Sarah Garrett on in seemingly increasing invisibility of gay and bi women in the UK today…
It has baffled me for over two decades, why are LGBT women just not as visible as the guys? Maybe it’s time to understand why…
I launched g3 magazine in 2001, which was aimed at lesbian and bisexual women. Although the magazine received a great and loyal following, I always wondered why everything from the scene to shopping was mainly aimed at gay men.
Having looked at the gender differences a bit closer, some of it is obvious. Speaking to a Financial Advisor that specialises in working with LGBTs, she admitted that women would rather spend money on their home, car, investments and planning their future, whilst her male clients could easily spend a grand on an evening out. This was probably not the only reason why the lack of visibility, but without generalising too much this is just one example of how we can be very different.
Sarah Garrett, Founder of the British LGBT Awards
Aside from g3, I now run the British LGBT Awards, this year I was again dismayed that from nearly 3,000 nominations only 8% came from LGB women.
There aren’t many stats on how many LGB women there are out there but on Facebook you are able to place adverts on certain demographics such as women who like women, which is probably the best way we have to give us some idea of numbers in the UK, – over two and a half million had ticked that box. So we know you are out there.
Is there a really a double glass ceiling?
Starting with the workplace, we are launching our first survey for lesbian and bisexual women (lbwomen.org), which will focus on if and how we can support LB women more at work and beyond. Is it a case of making our brand more sexy? Are women just not bothered and more keen on nesting with their wives? Or do we need to do something different?
Statistics released last year said that 62% of graduates go back into closet at work. How does this translate for women? Is there really a double glass ceiling? I don’t think it’s just role models we need but also to support millennials better.
We will also be looking at biphobia. According to a YouGov poll in Britain, almost a quarter of the population (23%) do not describe themselves as totally heterosexual. The figure rises to nearly half of 18- to 24-year-olds (49%), however bisexual women still find it hard to come out at work and are the group most likely to receive discrimination at work
Please help us get responses to the Work Survey, and if you are a senior woman at work and want to find out about doing more, please do get in touch.
Please circulate the link and survey to your networks, lesbian and bisexual female colleagues and friends… it’s critical we get feedback to be able to publish findings and evaluate next steps in offering support.
Fill in the 2-minute survey. Visit www.lbwomen.org Closes: 10 June
Survey powered by British LGBT Awards