Gay, lesbian workers in UK face 'gay glass ceiling'
- Gay and lesbian professionals in a U.K. study were less likely to move into supervisory and managerial positions than similarly situated heterosexual employees, and the problem is even more acute for gay and lesbian employees of color according to IZA, an independent research institute.
- The study also found that gay men are more likely to occupy lower-level managerial positions than their heterosexual male counterparts, and that gay men are prevented from breaking through the "gay glass ceiling" due to discrimination, rather than because of a skills deficit or other characteristics. Lesbian women face similar barriers, but to a lesser extent, researchers said.
- IZA said the study is the first of its kind to show evidence that the sexual orientation of people of color is socially stratified and that the problem is worse for people with more than one marginalized identity.
In the U.S., LGBTQ individuals have an unemployment rate that is reportedly more than three times that of the general population (13% versus. 3.8%), and many who are employed report discrimination. According to a CareerBuilder study, 41% of bullied LGBTQ workers said the bullying forced them out of their jobs, suggesting that mistreatment is not limited to a few isolated incidents.
A report from the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy organization, issued earlier in the year showed that 1 in 5 LGBTQ workers don't ask for leave to take care of a loved because they fear disclosure of their sexual orientation or gender identity and possible discrimination. While the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission maintains that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQ workers, federal courts have split over the issue. The U.S. Supreme Court previously declined to address the issue, but now has another chance to do so.
Regardless of the outcome of the Title VII debate, experts recommend that employers refrain from discriminating against LGBTQ employees and prohibit bullying on that basis.
- IZA Institute of Labor Economics Gay Glass Ceilings: Sexual Orientation and Workplace Authority in the UK
- HR Dive LGBTQ workers' unemployment rate may be 3x the national average