Tag Archives: employee discrimination

If Your Now Out At Work You Could Be Underperforming In Your Job, New Study Says

New study says LGBTQI employees who aren’t out at work suffer professionally.

According to a new report, LGBTI employees who aren’t out at work suffer professionally.

Produced by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and sponsored by Deloitte, the Out at Work report surveyed 1,600 LGBTI employees.

It found only 32% of these employees were out to all of their colleagues at work.

The report also found not being out at work compromises wellbeing and decreases productivity.

Workers who were not out to everyone at work were almost 50% less satisfied with their job compared to colleagues who were out to everyone.

They were also twice as likely to be ‘downhearted’ at work.

Diversity Council of Australia CEO Lisa Annese believes the results of the report prove being out, proud and open at work is essential.

“A large proportion of LGBTIQ+ employees are still not comfortable being themselves at work. And yet hiding who they are can be costly not only to their own wellbeing, but also to the organizations they work for.

This report comprehensively quantifies the business case for creating LGBTIQ+ inclusive workplaces in Australia.

I urge employers to take a good look at what they can do to take advantage of the benefits; not only for their LGBTIQ+ employees, but for their organization as a whole.”

The report also found LGBTI employees who are out to everyone at work are:

  • 50% more likely to innovate than workers who are not out to everyone.
  • 35% more likely to work highly effectively in their team.
  • 28% more likely to provide excellent customer/client service.

Lead researcher Dr Raymond Trau believes people should just whether or not to come out on a case by case basis.

He said:

“Many people realise coming out at work is complex but don’t always realise that it’s not a one-off event.

Even LGBTIQ+ workers who are very comfortable with their identity and have come out many times still need to think twice when they work in a job or occupation that is homophobic, transphobic or not LGBTIQ+ inclusive.

This explains why our findings still show that coming out remains a problem in the workplace.”

Should You Come Out At Work?

Coming out is hard. Your parents might disown you. Your friends might shun you. Your priest might send you to reparative therapy.

And, of course, you might get fired.

Even if your family, friends and rabbi are completely okay with your sexuality, your boss might not be as forgiving. And it’s not always easy to leave the job of your dreams.

The harsh statistics:

The Human Rights Campaign found that 62% of openly LGBT college graduates hurried right back into the closest after accepting their first job.

And for good reason. Anglia Ruskin University did a study that, depressingly, found that lesbians are 5% less likely to get offered a job interview than straight women with the same skills. If you could increase your job prospects by 5% by hiding your crush on Samira Wiley, why wouldn’t you?

Bisexual women don’t get off the hook any easier. A recent study showed that bisexual women earn less than their straight counterparts. How much less? From 7% to 28%. Yes, coming out as bisexual could automatically cut your paycheck by more than a quarter because bisexual people are considered “dishonest.”

In the U.S., 28 states still allow employers to fire employees for being gay. Yes, that’s more than half, and with Trump on the throne that number is likely to rise. Ten percent of lesbian, gay and bi workers have been fired from their jobs in last five years. Read more about those studies here.

So should you come out?

Coming out is a personal choice. There’s no right time or wrong time, and even the safest of situations could turn dangerous at any moment. But repressing yourself is arguably just as dangerous to your mental health. So should you come out?

Ask yourself a few questions first:

Have your colleagues or your employer expressed homophobic or transphobic sentiments out loud?

Do you think your work environment would turn hostile if you came out?

Is this job your only possible source of financial security?

If you don’t have a backup plan, then think about setting something up, whether that’s lining up another job, planning to live on your partner’s income or moving back in with your parents. Have a plan B in case of the worst.

But the most important question of all is this:

Do you want to come out?

Don’t feel pressured to come out in the name of LGBT rights, or because you feel like you have a responsibility to be yourself. Your responsibility is to prioritize your mental health. And if you don’t want to come out, then don’t.

If you do, then check out the Human Rights Campaign’s resources on coming out while at work.

As Women We’re Less Likely To Get A Pay Rise When We Ask, Study Says

We’ve heard it plenty, that part of the reason women are paid less than men is because they’re less likely ask for a pay rise,

However, a new study knocks that theory out of the water.

The University of London has surveyed 4600 women across more than 800 employers, and reached a different conclusion.

Women do ask for salary hikes, but sadly the research suggests, they just don’t get them.

The study, titled Do Women Ask?, found women asked for wage increases just as often as men, but when their male counterparts ask for more money, their requests were 25% more likely to be met.

The research claims to be the first “statistical idea test of the idea that women get paid less because they are not as pushy as men”, and found no support for the theory.

Co-author and Professor of Economics and Behavioural Science at the University of Warwick, Andrew Oswald, said the research should force some acceptance that “there is some element of pure discrimination against women”.

Various ideas, including that women feared being less popular at work, have been offered to explain women’s apparent reluctance to ask for a pay increase, but fellow co-author Dr Amanda Goodall from Cass Business School said in study’s test of the “reticent-female theory”, the evidence just didn’t stack up.

When men and women were compared, controlling for hours worked and other variables, men were a quarter more likely to be successful, obtaining a pay increase 20% of the time. Only 16% of females were successful when they asked.

Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) director Libby Lyons explained that while previous studies have showed women tend to have less successful outcomes than men when it comes to pay negotiations, this new research suggested women’s appetite for negotiation is no different from men’s.

Lyons suggested “gender bias” was often to blame for women being routinely denied pay increases, and said employers could work to stop it.

Gender bias often underpins promotion, performance and pay decisions, For example, a perception that men are the family breadwinner and more deserving of a pay rise can influence pay decisions. By making criteria for pay increases and bonuses transparent, placing limits on managerial discretion and analysing pay decisions, employers can help address these inconsistencies.”

