Tag Archives: workplace

More Than 70% Lesbian And Bisexual Women Feel They Need To Hide Their Sexuality At Work, Research Finds

According to new research, more than two thirds of lesbian and bisexual women have experienced discrimination in the workplace.

Conducted by the British LGBT Awards, the study interviewed 1,200 lesbian and bisexual women in the UK to analyse their experiences at work.

Sadly, 64% said that they had experienced some kind of negative treatment including sexual discrimination, inappropriate language, lack of opportunity, or bullying at work.

73% also said they were not fully out to colleagues, and 86% of those asked said there needed to be more visible lesbian and bisexual women in senior professional roles to help boost visibility and provide role models for other women.

In the past, we’ve been told that a ‘gay pay’ gap may exist in the workplace and lesbian women are meant to earn 9% more than heterosexual women on average.

It is thought this may be due to heterosexual women being more likely to take maternity leave and facing discrimination as a result, which lesbian women are less likely to encounter.

Research on how bisexual women’s pay is affected by their sexuality is inconclusive.

Some studies have suggested bisexual women may be less likely to be employed than lesbian or heterosexual women, however, it is not known if this is due to bisexual women being younger on average and this thereby affects employment rate indirectly.

Sarah Garrett, British LGBT Awards founder, said that the results show that while progress has been made for LGBT equality, work still needs to be made for LGBT women.

The results are startling and clearly show that in 2016 lesbian and gay women are still finding it hard to be themselves in the workplace and worse still, those who are out at work have had negative experiences including discrimination, bullying and reduced opportunities to progress compared to male counterparts.

The findings are worrying and show that a lot of work remains to be done to change attitudes and promote acceptance.”

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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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Analyst Discovers The Real Cost Of Being Lesbian, And Now She Wants A Refund

A data specialist and entrepreneur has calculated the cost of being out in the job market, and the results are sadly disappointing.

Over three years, Vivienne Ming worked out how much harder it is to be a woman, from an ethnic minority or a member of the LGBT community when entering the job market or seeking promotion.

What she discovered was there is a “tax on being different”, and this fee has huge ramifications for the economy.

Speaking at The Economist’s Pride and Prejudice event in London last week, Vivienne said business needs to understand this and how it has to change.

When someone says ‘I had to work twice as hard to get where I am today’, I just had to know what that meant.

Did they literally work twice as hard, was there some tangible cost of being a woman on a board or being hispanic in the California tech industry or to be gay or lesbian?”


Intrigued and with a database of information to hand, Vivienne developed a model that allowed her to analyse performance information of individual workers and compare how likely people of similar skills would get promoted.

This led her to discover the tax on being different, where for instance a lesbian in the tech industry in Hong Kong – to be in with a chance of being just as likely to get promoted as a straight male colleague – would have to pay a ‘tax’ of around $800,000 and $1.5 million.

This tax comes in the form of advanced degrees, a number of extra years in lower positions and missed opportunities to earn.

Talking to the Pink News, Ming explained

In this particular case what we see is that the woman has to have as much as a PhD to be competitive with a man with no degree at all.

If you have to go through lots of extra work, enter the job market 10 years older, just to be equitable – there is a big question of why would you bother?”

When looking at the LGBT community in the UK, she said that even though society had moved forward there was still a divide.

She said:

Why would a gay man growing up in England necessarily put as much effort into his career if he knew he would have a tax of £38,000.

Imagine that 10% of the UK population was born with a £38,000 loan they had to pay. They never got the money in the first place, they just have to pay it back. What a disincentive.”

Vivienne added that what was important to note, was that it wasn’t impossible to achieve (she highlights Apple CEO, Tim Cook as an example), it was just a lot harder.

It’s like everyone can climb Mount Everest, but some people just have to carry 100 pounds of rock on their back for no reason.”

Vivienne explained that although the social justice issues are important, the ‘tax’ was actually damaging the world economy.

There is a case for corporations to care about this. It is because everyone will pay the tax for being different if we’re holding people back.

Estimates that we’ve done have shown that this tax may well cost the world’s economy $4 to 5 trillion a year. That’s enormous and what a profound loss to civilisation.”


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.


Over Half of US LGBTs Scared to Be Out in the Workplace

53% of LGBT Americans have not told their work colleagues about their sexual persuasions, a new Human Rights Commission (HRC) poll has discovered. The revelation has made commentators wonder how liberal-minded the US really is despite the legalisation of same-sex marriage in a number of states.

About 25% of respondents said that they regularly heard casually homophobic comments while at work, such as ‘That’s really gay’. One in five had been so put off by the intolerance of their colleagues that they had been compelled to look for a new job. Over a third said that they had lied about their sexuality in case they attracted criticism or prejudice.

The poll, which was conducted during the early part of this year, questioned 806 LGBT and 879 non-LGBT people across the United States. In 2009, similar research showed that 51% of American gay and lesbian workers were in the closet. It would seem that, if things have changed at all, they have changed for the worse.

The results from the non-LGBT participants weren’t very encouraging either. Less than half of them reported feelings of discomfort when their gay and lesbian colleagues talked about their love lives, even though this is a topic that many straight workers discuss a lot of the time.

On the positive side, 81% didn’t think that LGBTs should have to conceal who they are at work. Furthermore, the HRC report found that many employers had instituted LGBT awareness programmes and offered support to their LGBT employees.

However, the director of HRC’s Workplace Equality initiative, Deena Fidas, doesn’t think this goes far enough: ‘It’s not enough to put in place inclusive policies. [We also need] training and accountability, and must be on the lookout for unconscious bias.’