German Business Has A Gay Problem

By Stephen Fuchs on

Germany isn’t perfect with LGBT rights, but when it comes to the country’s business environment, there is a real problem for gay employees. No member on any of Germany’s stock-listed company boards is openly gay and one in four German LGBT employees think their sexual orientation has a negative effect on their career prospects. While the environment doesn’t look great, one organization is fighting to turn this problem around.

PrOutatWork-LogoProut At Work, a non-profit organization, is pushing to shift German corporate attitudes towards LGBT employees one company at a time, and has already gotten some of the Germany’s top companies on board: Adidas, SAP, Deutsche Bank and T-Mobile.

It won’t be an easy task to make a sweeping change in business attitude though as 99% of Germany’s businesses are small or mid-sized companies. Major corporations have a larger public image, and tend to push for positive press, but the smaller companies often see little media exposure and carry some of the highest discrimination rates.

There is a lot of work to be done, and while Prout At Work wants German companies to create a more inclusive work environment, they also want to see these businesses demonstrating a measurable commitment to the cause. The organization hopes to see 20 companies on board by the end of 2016, up from their current 13, and has set a goal of doubling that again by 2018.


The Economist has a full report on Prout At Work and the business environment the organization is up against. Check it out for the full story on Germany’s gay problem in business.

Sources: Prout At Work, The Economist

Photo: cedwardmoran [Flickr] / CC BY 2.0 (modified)