Lyons said the difference between women’s and men’s pay negotiation outcomes had “significant implications for gender equality in the workplace”, which was evidence in the lack of women in senior workplace roles and the persistent gender pay gap.

Only 27.4% of key management positions are held by women, along with just 15.4% of CEO positions, according to the WGEA’s gender equality scorecard released last year.

The fulltime gender pay gap is 16.2%

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Company ‘Rethinks’ It’s Decision To Reject Woman For Job Over Lesbian Photo On Instagram

Energy company Consolidated Edison had originally hired Samantha Chirichella in March, as a staff investigator in the legal services department.

Samantha Chirichella was due to start a £47,000-a-year job as a staff investigator in the legal services department of an energy company Consolidated Edison , but she was dropped from the after a background check flagged ‘erotic’ lesbian pictures she had posted on her Instagram.


The offending image was taken three years ago and featured Ms Chirichella and another woman lying down and kissing each other’s nipples.

The company had initially defended the decision despite legal threats – but after the story went viral online, it has “rethought” its stance and decided to hire Ms Chirichella.

According to the New York Daily News, her lawyer, Arthur Schwartz, said,

The work was no more sexually explicit that the works of DaVinci, Titian or Michaelangelo, and less explicit that photos published in Sports Illustrated,”

The change of heart from Con Ed came after “a rush of media interest” in the case.

He added:

We appreciate Con Edison’s rapid resolution of this dispute and the sensitivity of the posting and its frank discussion of homosexuality.

Ms. Chirichella is a smart, capable woman, whose father is a ‘lifer’ at Con Edison and they will not regret this decision.”

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According To New Study, Women Leave Employment For One Big Reason (& It’s Not Babies)

It has often been thought, that best way to hire and retain women is to allow for a flexible hours.

Why? Well in this crazy world, women are often the ones to take a career break to have children.

So if a company makes it easier for them to fit work around family, the thinking goes, mothers are more likely to stay.

But this thinking is now proved to be flawed.

In a new study, researches asked people 300 people worldwide, between the ages 22-to-35 about the factors that prompt them to switch roles five-to-10 years out of university.

The main reason women leave their jobs? Salary. More women than men cited the answer, “I found a job elsewhere that pays more” as the top reason for switching roles.

In all, 65% of women gave that as the main reason, versus 56% of men. Starting a family ranked fifth among the most-cited reasons for women leaving their jobs.

Women are paid less than men in the US, the UK, and pretty much everywhere else.

For men, the top reason for leaving a job was a lack of learning and opportunity in the role. Salary was in second place. Family didn’t make the top five.

In general, though, the reasons women and men in their 30s cited for leaving companies were similar.

The report boils down to two findings, according to one of the researchers, Christie Hunter Arscott:

Firstly, women care about pay. Secondly, women and men leave organizations for similar reasons.”

She suggests three fixes for executives looking to attract and retain more women: develop strategies to retain talented people that aren’t gender specific; address challenges beyond flexibility, like pay; and ask women what they need, rather than making assumptions.

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Companies With More Women Leaders Are More Profitable, According Huge New Study

Advocates for gender have always argued that equality is not just about fairness, but also about better business results. Now this theory is being strongly supported, with new data from the Peterson Institute for International Economics and EY.

The groups analysed results from 21,980 global, publicly traded companies, in 91 countries from various industries and sectors and showed that having at least 30% of women in leadership positions, or the “C-suite,” adds 6% to net profit margin.

Marcus Noland, director of studies at the Peterson Institute, told Quartz magaizine.

The evidence on women in the C-suite is robust: no matter how we torture the data we get the same result: women in the C-suite are associated with higher profitability.”

The study looked at women in three positions: CEO, board members, and members of the C-suite. It found female CEOs do not systematically outperform their male counterparts. While there is some evidence that female board members are associated with greater profitability, the results are not statistically significant. But the C-suite results were clear: more women translated to higher profits. And Noland argues that having more women on boards is associated with having more women in leadership, otherwise known as the “pipeline effect.”

Having women leaders happened in companies which were bigger, in countries where women did well on math assessments vis a vis their male counterparts, and where there was a relative absence of discriminatory attitudes.

Surprisingly, countries that provide mandated maternity leave do not have more female leaders. But those with more paternity leave do.

It stands to reason that policies that allow for child care need to be met, but do not place the burden of this care explicitly on the woman, can allow women to have a greater chance of building business acumen and professional contacts necessary to advance to a level at which they would be invited to be part of a corporate board.”

Laura D’Andrea Tyson, an economics and business professor at the Haas School at the University of Berkeley, told a panel at the 2016 World Economic Forum that the gender parity debate is wrongly focused on fairness. Women, she argued, improve innovation and complex decision-making.

We have failed to make the business case.”

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More Work To Be Done: Study Finds Queer Women Are Less Likely To Get A Job Than Straight Women

A new study, published this year by a New York University found that queer women were less likely to get a job interview than straight women.

The author of the study, Emma Mishel, created two fictitious CVs, which detailed different but similar qualifications for two different women.

The two women were assigned common white names, as to not conflate other forms of discrimination.

They also shared the following qualifications: College graduates (from Cornell and Columbia), a few years of relevant work experience, study abroad experience, and high grade point averages. The only difference in the resumes was that one had a secretarial position at her university’s LGBTQ organisation, while the other had no such experience or any affiliation with an LGBTQ organisation or cause.

For her study, Mishel sent out more than 1,600 CVs over a three-month period to administrative positions in New York, Virginia, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C.

These regions were chosen carefully because they accurately represent the diverse makeup of the United States.

The result for this research was shocking pretty shocking. There was a clear biased, and out of the 775 CVs sent out on behalf of each fictitious woman, the straight applicant got 130 call-backs, while the queer applicant got 94 call-backs — that’s a 5% difference.

