applied Psychology and the Leadership Quarterly, and
gained media attention from various outlets, including The
Washington Post, Bloomberg Business Week, The Atlantic, Psychol-
ogy Central, Live Science, and Buzzfeed.
How to cite this article: Webster JR, Adams GA,
Maranto CL, Sawyer K, Thoroughgood C. Workplace contex-
tual supports for LGBT employees: A review, meta-analysis,
and agenda for future research. Hum Resour Manage. 2017;1
... The results found that social integration has fully mediated the relationship between surface-level diversity and individual effectiveness outcomes in low team interdependence, while deep-rooted diversity had a more substantial effect under high team interdependence (Guillaume et al., 2012). In a recent meta-analysis based on stigma theory, Webster et al. (2018) have witnessed the LGBT community's inclusion in workplace diversity. Despite meta-analysis and literature review, few significant conceptual studies have also contributed to this period. ...
... Team diversity is highly studied and relevant for the team and organizational performance (Joshi and Roh, 2009), but researchers have examined only limited diversity dimensions. Hence, this study has highlighted many diversity dimensions like religion, disability (Khan et al., 2019), sexual orientation, LGBT (Ozturk and Rumens, 2015;Webster et al., 2018), which have yet to flourish in diversity research. Our finding has also supported the recent study of Jansen and Searle (2021), who suggested including religious affiliation, disability and gender identity in team diversity research. ...
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Purpose-Diversity management has gained researchers' and practitioners' attention because of its competitive advantage and performance outcomes in an organization. Despite increasing literature, there is no common understanding of the evolution and intellectual structure of diversity management. Therefore, this study aims to identify the leading works and analyze the changes in diversity management research's knowledge structure. Design/methodology/approach-This study adopts a novel approach using bibliometric methods to analyze the 785 papers published between 1990 and 2019. Bibliometric analysis is applied to identify the seminal work using the bibliometrix package. Findings-The bibliometric network visualization findings have highlighted the most influential works, prominent authors, theoretical insights, current research trends and gaps. Several clusters are extracted from bibliometric networks, and cluster analysis has integrated the different unconnected subfields and highlighted the major theme explored in diversity management research. Originality/value-This is the first bibliometric study that explored the intellectual structure of diversity management research. This study has provided theoretical and practical contributions for academicians and human resource practitioners and suggested future research avenues.
... According to Trau (2015), an LGB-friendly working environment facilitates the comingout process and the establishment of LGB networks. Webster et al. (2017) found a connection between an LGB-friendly working environment and the willingness to come out. With an LGB-friendly policy, LGB employees can identify with the values of the organization and therefore have higher job satisfaction, which ultimately leads to a lower fluctuation rate (Day and Schoenrade, 1997;Velez and Moradi, 2012;Allan et al., 2015). ...
... Consistently with Trau (2015) and Webster et al. (2017), our results indicate that a lack of diversity measures at a company is often associated with lesbian employees concealing their sexual identity. One very alarming finding is that discrimination is more likely to be experienced in companies where no diversity measures are implemented. ...
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Purpose-The purpose of this study is to provide a closer look at being out in the work environment. What are the characteristics that distinguish lesbian women who are out at work from those who are not? What role do companies play with their diversity-related measures? Design/methodology/approach-This paper investigates characteristics that distinguish lesbian women who were out at work and analyzes the use of various sexual identity management strategies in relation to specific reference groups within a company. Furthermore, the method of multiple correspondence analysis is used to visually map the associations between company-specific characteristics and being out. Findings-Results show that being out in the work environment is subject to a complex interplay of several factors, from personal resources to the diversity-friendliness of the company. A company's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersexual (LGBTI)-related measures, such as in-house LGBTI networks or diversity workshops, can not only promote the coming out of lesbian employees, and thereby help to increase their overall satisfaction with life, but can also reduce their experiences of discrimination. Originality/value- In this paper, the method of multiple correspondence analysis is used to examine the relationships between several diversity-related measures of the company and being out at the workplace. A visualization of these relationships in a two-dimensional space allows a more comprehensive view of these features and their possible effect on being out at the workplace.
