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A new survey has shown that over a third of people don’t feel completely comfortable being their authentic selves in the workplace.

Hay’s research, released as part of its annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion report, found that 37% of people have felt they needed to hide aspects of who they are at work for fear of judgment by others.

The figures show that the main groups who feel afraid to be themselves are those who identify as LGBTQ+ (65%) and those living with a disability (62%).

As many as 51% say there have even been occasions where they felt their chances of getting a new job have been reduced due to certain characteristics, such as age or gender.

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Dan Robertson, Global Head of DE&I Advisory Services at Hays, commented, “Feeling authentic is unique to every person, however despite a growing understanding of the importance of being authentic in every aspect of our lives – it’s clear that the workplace remains a space where not everyone feels able to be their true selves, especially for certain members of our communities.

“If staff don’t feel they can be their true selves it’s going to have a detrimental impact on their wellbeing, and ultimately retention and company culture.

“Additionally, there’s still clear inequalities that remain when it comes to accessing work and career progression.

“Employers need to ensure that they are continuing to make steps to remove bias from hiring, development opportunities and promotion so professionals from all backgrounds can feel they have equal opportunity. Employers should also focus their attention on building cultures that promote a sense of belonging and psychological safety for all.”

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