What was probably more shocking was were the places perceived to be “Gay Friendly” didn’t actually seem that way at all. In Washington, D.C. and New York, both considered inclusive and queer-friendly spaces, showed the same biased.

One myth this study debunked effectively is that the existence of LGBTQ legislation in a state doesn’t necessarily mean discrimination doesn’t exist in important spaces.

Mishel’s study isn’t the first to examine LGBTQ discrimination in the job application process; in 2010, John Bailey did a resumé audit where he tried to find if gay men and lesbian women were discriminated against disproportionately when applying to jobs.

His results were surprisingly different than Mishel’s, however: His study found no discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation. But Mishel notes in her discussion of experiment design that Baily’s results might have something to do with his selection of test cities — he used Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas, and San Francisco, all areas with thriving queer populations and generally areas that politically align with the left.

Overall these studies shows us the importance of incorporating and encouraging equality and diversity in all aspects of life.

Granting us the right to marry does not mean its ok to make cuts in other areas such as employment, especially when employment creates stability and livelihood. We have to do better.

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We’ve All Heard Of The Gender Pay Gap, But Should We Be More Concerned By The ‘Gay Pay Gap’ Instead?

We’ve all heard of the gender pay gap. But how about the gay pay gap?

Studies carried in the US, Europe and Australia have revealed that gay men get paid up less than their straight counterparts.

Lesbians, however, have been shown to make more than their straight female counterparts, with studies estimate the differential to be between 8% to 13%.

Despite this, lesbians still earn less than either heterosexual or gay men, the studies show.

And according to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, transgender people are four times as likely to have a household income under $10,000 and twice as likely to be unemployed as the typical person.

The problem we have and what all the studies concluded is that sexual orientation pay gap comes down to prejudice. Something we are all still trying to tackle.

There are still some many laws around the world that do not support LGBT employees. The fight for equality is still real.

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School Teacher Bullied By Principle Because She Is A Lesbian

A longtime city public-school teacher, Roseanne Kaplan-DiNola says she her homophobic colleagues made her life a living hell on a daily basis.

Mrs Kaplan-DiNola — a teacher at PS 207 in Howard Beach, Queens, since 1992 — claims in her suit that former Principal Linda Spadaro and Assistant Principal Eileen Davies “openly berated her for her ‘lifestyle choices.’”

Talking to The New York Post, she said

I used to pray to God before work and ask to not be singled out in some terrible way,”

From the moment they started working together, Mrs Kaplan-DiNola says that Spadaro told her “that she was not comfortable with her lifestyle preferences and wanted her out” of the school.

Rosanne Kaplan-DiNola DOE lawsuit. Longtime public elementary school teacher Rosanne Kaplan-DiNola says her supervisors made her work life a living hell because she's a lesbian. The Queens teacher says Principal Linda Spadaro and AP Eileen Davies "openly berated her for her 'lifestyle choices.'" Kaplan-DiNola's worked at PS 207 since 1992. PICTURED: Rosanne Kaplan-DiNola (53, in green) at her Long Island home with wife Sherri Kaplan-DiNola (49, in black) and their 16 year old son Jonathan.

Rosanne Kaplan-DiNola DOE lawsuit. Longtime public elementary school teacher Rosanne Kaplan-DiNola says her supervisors made her work life a living hell because she’s a lesbian. The Queens teacher says Principal Linda Spadaro and AP Eileen Davies “openly berated her for her ‘lifestyle choices.'” Kaplan-DiNola’s worked at PS 207 since 1992. PICTURED: Rosanne Kaplan-DiNola (53, in green) at her Long Island home with wife Sherri Kaplan-DiNola (49, in black) and their 16 year old son Jonathan.

She also said that when her son was being bullied at school because his parents were gay, her boss blamed her, saying:

Well, what did you expect, having kids as a gay parent? It is an abomination against God, and you made this child a victim of your poor choices.”

The suit also claims Davies called the teacher a “f—ing dyke” during a disagreement about parent-teacher conferences.

However, after she complained to her district superintendent, Mrs Kaplan-DiNola said that rather than receive support, she was swiftly demoted.

Kaplan-DiNola’s lawyer, Steven Morelli, added.

The comments and the treatment were obviously incredibly offensive, yet the Department of Education has failed to take any action whatever.”

Mrs Kaplan-DiNola says the discrimination made her depressed and began having an effect on her personal life.

My wife and I began to drift apart during the most stressful times largely because of the emotional toll it was taking on me. I’m making a stand so that someday this won’t happen to anyone anymore.”

There are 50 states in the United States of America and a whopping 29 of them have lacking anti-discrimination laws that allow LGBTQ to be fired solely based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Including Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and all the other usual suspects, even New York is listed as a state that fails in protecting its workers as it doesn’t protect against gender identity discrimination.

Lesbians Really Do Earn More Than Straight Women (But That’s Not Really A Good Thing)

In the world of work there lays a clear biased – women earn less than men. Caucasian folk earn more than ethnic groups. And gay men, and transgender people make less than their heteronormative friends.

Yet there’s one minority group that flies in the face of conventional wisdom with a positive wage gap: lesbians.

Lesbians in Western countries suffer many types of discrimination, but being underpaid is not one of them.

Why? Well a new study by the University of Melbourne and San Diego State University found gay women earn more because they are better at “leaning in.”

Nick Drydakis, co-author of the study and senior lecturer in economics at the University of Anglia, also suggests this is because lesbians often know early in life that they will not marry into a traditional household where a male could provide for them. So they invest more in themselves, study longer than heterosexual women and make more career-oriented decisions.

Good for them, right? Not necessarily. While the lesbian pay premium is certainly good news for us hardworking women, it may also be due to the systematic discrimination against other groups.