... Further sub-groups of the LGBTQIA+ community are at an elevated risk for employment discrimination including transgender individuals (44). While employment discrimination and stigma surrounding LGBTQIA+ identities vary based on the state and region of the United States, nowhere is free from either (45,46). Further, educational attainment of LGBTQIA+ and non-LGBTQIA+ AYAs in our sample differed substantially. ...
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Background In the United States, the cost of cancer treatment can lead to severe financial burden for cancer survivors. The economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic compound cancer survivors’ financial challenges. Financial burden may be particularly challenging for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and other sexual and gender minority (LGBTQIA+) survivors. LGBTQIA+ survivors who are adolescent and young adults (AYA) may face elevated financial burden due to multiple, intersecting identities.Methods An explanatory sequential mixed methods design was applied, beginning with a survey of AYA cancer survivors in the Mountain West region of the United States. Survey measures included demographics, COVID-19 impacts, the COmprehensive Score for financial Toxicity (COST), Perceived Stress Scale-4 (PSS-4), and PROMIS anxiety and depression scales. Two-way t-tests were used to analyze differences in outcomes between LGBTQIA+ and non-LGBTQIA+ AYAs. All LGBTQIA+ survey participants were invited to complete an interview, and those who agreed participated in descriptive interviews about financial burden due to cancer, COVID-19, and LGBTQIA+ identity. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using Dedoose.ResultsSurvey participants (N=325) were LGBTQIA+ (n=29, 8.9%), primarily female (n= 197, 60.6%), non-Hispanic White (n= 267, 82.2%), and received treatment during COVID-19 (n= 174, 54.0%). LGBTQIA+ interview participants (n=9, 100%) identified as a sexual minority and (n=2, 22.2%) identified as a gender minority. Most were non-Hispanic White (n=6, 66.7%) and had received treatment during COVID-19 (n=7, 77.8%). Statistical analyses revealed that LGBTQIA+ AYAs reported significantly worse COST scores than non-LGBTQIA+ AYAs (p=0.002). LGBTQIA+ AYAs also reported significantly higher PSS-4 (p=0.001), PROMIS anxiety (p=0.002) and depression scores (p<0.001) than non-LGBTQIA+ AYAs, reflecting worse mental health outcomes. High costs of cancer treatment and employment disruptions due to COVID-19 contributed to substantial financial stress, which exacerbated existing mental health challenges and introduced new ones.ConclusionsLGBTQIA+ AYA survivors reported substantial financial burden and psychological distress exacerbated by cancer, the COVID-19 pandemic, and LGBTQIA+ stigma. Given their multiple intersecting identities and potential for marginalization, LGBTQIA+ AYA survivors deserve prioritization in research to reduce financial burden and poor mental health.
... This taboo-ing of the queer experience extends to the maintenance of power structures, including voicing dissidence by anyone who does not align with the re-inforced cultural expectations of the organization (Priola et al., 2014). Heteronormative workplace expectations can be further reinforced because of the lack of legal protections offered to queer employees (Webster et al., 2018). Perhaps, it is here that the work of Giuffre, Dellinger, and Williams (2008) becomes relevant. ...
Full-text available
This dissertation sought insight into the experiences of queer undergraduate faculty's experiences with colonialism and neoliberalism in the academy. Using the interpretive phenomenological analysis as the methodology, homogeneity of the participants was sought by controlling for location that participants work, Central Appalachia, and their queer identity. What emerged were themes related to Appalachia as place, conceptually, and a lack of shared definition or understanding regarding colonialism. Neoliberalism was better understood by participants. In alignment with phenomenology, generalizability is not sought, and instead emphasis on how this phenomenon can be better observed by seeking insight of other voices in the queer community is noted.
... Sexual and gender minority individuals, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and other sexual and gender identities (LGBTQIA+), have historically been targets of discrimination and prejudice in the workplace [5][6][7]. Examples of this include negative comments and behaviors, moral harassment, reduced job opportunities, job offers, and promotions, and stigmatization and violence based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, whether by colleagues or business management [8][9][10]. This is particularly relevant since, according to the minority stress model, remaining in an oppressive environment, characterized by heterosexism, discrimination, stereotypes, and prejudice, has negative consequences on the physical and mental health of sexual and gender minority people [11,12]. ...
