Gay and lesbian job seekers less likely to be invited for interview than their heterosexual counterparts - study
Published 08/04/2015 | 12:12
Gay and lesbian job seekers are less likely to be invited for an interview than their heterosexual counterparts, a study has found.
Researchers from Anglia Ruskin University claim the results, which found gay applicants are 5% less likely to be offered a job interview, suggest discrimination is common in both private firms and public sector organisations in the UK.
The study, the first of its kind in the UK, also found firms which offered gay male candidates an interview paid an average salary of 2% less than those who invited heterosexuals. For lesbian women the average salary was 1.4% less.
Dr Nick Drydakis 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."
The study involved 144 first-time job seekers from 12 student unions across the UK who made a total of 11,098 applications.
The participants were all expected to achieve 2:1 degrees. The applications were sent out in pairs with the only marked difference being that one stated that they were a member of their university's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender society.
Gay men receive the fewest invitations for interviews in traditionally male-dominated occupations such as accounting, banking, finance and management jobs.
Lesbians receive the fewest invitations for interviews in traditionally female-dominated occupations including 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.