Mothers, for example, earn less than childless women. And lesbians have fewer children than heterosexual married women.

Drydakis says

This might make employers more interested in promoting lesbians, who are less likely to move in and out of the labour market.”

He also suggests that employers, colleagues and consumers often favour personality traits traditionally associated with men — like ambition, authority and pragmatism.

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Lesbians might also benefit if they exhibit more of those attributes than their heterosexual counterparts or gay male co-workers.

Research however did find that the wage premium was lower for those lesbians who had previously been in heterosexual marriages.

Jeffrey Waddoups, who conducted this particular study and is the graduate coordinator for economics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, explained

This is because the typical household division of labour for married couples focuses on career advancement of men.”

To be sure, we still face other types of discrimination in and out of the workplace.

And research indicates the marketplace continues to benefit primarily men or women who are perceived as being more “manly.”

So the key is to be assertive, stay longer in school and select a lifelong partner who understands career advancement is not a male privilege.

Discrimination Against LGBT Employees is Illegal in America

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has decided this week that workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation is illegal by existing laws.

The landmark ruling could now extend to new rights for LGBT Americans.

The decision was rooted in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bans employment discrimination “based on race, colour, religion, sex and national origin.”

Before now, courts have generally held that sexual orientation is not protected by this clause because the term is not explicitly listed and interpreting it as such was not the intention of the legislators behind the law.

But in its 3-2 vote ruling, the commission reasons that any employment decision based on someone’s sexual orientation must also inherently take into account his or her gender, pushing the question under the umbrella of the law’s language.

The decision reads

For example, assume that an employer suspends a female employee for displaying a photo of her female spouse on her desk, but does not suspend a male employee for displaying a photo of his female spouse.

‘Sexual orientation’ as a concept cannot be defined or understood without reference to sex.”

The case in question was a complaint filed against transportation secretary Anthony Foxx in which a Florida air traffic controller alleges he was passed over for a job because he is gay.

The ruling is not definitive until it is solidified by legislation or a Supreme Court decision, but it does carry significant weight in courts across the country.

The decision claimed that earlier circuit court rulings on the matter have been grounded in “dated” precedents without any additional analysis. More recent legal precedents in the same courts, the commission goes on, have recognised that

gender stereotyping — which includes anti-gay remarks — is considered sex discrimination.

As Time points out, this is the same logic that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts used when considering same-sex marriage earlier this year before ultimately opposing it.

Justice John Roberts said in April,

If Sue loves Joe and Tom loves Joe, Sue can marry him and Tom can’t. And the difference is based upon their different sex. Why isn’t that a straightforward question of sexual discrimination?”

In 2012, the commission ruled in a similar case that the same law protected gender identity when a transgender woman claimed she was denied a job at the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives because of her transition.

Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffen praised the decision but called on legislators to bolster it and other LGBT civil rights issues by setting them into law.
Griffen said in a statement

While an important step, it also highlights the need for a comprehensive federal law permanently and clearly banning LGBT discrimination beyond employment to all areas of American life,”

Women Disclose the Sexist Questions They’ve been Asked at Job Interviews

Employment law firm Thomas Mansfield asked graduates from 20 British universities to share the most bizarre and offensive things they’ve ever been asked whilst applying for jobs.

Many of the women’s responses show that sexism is very much alive some workplaces.
sexist questions 05

'Do you get PMT?'

sexist questions 01

'What do you think about dating someone in the office?'

sexist questions 02

'Are you planning on having children soon?'

sexist questions 03

'Can you wear more make up next time?' 

sexist questions 04

'Can you flirt with the customers to make them stay longer?'

Julie Goodway, a lawyer at the firm, told The Independent: “Unfortunately the experience of those surveyed are not one-offs. We are often asked how interviewees should respond to questions like these.”

She says that such questioning can amount to sex discrimination if it is unlikely that male candidates will be asked such questions.

Under Gay Propaganda Law, Russian Court Says Lesbian Is Unfit To Teach

A St. Petersburg school teacher was fired in December 2014 for her lesbian social media activity.

The teacher, only identified by her first name, Alevtina, was sacked because her employer said her behaviour was incompatible with her job.

She last week lost a court appeal to be reinstated, but plans to continue to fight the ruling.


A court called upon “experts” to analyze the teacher’s photos on VKontakte, Russia’s version of Facebook, and declared them “extremely unacceptable from a moral point of view.”

Alevtina appealed to the court in January to get her job back plus a compensation of 300,000 rubles, or around $5,600, for emotional distress. Her appeal was rejected last week on the grounds that she had committed “acts of indecency.”

She lost her job in December because of the crusading of Timur Isayev, who has made a career of outing school teachers who post expressions of homosexuality online. He claims their outward homosexuality violates Russia’s law against “gay propaganda.” Isayev said in December he had gotten 29 teachers fired for being gay.

On forwarding the photo to the school, Isaev wrote: “You have an unhealthy, psychologically abnormal lesbian teacher working for you.

This teacher openly reveals on social media that she is an immoral lesbian and that she lives or co-habitates with another unhealthy woman just like herself.We strongly urge you to dismiss her for incompetence in the profession.”

Gay people have faced increasing issues in Russia since President Vladimir Putin in 2013 signed a federal law banning the “promotion of non-tradtional sexual relations”.

The teacher told Meduza she “proudly wiped her tears” after hearing the court rejected her appeal. She might file suit with the European Court of Human Rights, the thorn in Russia’s legal side, she said. But even if she were to prevail in the European court, while she might get some compensation, there is not much precedence to show she would get her job back.

It’s not illegal to be gay in Russia, but the law against gay propaganda that president Vladimir Putin passed in 2013 essentially lets the government crack down on anyone it believes is being too public or flamboyant about their sexual preferences.