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Background: Discrimination against sexual and gender minorities in occupational settings has been an important topic of research. However, little is known about this impact in Portuguese-speaking people. Methods: 305 Portuguese and Brazilian participants who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and other sexual and gender identities (LGBTQIA+) completed an online survey comprising sociodemographic questions, a set of scales to assess psychological distress, and a set of scales to assess occupational well-being. Results: Participants had higher levels of burnout, depressive symptoms, and anxiety and lower levels of work-related quality of life, engagement, and self-efficacy at work compared to the defined cut-off points for normative populations, with asexual and bisexual people appearing to be the most affected. Significant correlations were found for all variables, and psychological distress was a significant predictor of lower occupational well-being. Conclusions: These findings are useful for understanding the occupational health of LGBTQIA+ people and suggest efforts to improve the climate in the workplace for this population.
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This article explores the issue of workplace visibility and signs and symbols of LGBTQ + identity in a UK university. A poststructuralist Butlerian theoretical framework underpins this article. Sexual and gender identities are understood as multiple and fragmented, and constructed in relation to others and within the systems of power and knowledge that exist in universities and society more widely. An anonymous survey and focus group discussions were conducted with LGBTQ + staff in a higher education institution in England awarded university status in 1992. Results showed that staff felt relatively comfortable coming out to their peer-groups in the workplace but were less confident in coming out to students. Signs and symbols of LGBTQ + identities were fundamentally important to LGBTQ + staff members in helping them feel safe in the workplace and indicating to LGBTQ + students that they were potentially a source of support. The visibility of LGBTQ + senior leaders was important in empowering staff to believe that they too might progress within the university.
Les expériences d'exclusion sociale fondées sur l'hétérosexisme et le cisgenrisme, et vécues en milieu de travail par les personnes LGBTQ+ nuisent à leur bien‐être. L'objectif de cette recherche est de construire un indice de la qualité de leur emploi. Les données utilisées proviennent d'un échantillon de 1 761 employés de l'Enquête SAVIE‐LGBTQ (2019–2020). L'indice composé de 16 indicateurs couvrant cinq dimensions a été créé à partir de scores factoriels. Il possède une cohérence interne acceptable et est associé modérément à la satisfaction au travail des employés LGBTQ+. L'indice révèle des différences attendues entre les groupes, appuyant ainsi sa validité conceptuelle.
The impact of legislation in shaping social norms has captured both scholarly and practitioner attention in the past decades. However, limited understanding exists on how social legislation can create economic value for firms and thereby strengthen the business case for such legislation. We attempt to theorize and test this phenomenon in the context of marriage equality. We first attempt to understand the role of state-wise same-sex marriage social legislation on financial performance of firms headquartered in states where the legislation is passed. Adapting the model of institutional racism to the context of heterosexism, we then develop a framework to examine the role of societal-cultural, institutional, and individual factors in shaping the effect of state-wise same-sex marriage legislation on firm performance. In a sample of publicly traded U.S. firms, we conduct a difference-in-difference analysis to test and find support for our arguments.
This paper explores the experiences of queer workers in the service economy with a focus on hospitality labor. Studies of gender, sexuality and service labor approached mainstream service work as a scene of compulsory heterosexuality, while literature on the position of queer workers has tended to approach work in terms of structural inequalities that prevent queer workers from participating in the labor market, and has therefore focused on notions of diversity and inclusion as frameworks for understanding how the heteronormativity of service relationships can be overcome. This paper shifts focus to examine how queer subjectivities are enacted within the disciplinary requirements of service labor, and on the way that workers negotiate and contest their positioning at work. The paper situates the subjectivities and laboring practices of queer workers at the nexus of tensions between heteronormativity and the politics of diversity in service venues, and examines how workers negotiate and contest their positioning at work. We explore the normativities that shape permissible queer embodiment at work and show how biographical experiences specific to queer workers inform their laboring practices. The paper shows that queer workers in mainstream hospitality venues are enrolled into a specific mode of interactive service labor that capitalizes on their queer biographies, requires highly cultivated relational capacities, and repositions work as a site of political intervention.
