LGBTQ survey shows improved interpersonal relationships at work

Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan's chief coordinator, Jennifer Lu, right (Photo courtesy of CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) — LGBTQ people in Taiwan have been reporting improved interpersonal relationships with their colleagues and managers at work, saying that their privacy is being more respected, according to the results of a survey released Tuesday.

A total of 37.9 percent of 2,121 people surveyed earlier this year said they have often been encouraged to date someone of the opposite sex or asked about their romantic relationships in the workplace, a decrease from 56.3 percent in 2016, when the survey was last conducted.

The percentage of respondents who said they have had to pretend to be straight at work has also dropped, as has the percentage of those who have received suggestions that they should change their gender expression, the survey results showed.

This indicates that LGBTQ people currently have more positive interpersonal relationships at work than they had four years ago, said the Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan and the Taiwan Tongzhi (LGBTQ+) Hotline Association, who jointly conducted the survey.

The survey also found an increase in the percentage of respondents who said they were aware of co-workers who have come out, up from 27.3 percent in 2016 to 38.1 percent in 2020.

However, as the questions on whether the respondents themselves had come out at work were worded differently in the two surveys, the results could not be directly compared.

In the 2020 survey, 55 percent of the respondents said they had come out to their colleagues at work, while less than 30 percent said they had come out to their managers or other senior staff.

In the 2016 survey, 51.1 percent of the respondents said they had come out to others at their workplace.

One of the survey results that was highlighted by Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan concerned the handling of discrimination cases.

Even though 75 percent of the respondents were aware that Taiwanese law prohibits bias and discrimination toward LGBTQ people at work, nearly 60 percent said that their companies rarely treated these incidents seriously, according to the organization’s chief coordinator, Jennifer Lu (呂欣潔).

In light of this, Lu expressed hope that the central government will host more training courses on this topic, as well as provide more resources to companies in creating more inclusive workplaces.