Pride in Our Workforce

In 2019, we embarked on an innovative project to improve LGBT+ inclusion.

The project stemmed from the ideas of local LGBT+ young people and three alarming facts:

  • LGBT+ people are significantly less likely than heterosexual people to do enough exercise to maintain good health (Pride Sports, 2016).
  • LGBT+ people’s general health is worse than that of heterosexual people (National LGBT Survey, 2017).
  • Individuals identifying as LGBT+ are more likely to access mental health services (Public Health, 2014).

We’re passionate that this needs to change. So we applied to Sport England‘s workforce innovation fund to investigate the role the workforce plays, or could play, in supporting LGBT+ people to be active.

55% of LGBT men were not active enough to maintain good health, compared to 33% of men in the general population.

Pride Sport - Sport, Physical Activity and LGBT Report 2016

The research phase

The first phase of the project aimed to fill gaps in research and understanding. We worked with Bournemouth University to explore four key questions:

  • What role do the workforce play in the LGBT+ community accessing and enjoying physical activity?
  • How could an appropriately skilled workforce identify and address actual and perceived barriers?
  • What skills, competencies and behaviours do the LGBT+ community require of the workforce?
  • Is the current workforce representative of our local population?

We explored these questions through a survey and focus groups. Both included the views of the LGBT+ community and the local workforce. The results are summarised in the Pride in Our Workforce Report.

Stop ignoring very small examples of abuse... if you aren't seen to be challenging it all the time then people will feel oppressed.

LGBT+ survey respondent

Survey findings

The responses from the workforce revealed that:

  • Those identifying as heterosexual were over-represented
  • Those identifying as heterosexual felt more comfortable expressing their gender or sexual orientation in their workforce role

Participant responses revealed that:

  • The LGBT+ community would like the workforce to be more understanding, inclusive, approachable, adaptable and supportive

I do feel woefully underprepared when it comes to Trans individuals. Teams and tournaments are heavily gender based.

Workforce survey respondent

What next?

Detailed comments from our focus groups reinforced the survey findings. Both the current workforce and individuals identifying as LGBT+ shared ideas about what needs to change. These included:

  • Increasing knowledge and awareness of LGBT+ terminology, genders and sexuality through training
  • Sharing best practice through regional networking events
  • More visible LGBT+ celebration in physical activity and sport settings
  • Supporting people to have open conversations

You can download the summary research report below, which we’ve created to share our findings with the sector. But we will also be working with partners to turn these ideas into action.

Download the report

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Our Partners

Helping us tackle inactivity to boost health and happiness

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