Published: 15 December 2014 at 10:38
Anglia Ruskin academic produces report for World Bank/IZA World of Labor project
A new report published today reveals the inequalities in the labour market faced by gay and lesbian employees worldwide.
Commissioned by the World Bank/IZA World of Labor project, “Sexual orientation and labor market outcomes” is written by Dr Nick Drydakis of Anglia Ruskin University, and investigates workplace discrimination, earnings and job satisfaction.
The report highlights that fewer than 20% of countries have adopted sexual orientation anti-discrimination laws in employment, and 2.7 billion people live in countries where being gay or lesbian is a crime.
It shows that gay and lesbian employees have lower job satisfaction than their heterosexual counterparts and are more likely to be harassed by work colleagues.
Globally, people who are identified as gay or lesbian during the initial stage of the hiring process are discriminated against in favour of heterosexual applicants with comparable skills and experience. This pattern is observed in studies carried out in Austria, Cyprus, Greece, Sweden, the US, and Canada.
The report finds that gays and lesbians who are open about their sexual orientation within the workplace are more likely to report higher job satisfaction than those who are not.
Perhaps surprisingly it shows that, on average, lesbians earn more than heterosexual women in a number of countries. In the UK, lesbians earned 8% more than heterosexual women, with the gap increasing to 11% in Germany and 20% in the US.
However, gay men receive lower earnings than their male heterosexual counterparts in all countries studied. In the UK average earnings are 5% lower, rising to 9% in Germany and 16% lower in the US.
Dr Drydakis, Senior Lecturer in Economics at Anglia Ruskin University, said:
Australia, Canada, the US, and the EU have the strongest protection of sexual-orientation rights, including workplace anti-discrimination laws. Despite this, gays and lesbians still experience more obstacles to getting a job, lower job satisfaction, earning bias (especially gay men), and more bullying and harassment than their heterosexual counterparts.
Dr Drydakis added: