Diversity and equal opportunity are now established topics in organizational practice. In this context, the public sector, as the largest employer in Germany, is considered to play a pioneering role, even if it still has potential for development in this regard, as the few studies in the German context suggest. This study explores which organizational contextual factors prove relevant to LGBTIQ employees’ experience of discrimination in public administration (N=15 problem-centered interviews with LGBTIQ employees from eight local governments).
The interviewees experience different forms of discrimination, but generally rate them as rather low. They perceive soft factors to be most relevant for the experience of discrimination, which, however, are difficult for employers to influence, such as the working climate and the personal attitude and stance of managers. This is followed by internal factors that can be shaped, such as diversity measures and team compositions. The interaction of the individual factors and their (successful) composition seems to be of particular importance. The experience of discrimination by LGBTIQ employees could therefore in principle be positively influenced by the management bodies in public administration. Moreover, the signals associated with diversity measures enhance the employer image of the public sector.