Stonewall has collaborated with pollster YouGov to research how LGBT+ employees feel treated in the workplace. The findings paint a harrowing portrait of just how little recent moves towards widening diversity and inclusion have actually gone.
Homophobic Comments and Physical Abuse
A shocking one in five LGBT staff have been the target of negative comments or conduct from work colleagues in the last year because they’re LGBT, according to the report. One in eight trans people have even been physically attacked by customers or colleagues in the last year because of being trans.
‘Increasingly, employers are waking up to the fact that, to succeed, they need their staff to feel confident to be themselves at work,’ said Ruth Hunt, chief executive of Stonewall. ‘From global corporations to local businesses, organisations have demonstrated real commitment to their LGBT staff, consumers and service users. But not every LGBT person feels supported by their employer. In fact many LGBT staff, and trans people in particular, still face anti-LGBT discrimination and even bullying at work. This report, part of Stonewall and YouGov’s state of the nation LGBT in Britain series, highlights just how much more progress needs to be made before every LGBT person in Britain feels accepted for who they are at work.’
The equality gap widens with ethnicity as 10% of BME staff have similarly been physically attacked because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, compared to three per cent of white LGBT staff.
Getting a Job When LGBT+
Almost one in five of the LGBT community who were looking for work said they were discriminated against because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity while trying to get a job in the last year.
One in eight black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT employees (12 per cent) have lost a job in the last year because of being LGBT, compared to four per cent of white LGBT staff.
Almost two in five bi people (38 per cent) aren’t out to anyone at work about their sexual orientation.
More than a third of LGBT staff (35 per cent) have hidden or disguised that they are LGBT at work in the last year because they were afraid of discrimination.
Reporting LGBT+ Discrimination
One in eight lesbian, gay and bi people (12 per cent) wouldn’t feel confident reporting any homophobic or biphobic bullying to their employer.
One in five transgender people (21 per cent) wouldn’t report transphobic bullying in the workplace.
Almost a third of non-binary people (31 per cent) and one in five trans people (18 per cent) don’t feel able to wear work attire representing their gender expression.
And the issues are not just in the office. Stonewall found many job applicants felt discriminated against for their sexuality.
One trans survey respondent aged 24 said the application process goes fine on paper. ‘They read my name and assume I’m cis, but during interviews things clearly change because I’m not cis-passing,’ they said. ‘My legal documents – passport, birth certificate and driving licence – are in my birth name due to not having the money to update them. The attitude of the employer always changes when they realise I’m trans.’