Europe’s most inclusive countries for LGBTQ+ professionals
Considering relocating? Read this first…
By Becky Hardy
International travel: it’s something most of us are only dreaming of right now. But with the UK smashing our vaccine programme, and other countries out there sure to follow, travelling abroad should enjoy a long-awaited return to our lives sometime (relatively) soon. We can only hope.
But travelling aboard, whether for work or play, is a much different experience for those within the LGBTQ+ community as it is for heterosexuals. Sure, we all want to make sure we get some sun, sea, sand and sangria in our lives, but we should also all have assurances of having some basic human rights on our jollies – you know, like not getting arrested for holding hands with your partner along the marina. And unfortunately, despite it being 2021, we can’t yet guarantee we will all have those rights in every European country we may visit.
If you’re thinking about relocating for your career, knowing more about local laws, social attitudes and potential dangers is even more important.
As part of the major swathe of new studies, stories and surveys in honour of this year’s Pride Month, digital PR agency Reboot applied all of their data-driven expertise to uncover which European countries offer the best workplace prospects for LGBTQ+ professionals.
THE WINNERS: BELIGUM
Belgium was crowned the best European country for LGBTQ+ workers, with 8.7 points out of a possible 10.
Despite LGBTQ+ workers having a low percentage of employment rate (17% less than non-LGBTQ+ Belgians), they still scored 10 points out of 10 for workplace representation. The complete database of points and figures can be found here.
The runner up – Luxemburg
Luxemburg claims second place with a total of 8.3 points out of a possible 10. Luxemburg has a 19% difference in the employment rate of LGBTQ+ workers (versus non-LGBTQ+ workers), which places the country behind Belgium in terms of workplace representation (9.3/10).
Data analysis reveals that over 7 in 10 LGBTQ+ Luxembourgers are either selectively open or hide their sexuality at work, resulting in 7.2 points scored for openness at work (7.2/10).
The bronze medallist – Denmark
Coming in at third place is Denmark, with 8.1 points out of a possible 10. Despite scoring the highest rate for most of the factors analysed, Danes still seem to face a lack of diversity in the workforce.
LGBTQ+ workers face a 30% lower employment rate than other professionals, placing Denmark behind countries such as Hungary with 2.4 points for workplace representation.
The loser of the Top 15 – Czech Republic
The Czech Republic makes the Top 15 with 4.6 points out of 10. Despite scoring just 4.1 points for workplace equality, it still puts them ahead of Malta (3.1 points) as 16% of LGBTQ+ Malteses have experienced workplace discrimination, compared to 13% of Czechs – surprising, considering that Malta has been recognised for providing the most progressive LGBTQ+ rights amongst European nations for six consecutive years now.
The losers of all countries analysed – Cyprus and Lithuania
At the bottom of the pile are Cyprus and Lithuania, both coming in joint 26th place with 1.7 points out of a possible 10.
Although Cyprus has changed some of its human rights legislation since joining the European Union, the 0 points for workplace equality suggests that LGBTQ+ Cypriots still face discrimination in the workplace.
Likewise, Lithuania received 0 points for workplace representation, probably reflecting the limited rights that LGBTQ+ Lithuanians encounter everyday, such as non-recognition of civil same-sex partnerships or same-sex marriage.
Keen to find out more? The complete dataset of points and figures for all countries analysed can be found here.