Study Finds That Being Out Does Harm Your Ability to Get a Job, Especially in Traditionally Male & Female Dominated Roles

A new study shows that discrimination of gay and lesbian job seekers is commonplace within both private firms and the public sector in the UK.

The research, carried out by Dr Nick Drydakis of Anglia Ruskin University and published by SAGE in the journal Human Relations, involved 144 young people — all first-time job seekers — making 11,098 applications.

The study, the first of its kind ever conducted in the UK, found that gay applicants of both sexes are 5% less likely to be offered a job interview than heterosexual applicants with comparable skills and experience.

The firms who offer interviews to gay male candidates pay an average salary of 2.0% less than those who invite heterosexuals for interview (£23,072 compared to £23,544). For lesbian women the average salary is 1.4% less (£22,569 compared to £22,907).

Gay men receive the fewest invitations for interviews in traditionally male-dominated occupations (accounting, banking, finance and management jobs), whereas lesbians receive the fewest invitations for interviews in traditionally female-dominated occupations (social care, social services and charity jobs).

In the accounting, banking, finance and management sector, the study found 74 occasions when only the heterosexual candidate was offered an interview and not the gay male candidate with comparable skills and experience, but no instances of only the gay male candidate being offered an interview.

Similarly, there were 63 examples when only heterosexual women were offered an interview in the social care, social services and charity sector, but no examples of only the lesbian candidate being offered an interview.

The study was carried out with the help of 12 students’ unions at universities across Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Of the 2,312 students who volunteered for the study, Dr Drydakis was able to match 72 students whose CVs mentioned having a prominent role in their university’s LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) society with 72 students whose skills and experiences were identical, but whose CV didn’t indicate their sexuality.

The participants were all third-year undergraduates, 21 years old, British nationals and unmarried. They were all predicted to achieve an upper second class degree (2:1).

In pairs, the 144 students applied for 5,549 jobs (11,098 separate applications) that had been advertised on 15 of the UK’s leading recruitment websites over a two-month period.

Dr Drydakis, Reader in Economics at Anglia Ruskin University, said:

Because of the limited research carried out so far into the experiences of gays and lesbians in the labour market, the disadvantages and discrimination they experience has gone unnoticed and therefore unchallenged.

Despite measures to encourage openness and discourage discrimination, including the introduction of the Equality Act of 2010, it is evident from my research that gays and lesbians are encountering serious misconceptions and barriers in the job market.

It is also clear that people who face biased treatment in the hiring process must spend more time and resources finding jobs, and firms lose potential talent as a result of biased hiring.”

30% Of Gay And Bisexual Employees In Ireland Have Faced Discrimination

In a survey conducted in 2013, 73% of people in the Republic of Ireland said that “same sex marriage should be allowed in the Constitution” and in 2008, 84% said that they supported same-sex marriage rights and/or civil partnerships.

However, just because most of a country is in favour of marriage equality, it doesn’t mean that it is an all round tolerant one. Like many places in the world, progressive thinking is let down by pockets of anti-LGBT opinions.

The attitudes towards LGBT people have improved greatly in Ireland over the past few years but the predominantly Catholic country does trail behind some of its European brethren. For example, in the UK homosexuality became decriminalised between 1967 and 1982 but it took until 1993 for the same to happen in ROI.

Perhaps that fact is why it appears to have taken much longer for discrimination to be phased out of the Irish workplace. Although “most” forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation are illegal in the country, a new study deems that some people ignore this and that many gay and bisexual employees continue to face discrimination.

According to the survey, a massive 30% of gay and bisexual workers in Ireland have faced discrimination. While full details weren’t provided, we do know that the discrimination involved harassment and in 1 in 10 cases, the employee chose to quit their jobs over it.

Those figures are astonishing (again, since Ireland’s laws forbid this type of behaviour) and so the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) is launching Ireland’s very first Workplace Equality Index.

As explained by Director of Workplace Diversity at GLEN, Davin Roche in a statement below, GLEN’s new initiative will inform people on which employers are the most LGBT-friendly and will also encourage those who are failing to do more to be inclusive:

“Research in Ireland and internationally has found, unfortunately, far too many LGBT employees have experienced harassment at work or have quit a job because of discrimination and we know that many LGBT employees are not comfortable disclosing their sexual orientation at work. We know this can be detrimental to LGBT employees but also has a negative impact for employers.”

Having launched on February 10th, 2015, it’s still incredibly early days just yet, but we will keep you posted once we know more.


New Zealand Lesbian Couple Rejected For Job Because Of Their Sexuality

A lesbian couple from New Zealand say they’re the victims of discrimination after they were turned down for a job because of their sexuality.

The couple,Emily Carter and Danika Te Moananui, say their skills and experience counted for nothing when they applied to manage Whitianga’s Mercury Bay Holiday Park, and were told they weren’t a traditional male/female couple so their application to manage a holiday park was rejected.

The holiday park owner told them:

“A man is required to attend to male aspects of our clientele, and similarly a female for feminine issues. If you better read and understood the position you were applying for then you could have saved yourself whatever embarrassment may have occurred, none on my part.” 

The ad never specified a man and woman; it simply asked for a “multi-skilled couple”.

“There’s no such thing as a traditional couple anymore. There’s just people who love each other and we’re all people.”

Emily Carter and Danika Te Moananui


New Zealand’s Human Rights Commission wouldn’t talk about this case but said:

“It is illegal to discriminate on the grounds of sex in New Zealand unless there is a genuine occupational requirement.”

Russian Lesbian Stands Strong After Loosing Her Job as A Teacher Due to Being Outed By Hate Group

Its been reported that young Russian woman in St. Petersburg has lost her job as a music teacher for special education students, because of her sexual orientation. This came about after she was outed to her superiors by homophobic activist Timur Isaev – a mouth-breathing troglodyte – who wants to make living in Russia “hell” for all gay people.

