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Chasing Rainbows

LGBTQ+ inclusivity in the South African corporate workplace

Although LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace has made positive strides, corporates still need to do more.

To better understand the landscape of inclusivity in the workplace, the PwC Shine Africa network conducted an online survey targeting both local and multinational companies in South Africa. Survey participants, primarily Diversity and Inclusion Leads, HC Managers and C-suite executives, answered more than 20 quantitative and qualitative questions, which explored LGBTQ+ policies, initiatives and perceptions within their organisations. The findings provide some understanding of how LGBTQ+ initiatives currently function in corporate entities across South Africa. 

Taking our analysis a step further we’ve used insights gained from the survey to inform the views and recommendations presented in the report. We also reflect on the advantages of having an LGBTQ+ initiative or network within an organisation to support LGBTQ+ employees as well as the wider community of staff members.

Despite many LGBTQ+ employees indicating that tremendous strides and progress have been made, many employers are still not doing all they can to support them and are missing out on the many business growth opportunities true LGBTQ+ inclusion can drive.


A woman sitting in front of a LGBTQ+ flag

The involvement of leadership visibility and awareness can be crucial to the success of LGBTQ+ initiatives

Figure 4. Does leadership actively participate in LGBTQ+ initiatives in your workplace?

Chasing rainbow graph

Our report highlights the gap between what LGBTQ+ employees want and expect from their employers, and what employers actually offer. Many companies believe that they have all bases covered if they have non-discrimination policies regarding diversity and inclusion in place, when, in fact, they may not fully comprehend the complexity of offering the right support to LGBTQ+ employees in their organisations to create a truly inclusive workplace.

It should be a top priority of every company to create a safe and inclusive working environment for all employees — one in which individuals are able to thrive as their authentic self. Though there is no easy one-size-fits-all solution, there are ways in which employers can ensure diversity in the workplace, and most importantly, a positive change in the culture of their organisations.


Contact us

Liesbeth  Botha

Liesbeth Botha

Chief Digital Officer, PwC South Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 11 797 4448

Etienne  Dreyer

Etienne Dreyer

Partner, PwC South Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 11 797 4072

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