Press releases

A Research by Deloitte: 90% of Japanese respondents say their employers don’t demonstrate commitment to LGBT+ inclusion

Only 5% of respondents say their employers demonstrate LGBT+ inclusion both internally and externally. LGBT+ employees in Japan are less likely to come out at work, regardless of their seniority levels and relationships with their employers.

Tokyo, JAPAN, 31 July 2023

Deloitte Tohmatsu Group (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Group CEO: Kenichi Kimura) is releasing the Japan version of “LGBT+ Inclusion @ Work: A Global Outlook” based on global research by Deloitte from January to February 2023.

This is to deep-dive overall challenges on working environment and organizational initiatives from LGBT+ inclusion perspective, participated by 5,474 LGBT+ people working in 13 countries. This research started since 2022 while this is the first Japan version which compares the numbers and specific tendencies to those of global average, participated by 425 respondents working in Japan.
It articulates that organizations in Japan need further efforts in LGBT+ inclusion at work, while it is still challenging for LGBT+ employees to come out at work.

■Initiatives by organizations in Japan are still far behind from LGBT+ employees’ expectations 

Only 5% of respondents in Japan answered that their employers “demonstrate commitment on LGBT+ inclusion both internally and externally” (global: 35%). 90% answered that their employers “demonstrate commitment on LGBT+ inclusion neither internally nor externally” which shows the significant gap between the global average of 43%. Only 1 out of 10 LGBT+ employees work in organizations with LGBT+ inclusion initiatives in Japan, and the ratio for those with no initiatives demonstrated by their employers is much higher than the global average. 

Percentage who say their employer demonstrates commitment to LGBT+ inclusion…
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■Being out at work is much more challenging in Japan

20% of respondents in Japan answered that they are comfortable being out with anyone at work, which is less than the half of the global average (43%). 27% in Japan answered that they are not comfortable being out at work at all, which doubles the global average (14%).

Level of comfort being out at work about my sexual orientation
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More senior LGBT+ employees are likely to be out about their sexual orientation at work both globally and in Japan. However, Japanese respondents are much less likely to be out in any seniority levels compared to the global average, and the ratio of leadership being out in Japan (29%) is much lower than the global average (51%).

Level of comfort being out at work about my sexual orientation by seniority
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Japanese respondents follow the worldwide trend in feeling most comfortable being out with their close colleagues and direct managers compared to other groups at work. Nevertheless, Japanese respondents are still likely to have more challenges being out at work regardless of their seniority levels and relationships with their organizations. Even with the “close colleagues” where 56% of the global respondents answered that they are comfortable being out with, only 26% of Japanese respondents answered so and 20% of Japanese respondents answered that they are uncomfortable and avoid being out with them (global: 9%).

Level of comfort being out at work about my sexual orientation with different groups - Global and Japan
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Respondents in Japan are less likely than the global average to say that allyship helps with being out about their sexual orientation at work (global: 61%, Japan: 23%).

While our research in 2022 has articulated the significance of allyship at work, the above implies that the allyship in Japanese organizations is not meeting the level to be supportive for LGBT+ employees.

■On the premise of unrecognized LGBT+ employees, organizations should further promote inclusion initiatives

This research articulates only 1 out of 10 LGBT+ employees in Japan work at organizations where they demostrate commitment to LGBT+ inclusion. The size of the organizaions affect the commitment levels and the organizations with fewer employees are likely to have less initiatives when it comes to LGBT+ inclusion, however there has not been much progress since the research by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in 2019*1 -which had articulated that only 10.9% of the organizations in Japan have had LGBT+ inclusion initiatives then. Organizations are now required to further empower LGBT+ inclusion initiatives ensuring to align with LGBT+ employees’ expectations. 

Whether to and who to coming out is solely a personal choice, as it is about how to live their lives. Since there still are many LGBT+ rights lacking in Japan including marriage equality, quite a lot of LGBT+ people in Japan do not find it worth coming out at this stage. However, “there is no open and out LGBT+ employees” does not mean “there is no LGBT+ employees”. Orgaizations should further empower setting up the systems and creating inclusive culture, given that there are many unrecognized LGBT+ employees in their organizations.

For details, please check the report from the link below. 

The Full Report for Japan version
The Global Report

(Countries surveyed: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, India, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, South Africa, the UK, the US.)

*1 “Report on Diversity Promotion Project at Work” by Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (30 July, 2021)

<Towards LGBT+ inclusive organizations>

Listening to and respecting the voice of LGBT+ members is the first step. It is also crucial to create an environment where LGBT+ members and non-LGBT+ members can consult on SOGI and other support systems without hesitation. Deloitte Tohmatsu Group set up our LGBT+ specific consultation team with experiences and expertise, where one’s privacy will strictly be kept confidential. 

At the same time, CEO and senior management leaders proactively initiate LGBT+ learnings and communications while the whole office is engaged in visualizing allyships through various methods such as original and personal ally items etc. We are also committed to making social impact in multiple ways including participating and sponsoring Rainbow Pride campaigns, pro-bono and donation initiatives with non-profit organizations, conducting educational sessions for next generations at schools etc.   

* Details on our LGBT+ inclusion/allyship initiatives can be found HERE and the messages from our LGBT+ and ally members can be found HERE

* Some of our internal webinars and events on LGBT+/DEI can be found through our blog articles from HERE

DEI at Deloitte Tohmatsu Group

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) is one of the management strategies at Deloitte Tohmatsu Group, and a key to continue contributing to clients and society through resilience during this disruptive time. We empower Diversity, Equity & Inclusion to create an environment where individual differences in gender, nationality, culture, sexuality, abilities etc. can be leveraged as our source of strengths.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Deloitte Tohmatsu Group

<Press Inquiries>

Deloitte Tohmatsu Group Media Relations: Kikuchi and Okaneya
Tel: 03-6213-3210  Email:

About Deloitte

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