Investors are attentive to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) topic and a firm's adoption of LGBT-supportive policy. Using a sample of new LGBT adopters from KLD database, we show that mutual funds with a strong (weak) preference for LGBT stocks increase (decrease) their holdings in new LGBT adopters and receive more (less) capital flows when investor sentiment toward LGBT is high. We also find significant evidence that LGBT-induced trading activities lead to comovements in stock returns and share turnover. Specifically, LGBT adopters experience an increase (decrease) in return comovement with a portfolio of existing (non-) LGBT stocks. Our additional analyses based on an alternative sample from the Human Rights Campaign yield consistent results and suggest that investors consider not only the presence or lack of LGBT-supportive policy in a firm but also its LGBT performance when they make trading decisions. This research makes an important contribution to our limited understanding of the LGBT policy effect on investors, a key group of the firm's stakeholders.
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This article identifies three major gaps between HR practice and the scientific research in the area of employee attitudes in general and the most focal employee attitude in particular—job satisfaction: (1) the causes of employee attitudes, (2) the results of positive or negative job satisfaction, and (3) how to measure and influence employee attitudes. Suggestions for practitioners are provided on how to close the gaps in knowledge and for evaluating implemented practices. Future research will likely focus on greater understanding of personal characteristics, such as emotion, in defining job satisfaction and how employee attitudes influence organizational performance. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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The growing body of literature on the recognition of sexual orientation from voice (“auditory gaydar”) is silent on the cognitive and social consequences of having a gay-/lesbian- versus heterosexual-sounding voice. We investigated this issue in four studies (overall N = 276), conducted in Italian language, in which heterosexual listeners were exposed to single-sentence voice samples of gay/lesbian and heterosexual speakers. In all four studies, listeners were found to make gender-typical inferences about traits and preferences of heterosexual speakers, but gender-atypical inferences about those of gay or lesbian speakers. Behavioral intention measures showed that listeners considered lesbian and gay speakers as less suitable for a leadership position, and male (but not female) listeners took distance from gay speakers. Together, this research demonstrates that having a gay/lesbian rather than heterosexual-sounding voice has tangible consequences for stereotyping and discrimination.
This article describes the development of new scales for assessing identity and outness in lesbians and gay men. Relevant measurement issues are reviewed.
Unlike other minority members, gay and lesbian employees often make conscious decisions about revealing their minority status at work. Past research suggests that gay and lesbian employees choose different strategies (counterfeiting, avoidance, integrating) to manage a stigmatized sexual identity. This study explores the relationship between each strategy and predicted antecedents (sexual identity achievement, perceived organizational climate) and consequences (open group process). 255 gay and lesbian employees participated in this study. Results demonstrated that gay and lesbian employees are more likely to use an integrating strategy when they have higher sexual identity achievement and perceive an affirming organizational climate. Counterfeiting and avoiding were found to have a significant negative relationship with sexual identity achievement. A significant negative relationship was found between perceived organizational climate and avoiding. Examination of open group process yielded mixed results. Open group process was found to have a significant negative relationship with avoidance and non-significant relationship with integrating. A significant positive relationship was found between counterfeiting and open group process, suggesting that maintaining a false identity may facilitate some work group interactions. Consequently, exploratory analyses on gender differences were conducted. Results revealed a significant positive relationship between counterfeiting and open group process for males, but not for females. A significant positive relationship between integrating and open group process was found for females, but not for males. Implications for work group relationships are discussed and additional antecedent and consequence variables are suggested for future research.
