Seeing is Believing Role Models Report Launched

Seeing is Believing: The Power of Role Models and Visibility’ report cover

New research defines the impact of visible role models on LGBTQ+ talent and customers

LGBT Great has today announced the launch of the ‘Seeing is Believing: The Power of Role Models and Visibility’ report sponsored by Citi.

The report explores what it means to be a role model in practice and analyses ‘real-life’ perspectives of the impact visible role models can have on LGBTQ+ talent and other under-represented communities. The report concludes that the usual picture of a role model – as a source of motivation and an example of desirable behaviours – falls far short of the whole picture. The report finds that role models also provide a critical source of identity affirmation for LGBTQ+ talent and customers, and that organisations need to do more to create authentic visibility.

The report launches in LGBTQ+ History Month in the UK and Black History Month in the USA. Many organisations recognise history month, and the report aims to shine a light on the importance of role models in building confidence and empowerment. LGBT Great has built a large community of employees, and leaders, across different ogranisations who are committed to improving the visibility of LGBQT+ talent. 

The findings of the report were developed from quantitative proprietary survey data captured from a sample of 1,606 respondents drawn from LGBT Great’s communities and across four financial markets (US, UK, Hong Kong, Singapore) including a sizeable subpopulation of LGBTQ+ talent (N=662). The initial findings from the quantitative survey were tested through in-depth qualitative interviews with talent, and customers, and through a series of specialist focus groups.

The report’s launch is significant because it is an extension of LGBT Great’s 2022 industry-wide visibility programme, the Top 100 Gamechangers (2022), which spotlighted 100 LGBTQ+ employees globally working within the financial services and business community. Citi was an early supporter of LGBT Great and has been an active member of the LGBT Great community since 2021. Citi also recently became the first Wall Street bank to set LGBTQ+ representation targets for entry level talent.

The report’s key findings: 

  • 80% of LGBTQ+ talent agree or strongly agree that creating safe spaces for others is an important behaviour in a role model.
  • 70% of LGBTQ+ talent agree or strongly agree that having visible LGBTQ+ role models at work helps improve confidence.
  • 59% of trans and non-binary talent agree or strongly agree that their organisation does a good job of supporting trans and non-binary people.
  • 53% of LGBTQ+ talent would actively not apply for a role if they could not see LGBTQ+ role models at an organisation.
  • 59% of LGBTQ+ talent agree or strongly agree that they would be more likely to shop with/purchase from an organisation with visible LGBTQ+ role models.
  • LGBTQ+ talent was more likely to submit diversity data than non-LGBTQ+ talent across the following categories of demographic data: gender identity, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity data.

The report Seeing is Believing: The Power of Visible Role Models was published on 8 February 2023. A copy of the report is available for download on the LGBT Great platform. Download the Report.