Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Original research
Associations between workplace characteristics and ‘outness’ in LGBTI workers in Austria
  1. Lovro Markovic1,2,
  2. Daniel Schönherr3,
  3. Martina Zandonella3,
  4. Alejandro Gil-Salmeron4,
  5. Lee Smith5,
  6. Daragh McDermott6,
  7. Lin Yang7,8,
  8. Thomas E Dorner2,9,
  9. Hanna Mües10,
  10. Igor Grabovac2
  1. 1Department of Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation and Occupational Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  2. 2Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Centre for Public Health, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  3. 3SORA Institute for Social Research and Consulting, Ogris & Hofinger GmbH, Vienna, Austria
  4. 4International Foundation for Integrated Care, Oxford, UK
  5. 5Cambridge Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK
  6. 6Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK
  7. 7Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research, Cancer Care Alberta, Alberta Health Services, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  8. 8Departments of Oncology & Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  9. 9Health Promotion Facility Sitzenberg-Reidling, Social Insurance Fund for Public Service, Railway and Mining Industries, Sitzenberg-Reidling, Austria
  10. 10Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lovro Markovic, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Centre for Public Health, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; lovro.markovic{at}


Objectives Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) individuals are often subjected to negative attitudes in the workplace, which may lead to non-disclosure of their sexual orientation and/or gender identities. We aimed to determine the prevalence of workplace disclosure of sexual or gender identity (ie, ‘outness’; being ‘out’) and to examine its associations with workplace characteristics in LGBTI workers in Austria.

Methods This cross-sectional study analysed sociodemographic, work-related and well-being-related data from self-identifying gender and/or sexual minority participants elicited by an online questionnaire between February and June 2017. From the initial 1268 respondents, 1177 (93%) provided complete data and were included in the subsequent analyses.

Results The largest proportion of the sample were 26–35 years old (39.1%), cisgender gay men (40.0%) in full-time employment (63.9%). Overall, 51.7% of the sample were ‘out’ at the workplace. Being bisexual (OR=0.46, 95% CI 0.27 to 0.81), the provision of antidiscrimination guidelines in the workplace (OR=0.53, 95% CI 0.32 to 0.90), living alone (OR=0.50, 95% CI 0.32 to 0.79) and in shared households (OR=0.49, 95% CI 0.25 to 0.96) were associated with a decreased likelihood of being ‘out’ at work.

Factors associated with being ‘out’ at work were being middle aged (36–45 years old; OR=1.74, 95% CI 1.07 to 2.85), having been in employment for >10 years (OR=2.03, 95% CI 1.08 to 3.81), an LGBTI-friendly work environment (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.36 to 1.91), labour-management antidiscrimination contract (OR=2.02, 95% CI 1.23 to 3.32) and work council protections (OR=1.56, 95% CI 1.04 to 2.36).

Conclusions Instating antidiscrimination protections might facilitate ‘outness’ of LGBTI workers and lead to a better promotion of diversity in the workplace.

  • occupational health
  • public health
  • sociology
  • cross-sectional studies

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request from the corresponding author.

Statistics from

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request from the corresponding author.

View Full Text


  • Twitter @lovro_markovic

  • Contributors LM, IG conceived the study and did a formal analysis. DS and MZ data curation. LM original manuscript draft. All authors made considerable contributions in the final manuscript draft and approved it for submission.

  • Funding This secondary analysis did not receive any third-party funding. Data collection and primary analysis were financed by the Vienna Chamber of Labour, who had no involvement with this analysis, its interpretation or manuscript preparation.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.