More people than ever identify as LGBTQ, a new poll finds – especially among younger generations. Your office will need more than a Pride flag to support them. (Credit: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Flickr)

The future is LGBTQ – well, more so than ever before, at least.

According to a new Gallup poll, over one in five Gen Zers – or, the youngest American adults, ages 18 to 26 – identify as members of the LGBTQ community. The growth continues a trend that researchers have noticed for years. “Overall, each younger generation is about twice as likely as the generation that preceded it to identify as LGBTQ,” researchers wrote in a release on the findings. 

And women of all ages were especially likely to identify as LGBTQ, they added – twice as likely as men, to be precise. But young women are naming themselves as members of the LGBTQ community at unprecedented rates. Some 30% of Gen Z women identify as LGBTQ, with the majority of those (20.7%) identifying as bisexual, followed by 5.4% as lesbians. 

The bisexual community has seen the most significant amount of growth – 4.4% of all adults, and just over 57% of LGBTQ adults, now identify as bisexual. 

This is the first year that Gallup has broken its findings on LGBTQ Americans down by age group. It’s also the first year that the Washington, D.C.-based research company has included transgender individuals in its counting. In all, over 12,000 U.S. participants were surveyed by phone last year for the study.

Across all age groups, 7.6% of Americans identify as LGBTQ. This marks an uptick from the 5.6% reported overall when Gallup conducted its last poll four years ago, and is more than doubled from when it began asking in 2012.

“The generational differences and trends point to higher rates of LGBTQ identification, nationally, in the future,” Gallup pollsters added in conclusion. “If current trends continue, it is likely that the proportion of LGBTQ identifiers will exceed 10% of U.S. adults at some point within the next three decades.”

As the LGBTQ community continues to grow – and enter the workforce – one may wonder: How can women leaders and business owners be sure to create welcoming spaces for them?

When we spoke with them, Sabrina Kent of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce and Jerame Davis of Pride at Work, a nonprofit that advocates for LGBT union members, told us that genuine inclusion, authenticity and consistency are paramount.

“Really, it boils down to what all workers need in their workplaces – dignity and respect,” Davis said. “Every working person deserves the basic dignity and respect of being seen first as a human with feelings, emotions, needs, wants and desires.”

Added Kent: “It’s not just what a company is doing during the month of Pride [to lift up LGBTQ workers]. It’s a 365-day effort.”