Sixth Tone

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SHANGHAI — Lauren Qiang used to live a double life: She pretended to be straight at home but wasn’t worried about her sexual orientation while at work. But after years of fears about being cut off from her family, the 27-year-old said she finally opened up to her parents after gaining financial independence. And, unlike her previous employer, the inclusive support mechanisms at the tech company she works at also emboldened her to tell colleagues that she is a lesbian. “It is against company policy to discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community at our workplace,” she told Sixth Tone. “So I gradually moved from being invisible to vehemently working with my colleagues to help with some of the company’s LGBTQ+ campaigns.” Qiang was among the panelists sharing their experiences at the Diversity & Inclusion Consulting job fair held in Shanghai on Saturday. Though she offered an encouraging outlook on diversity and inclusion at her workplace, however, the overall situation remains far from equal. In a new survey conducted by Beijing LGBT Center and Peking University, only 13.9% of roughly 3,400 respondents said their companies had diversity policies or anti-discrimination guidelines. Around 75% of the surveyed individuals who identify as sexual minorities said they were unsatisfied with their employer’s policies, which they felt didn’t contribute to a diverse workplace.

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