According to LGBTI group Coming Out, the St. Petersburg teater is the first to fight her termination and defend her rights. When given the opportunity to voluntarily quit or be fired for violation of Article 81 part 8 of the Labour Code of Russia – “Performing an immoral act by the employee in education that is incompatible with the continuation of such work” – despite holding several distinctions and awards for the excellence in employment, the unnamed woman chose to be fired.

She said:

“Working with children is a part of my soul. All these years I have given myself to the job I loved, nurtured the love of art and music in children. Taking into account the abilities of our children, who have moderate or severe delays in mental development, I have tried to make each lesson interesting, bright, and encouraging.

I was fired because someone thinks my sexual orientation harms children. This is not supported by any law and I have not done anything wrong. I am determined to seek justice to the end!”

Coming Out is providing legal support to the young woman and will seek recognition of the discriminatory nature of her dismissal in court.

Know Your Employment Rights: Julia’s Story

In light of the story we ran on Monday, we felt it was important to provide people with some further information on employment rights within the United Staes.

Founded in 1973, Lambda Legal is the oldest and largest national legal organization whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV; through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

For more than three decades, workplace equality has been a top priority for Lambda Legal.

“Workplace concerns remain the number one topic for our Legal Help Desk calls. While a growing number of employers and state and local governments have enacted policies and laws to address discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and HIV status, we have no federal statute banning discrimination, and almost half of all LGBT workers go to work every day without explicit state-level sexual orientation and gender identity anti-discrimination laws.”

Please take a closer look at their website, the information their is so useful – Know Your Rights


Did You Know You Can Still Be Fired for BeingGay in 29 States in the USA?


“Love is love”. It’s a common tagline used when it comes to the LGBTQ rights movement that aims to suggest that no matter who you are or who you love, that is ok and you should not be held back because of it. Excusing the fact that “love is love” is not trans* inclusive (trans* men and women can be heterosexual after all), it also fails to acknowledge other, deep-rooted problems that LGBTQ people face today.

Love is love is generally used as an argument for marriage equality, which, whilst being an important part of the LGBTQ movement, is not the be all and end all of it. Many people would argue that issues such as homeless LGBTQ youth or the health, safety and general wellbeing of LGBTQ people is a much more pressing concern.

But the people arguing that marriage equality should play second fiddle to other problems that LGBTQ people face will have a massive struggle on their hands moving forward. Looking at the United States’ politics; while some states bring marriage equality bills into law, a good many do not have any protections for LGBTQ employees in the workplace.

And, by a good many I mean ‘most of them’. There are 50 states in the United States of America and a whopping 29 of them have lacking anti-discrimination laws that allow LGBTQ to be fired solely based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Including Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and all the other usual suspects, even New York is listed as a state that fails in protecting its workers as it doesn’t protect against gender identity discrimination. And, somewhat ironically, Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia and Indiana are all places that have made marriage equality legal this year but being gay in these states can get you fired.

As if this didn’t add fuel to the argument that marriage equality should not be billed as the most important part of the LGBTQ rights movement, a recent poll by The Huffington Post and YouGov suggested that a massive 69% of Americans think that firing someone for being gay is illegal, despite that clearly not being the case.

So who is doing something about it? It has actually been a talking point for over a decade. Since 1994, Congress has been pushing a bill called ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) that aims to make discrimination in the workplace illegal across the country, but although it has been put on the table many times, it has never succeeded. This is due in part to opposition to LGBTQ rights and because the bill has been amended to add in protections based on gender identity and not just for sexual orientation.

There continues to be hope for the bill but as of yesterday, ENDA seems even more unlikely to get through than before. Many Democratic politicians have spoken in favour of ENDA while many Republicans have spoken against it. Republicans now control the House and the Senate making ENDA’s passing before the next presidential election (in 2016) some sort of miracle.

Nonetheless we’ll cross our fingers and keep you posted.


Outcry as Italy Teacher Says She was Sacked for Being a Lesbian

Their has been an outcry in Italy after teacher says she was sacked for being a lesbian. The report has sparked the Italy’s Education Minister – Stefania Giannini to promise an inquiry into the claim, that a female teacher was forced out of her job because she is gay.

“If it’s confirmed that we’re dealing with a case related to discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, we will act with appropriate severity”

Stefania Giannini

Her removal from the state-funded Institute of the Sacred Heart in the northern town of Trento has angered equality campaigners and focused attention once again on the country’s record on gay rights.

Mother Libratore issued a statement denying that the teacher had been sacked. But her account seemed to reinforce the suggestion that she lost her job on account of her sexual orientation.

“Rumours reached me that she was lesbian and I spoke with her about it in order to understand if she had personal problems. If you’re a lesbian, you say so. If she’s hiding it, I want to understand if there are problems, how she intends to conduct herself, because I’m responsible for 1,000 students and 137 staff; I have educational responsibilities. She didn’t even reply and she left.”

Mother Libratore.

The teacher, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Il Fatto Quotidiano newspaper:

“I taught at the school for five years, with no problems; in fact, the director and the parents were enthusiastic about my work. Last Wednesday I saw the headteacher, assuming it was about a new contract, but instead she began with strange questions… whether it was true that I had a girlfriend and if I was a lesbian. Of course, I refused to answer – I felt offended by her questioning something that was so private.”

Many Italian ministers have spoken up in support of the unfair dismissal including Enrico Lillo, the regional president of Silvio Berlusconi’s right-wing Forza Italia party, also attacked the teacher’s treatment.

“To have to learn that in 2014 a teacher has been fired for reasons linked to her sexual orientation is completely unacceptable,”

Enrico Lillo

This surprising new adherence by some Italian conservatives to the cause of lesbian and gay equality may have been prompted by Mr Berlusconi’s own volte-face on the issue.