Normalität ist unter Psychologen und Soziologen ein reichlich unsicherer Begriff. Bestimmte erkennbare und erleidbare Arten der Abnormalität hat der amerikanische Soziologe Erving Goffman unter dem allgemeinen Begriff des Stigmas zusammengefasst. Er schließt Körper-, Geistes- und Charakterdefekte gleichermaßen ein. Träger eines Stigmas leben ein schweres Leben: sie werden abgelehnt, verbreiten Unbehagen, lösen Beklemmung aus bei den Gesunden, gefährden deren eigenes zerbrechliches Normal-Ich, so weit der Defekt für jeden erkennbar ist. Andere, mit geheimerem Stigma belastet, müssen verleugnen, täuschen, spielen, um weiterhin als normal zu gelten; sie leben in Angst vor Entdeckung und Isolierung. Einsam sind beide. Goffman beschreibt die Techniken des Kontakts von Stigmatisierten: sie brauchen oft komplizierte Strategien, um das nicht zu verlieren, wovon Menschen als soziale Wesen leben: von Akzeptierung, Anerkennung und Sympathie. Stigmatisierte haben zwei Identitäten: die der Normalen, mit der sie identifiziert bleiben, ohne sie zu erfüllen, und ihre reale, defekte, die hinter ihrem Ich-Ideal so schmählich zurückbleibt. Dies auszuhalten und zu ertragen, ist die Grundleistung eines jeden Gezeichneten. Und weil die Toleranz der Normalen so verschwindend gering ist, haben die Kranken, nach Goffman, die Last der Anpassung zu tragen. Sie müssen, um die Normalen zu schonen, spielerische Leichtigkeit entwickeln im Umgang mit sich selbst, damit die Normalen nicht von Depression und Mitleid verschlungen werden. Das Stigma darf nicht als Last erscheinen, es muss verborgen werden hinter Würde und Selbstachtung, damit die Akzeptierungsbereitschaft der Normalen nicht überstrapaziert wird.
Mor Barak, Managing Diversity: Toward a Globally Inclusive Workplace Managing Diversity won the prestigious Academy of Management’s George Terry Book award for “the most outstanding contribution to the advancement of management knowledge” and received the CHOICE Award for Outstanding Academic Titles by the Association of College and University Libraries. “An excellent resource to develop, theorize, and work out the inclusive workplace in a very comprehensive, encompassing, and interdisciplinary way. .. Boxes, tables, graphs, and figures as well as practical examples and empirical illustrations… make the book very interesting for both the conceptual, pedagogical research interest and the practical, educational interest.” - Cordula Barzantny, Academy of Management Learning & Education Journal This book introduces a unique and refreshing prism that is highly useful for managers and scholars alike. The authentic examples and case studies bring the content to life and make this book a very interesting and captivating read. Managing Diversity is a ‘must read’ for managers who need to effectively manage today’s diverse work force in order to survive and thrive in the global economy. - Alan D. Levy, Chairman and CEO Tishman International Companies Successful management of today’s increasingly diverse global workforce is among the most important challenges faced by corporate leaders, human resource managers, and management consultants. In the Third Edition of this award-winning book, Michàlle E. Mor Barak argues that exclusion is one of the most significant problems facing today’s diverse workforce, and she provides strategies for unleashing the potential embedded in a multicultural and diverse global workforce. Key Features: • Offers up-to-date information and statistics on the new realities of the global workforce, including demographic, legislation, and social policy trends around the world • Analyzes the causes and consequences of workforce exclusion, highlighting the groups commonly excluded in various countries and providing theories that explain exclusion and inclusion in the workplace • Provides an original and comprehensive model of the Inclusive Workplace suggesting policies, procedures and programs that facilitate its implementation New to This Edition • New and revised diversity case examples from around the world • Updated statistics on global workforce trends and new legislations and social policies in different countries • New information about leadership in diversity management • Up-to-date research on diversity management outcomes • Assessment tools for organizational diversity climate and for inclusion-exclusion with data on their psychometric properties A password-protected instrucot teaching site at… includes PowerPoint slides, chapter overviews and outlines and test questions. Michàlle E. Mor Barak is a professor at the University of Southern California with a joint appointment at the School of Social Work and the Marshall School of Business. She holds the Lenore Stein-Wood and William S. Wood Professorship of Social Work and Business in a Global Society.