The Investment Association which champions the interests of UK based Asset Management is calling on its members to help support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender in the workplace.

In the last twenty years a range of legislation has granted new rights and protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and the UK is ranked as the third best country in Europe for respect of human rights and full equality for LGBT+ people1. Social attitudes are also changing. Nearly two-thirds of people in the UK think same-sex relationships are “not wrong at all” and 8 in 10 people report themselves as “not prejudiced at all” against transgender people (although only 53% say transphobia is “always wrong”)2.

Despite this, LGBT+ people are more likely to experience a range of mental health problems such as depression, suicidal thoughts, self-harm and alcohol and substance misuse. The higher prevalence of mental ill health in LGBT+ people can be attributed to a range of factors such as discrimination, isolation and homophobia3 which mean that despite positive changes to social attitudes and laws impacting them, many LGBT+ people still find life more difficult than they should.

Work is a significant part of people’s lives with the potential to have a major impact on people’s health and wellbeing. Over time colleagues can come to learn a lot about each other: what TV programmes they watch, what football team they support, where they live, who they live with, and who they love. This is a natural and positive aspect of a happy working environment and yet for LGBT+ people it can be a cause of additional strain. The most casual of questions – “what are you doing this weekend?”

This report reviews what senior management, colleagues and LGBT people themselves can do to make the asset management industry feel more inclusive and is broken down into 12 different steps.

1 ILGA-Europe, Rainbow Europe 2017, 2017

2 NatCen Social Research, British Social Attitudes 34, 2017

3 Mental Health Foundation, Fundamental Facts About Mental Health, 2016