For years Mr Berlusconi’s party has blocked attempts to introduce civil partnerships for same-sex couples. However, in June this year the disgraced three-times premier surprised campaigners by announcing that he was now joining the battle for lesbian and gay rights.

President Obama Signs Executive Orders to Protect LGBT Employees From Federal Workplace Discrimination

President Barack Obama has given employment protection to gay and transgender workers in the federal government and its contracting agencies, after being convinced by advocates of what he called the “irrefutable rightness of your cause.”

At a signing ceremony from the White House East Room, Obama said it’s unacceptable that being gay is still a firing offense in most places in the United States.

It’s not just about doing the right thing, it’s also about attracting and retaining the best talent”

President Barack Obama

Obama signs order 01

Until last month, Obama long resisted pressure to pursue an executive anti-discrimination covering federal contractors in the hope that Congress would take more sweeping action banning anti-LGBT workplace discrimination across the landscape of employment in America. A bill to accomplish that goal – the Employment Non-Discrimination Act – passed the Senate last year with some Republican support, but has not been taken up by the GOP-controlled House.

Since Obama announced that he would sign the orders, he’s faced pressure from opposing flanks over whether he would include an exemption for religious organizations. He decided to maintain a provision that allows religious groups with federal contracts to hire and fire based upon religious identity, but not give them any exception to consider sexual orientation or gender identity. Churches also are able to hire ministers as they see fit.

Obama’s action comes on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the Hobby Lobby case that allowed some religiously oriented businesses to opt out of the federal health care law’s requirement that contraception coverage be provided to workers at no extra charge. Obama advisers said that ruling has no impact on non-discrimination policies in federal hiring and contracting.

Obama said 18 states and more than 200 local governments already ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, as well as a majority of Fortune 500 companies. But he noted that more states allow same-sex marriage than prohibit gay discrimination in hiring.

The change for federal contracting will impact some 24,000 companies with 28 million workers, or one-fifth of the U.S. workforce. Many large federal contractors already have employment policies barring anti-gay workplace discrimination. However, the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School estimates that the executive order would extend protections to about 14 million workers whose employers or states currently do not have such nondiscrimination policies.

While few religious organizations are among the biggest federal contractors, they do provide some valued services, including overseas relief and development programs and re-entry programs for inmates leaving federal prisons.

Obama amended two executive orders. The first, signed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965, prohibits federal contractors from discriminating based on race, religion, gender or nationality in hiring. President George W. Bush had amended Johnson’s order in 2002 to add the exemption for religious groups.

Obama added sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protections, and ordered the Labor Department to carry out the order. Administration officials said that means the change will probably take effect by early next year.

Obama also amended an order signed by President Richard Nixon in 1969 to prevent discrimination against federal workers based on race, religion, gender, nationality, age or disability. President Bill Clinton added sexual orientation, and Obama will include gender identity in a change that will immediately take effect.

Missouri Catholic Diocese Fires Church Worker After Her Same-sex Marriage is Mentioned in Local Paper

Colleen Simon, a Missouri church worker filed a lawsuit against a Catholic diocese in Kansas City this week, claiming she was wrongfully fired from her salaried position as a pastoral associate after her marriage to another woman – Donna Simon, was mentioned in a local newspaper.

The lawsuit, filed in Jackson County Circuit Court in Independence, Missouri, against the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph and embattled church leader Bishop Robert Finn, claims fraud and violation of Missouri law.

Colleen Simon’s same-sex marital status was known and accepted when she was hired to run a food pantry and oversee other social outreach efforts, but was used as a reason to fire her after it was publicised.

“I trusted the diocese on the promise they made to me, and the assurance that they made to me was broken: that my marriage would not affect my employment,” Simon told the Guardian. “I’m deeply saddened that they did not follow through with that and chose to let me go.”

Colleen Simon

Simon, a mother of 2, was legally married in Iowa in May 2012 to a female pastor at a Kansas City Lutheran church. She told diocese officials of her same-sex marriage before they hired her and was assured it was not an issue. However, on May 14 she was fired and was told it was because of a local newspaper article that mentioned both her food pantry work and her same-sex marriage, the lawsuit states.

“The reason for your involuntary separation of employment was based upon on irreconcilable conflict between the laws, discipline, and teaching of the Catholic Church and your relationship – formalized by an act of marriage in Iowa – to a person of the same sex,”

Diocese of Kansas City-St Joseph, letter of dismissal

The actions of both the diocese and Finn are already the subject of scrutiny. Finn was convicted in 2012 of failing to alert authorities to child pornography found on the church computer of a popular priest. Finn was sentenced to two years probation and critics have called for his ouster.

There was no immediate comment on the lawsuit from the diocese or Bishop Finn.

The lawsuit by Simon comes just a few months after Finn and the diocese settled litigation filed by parents of children who were victimized by Father Shawn Ratigan.

Ratigan was sentenced to 50 years in prison last year for taking sexually explicit photos of several young girls.

Looking Back – America’s Biggest LGBT Right Defeats.

In the past couple of years the LGBT community has seen a number of victories in America when it comes to equal rights in employment, marriage and politics. However we should never forget that it took a lot defeats to get to those victories.

We take a look back at America’s biggest gay right defeats.

1950 – The Lavender Scare

The Lavender Scare refers to the persecution of gays and lesbians in 1950s, and in particular the anti-communist campaign – known as McCarthyism. While McCarthyism is very well known, a lesser-known element was the the targeting of gays and lesbians. At this time, homosexuality was regarded as a mental illness, and because of that politicians believed they were easy prey for blackmailers (especially communists blackmailers), thus constituting a security risk. The result – thousands of federal employees lost their jobs.

