There may have been a significant improvement in awareness of issues concerning LGBTQIA+ over the last decade. However, their representation in the workforce is very low. A latest survey reveals that their representation in the workforce is less than 1 per cent in verticals such as sales, finance, accounting, engineering and technical services.

A significant majority of respondents (70%) in a survey believe that less than 1 per cent of their colleagues are members of the LGBTQIA+ community. This suggests either a low representation of LGBTQIA+ individuals in the company or a lack of visibility and awareness of their identities among the staff.

Though the hiring number looks very low, there has been a marked improvement in workplace perceptions. As many as 61 per cent of the respondents felt that there was a significant trend towards increased hiring of LGBTQIA+ community members.

“This suggests a positive shift towards greater acceptance and inclusivity in the workplace. Companies may be actively diversifying their workforce to create more welcoming environments,” the CIEL Works - Pride Report 2024 said.

The survey is based on the data and analysis of 250 employees across 64 companies in India. 

Sectors such as retail, healthcare and IT fared much better with a relatively higher representation of members from the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning their gender, intersex, and asexual) community.

Functions such as marketing, quality assurance, and design are also found to be more open than the others in employing them, according to a survey conducted by CIEL HR Services, a human resources services and staffing company.

This uptick in LGBTQIA+ hiring could be attributed to implementing  diversity initiatives, including targeted recruitment efforts, inclusive policies, and awareness training. 

“Diversity and inclusion are essential pillars of a thriving organisational culture. While we celebrate the pride month, it’s imperative to acknowledge the journey ahead. Embracing diversity means welcoming individuals from all walks of life and creating an environment where everyone feels valued and respected,” Aditya Narayan Mishra, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of CIEL HR, said.

“It’s about recognising and honoring each team member’s unique experiences and identities, including the proper use of pronouns,” he pointed out.


The survey said that non-disclosure, lack of awareness, and actual low representation emerged as the top three reasons for the underrepresentation of LGBTQIA+ community members in the workplace.

Suggestions to improve diversity

The report felt that conducting anonymous surveys or focus groups by firms could provide more accurate data on the representation and experiences of LGBTQIA+ employees. “Benchmarking against industry standards or other companies could help identify gaps and areas for improvement in the company’s approach to diversity and Inclusion,” it said.