By 1953 President Dwight Eisenhower formally signed Executive Order 10450 banning homosexuals from working for the federal government or any of its private contractors. The policy wasn’t officially rescinded until 1995 when President Bill Clinton did so with Executive Order, which included an anti-discrimination statement that reads:

“The United States Government does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation in granting access to classified information.”

1952 – APA Lists Homosexuality as a ’Sociopathic Personality Disturbance’ Disorder

Homosexuality was first labelled a mental illness in the 30’s, however in 1952 the American Psychiatric Association officially listed homosexuality as a sociopathic personality disturbance. In a report know as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), it included a category called sexual deviation as a subtype of sociopathic personality disturbance. The second publication of the DSM in 1968 continued to list homosexuality as a disorder and formally gave the “disease” its own code – 302.0. It wasn’t until 1973 that the board of the American Psychiatric Association finally voted to remove homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses.

1977 – Anita Bryant Wages Successful Campaign to Repeal Pro-Gay Rights Ordinance

Anita Bryant – Singer and spokeswoman for Florida’s orange juice industry led a successful crusade called “Save Our Children” repealing gay rights ordinance in Dade County. Bryant faced severe backlash from gay rights supporters across the U.S. and many gay bars boycotted orange juice in their establishments. The ordinance was finally reinstated on December 1, 1998, more than 20 years after the campaign.

1986 – Supreme Court Upholds Sodomy Laws

The Supreme Court decided to uphold the constitutionality of a Georgia sodomy law, which criminalized oral and anal sex in private between consenting adults when applied to homosexuals. It was a huge setback to the gay rights movement. The Supreme Court reversed their decision in 2003 in Lawrence v. Texas, which invalidated a similar Texas sodomy law.

1990 – Court Rules Gays Can be Denied Security Clearance

High Tech Gays, an organization for gays in the high tech industry, challenged the Department of Defense’s long standing policy of not giving security clearances to applicants who were known or thought to be homosexual. The group won in district court, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals later reversed the decision.

1993 – ’Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ Enacted

The “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy was introduced as a compromise by President Bill Clinton, who campaigned in 1992 on the promise to allow all citizens to serve in the military regardless of sexual orientation. DADT prohibited military personnel from harassing or discriminating against gay and lesbian service members as long as they stayed in the closet. The policy turned out to be disaster as more gay and lesbian service men being discharged because of their sexual orientation than before. “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy was ruled unconstitutional in federal court in 2010.

1996 – Defense of Marriage Act Becomes Law

In 1996 both houses of congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act with a veto proof majority, and President Bill Clinton signed it into law. The law barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage and defined marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. It also stated that no state can be forced to recognize a same-sex marriage from another state. The first part of that was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2013 with United States v. Windsor. The second part has since been ruled unconstitutional by several lower courts.

2004 – 13 American States Formally Ban gay marriage

In 2004 the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that the state must recognize same-sex marriage, making it state the first in the nation to do so. However, 13 states formally banned gay marriage including Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Oregon, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Dakota, Ohio, Utah, Oklahoma, and Michigan.

2008 – Prop 8 Bans Same-Sex Marriage in California

In 2008 the California Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality. The anti-gay forces though quickly rallied together, getting enough signatures to put the issue up for a vote later that year. In November that year, the voters approved Proposition 8, making gay marriage illegal. The loss was a massive blow. But when the law was challenged in federal court it was ruled unconstitutional, and set the stage for a potentially historic Supreme Court decision. In the end, the lower court’s decision was upheld on a technicality, making gay marriage in the state once again legal.

Source – Edge San Francisco

Obama Signs Executive Order to Protect LGBTQ Federal Employees

By definition, an executive order is “a rule or order issued by the president to an executive branch of the government and having the force of law”. Rather than our run of the mill laws that stop us from doing things like sticking up an entire supermarket for its ice cream sandwiches or bursting every fire hydrant on the street in the name of ‘Summer hydration’, executive orders simply tell certain parts of the United States government how they’re meant to do their jobs. Last week, that meant that United States President Barack Obama signed an executive order to bar federal contractors (business that have contracts with the United States to complete certain jobs or tasks) from discriminating against their hired workers on the ground of sexual orientation or gender identity. That was a groundbreaking move as it meant that LGBTQ workers would be further protected but with questions being asked about the protections for LGBTQ workers employed directly by the United States government, Obama has swiftly silenced doubters.

How did he do this? With another executive order! Being the President sure has its benefits and now the advantages of this are being extended to LGBTQ federal employees as the second historic executive order signed by the man in charge of the USA sees anti-discrimination protection extended to those too. What the executive order covers is a great deal of things and it means that finally, LGBTQ federal employees (this includes those who are transgender or gender non-conforming if the binary isn’t your thing) cannot be fired, denied promotion, or passed up on being hired based on gender identity or sexual orientation. In short, it means that everyone on the government’s payroll in some way, shape or form can get on with the jobs they intended to do without the laws holding them down!

In a speech that got laughs, smiles and even applause as President Obama detailed all of the positive things that his country had succeeded in passing (removing the Defense of Marriage Act and the same-gender marriage victories were both mentioned), he also explained that a large aspect of his decision to make these executive orders is because Congress, often halted by Republican opposition to more progressive laws, has failed to do so,

“The majority of Fortune 500 companies already have nondiscrimination policies to protect their employees because it’s the right thing to do and because many say it helps to retain and attract the best talent. And I agree. So if Congress won’t act, I will. I have directed my staff to prepare an executive order for my signature that prohibits discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. (Applause.)”

Granted, there’s still a long way to go yet but hopefully with Obama signing incredibly important executive orders left and right, Congress and politicians on a state level will get it together and follow suit too.