UK: Half of LGBT+ women are outed at work
By Jamie Wareham
Forbes (20.04.2020) – https://bit.ly/2RRI6kO – Half of LGBT+ women are being outed at work, a new survey reveals.
Women are going back in the closet when they get their first job, feeling unable to report issues to HR and struggling in “male-dominated and heteronormative environments.”
Released ahead of Lesbian Visibility Week, the new research by DIVA Magazine and Kantar looked at the experiences of LGBT+ women’s work life, financial stability, well-being, relationships and their overall feelings of safety.
The survey shows that LGBT+ women are fed up of male-dominated LGBT+ spaces and campaigns, feel most safe at home due to the violence and uncertainty they face out in the world and are facing disproportionate problems at work.
Unsurprisingly the women surveyed, who already face a higher number of barriers in the workplace, feel they are a ‘minority within a minority’ because of their queer identity.
Although three in four respondents are open about their sexual orientation to most of their work colleagues, the youngest age group (16-24) are far less likely to be out at work.
Only one in three of those under the age of 24 feel able to be out at work, which Kantar concludes that with LGBT+ people coming out younger than ever, that many are ‘going back into the closet’ when they get their first job.
It’s currently estimated in the graduate LGBT+ community, that six in ten, regardless of their gender identity, go back in the closet when they get their first job.
In a worrying statistic, the most common homophobic experience LGBT+ women face in the workplace is being outed. Half of the respondents saying they have been through this discriminatory ordeal.
The research, which also looked at trans women’s experiences found that one in four transgender people feel that they have faced barriers in their current workplace due to their gender identity.
Research reveals discrimination LGBT+ women face for Lesbian Visibility Week
“The DIVA research highlights the challenges that LGBTQI women face; feeling invisible and unsupported in key areas of their lives,” Linda Riley, Publisher of DIVA magazine, says.
The research is being launched as part of a week of events, extending the Lesbian Visibility Day on 26 April each year, into an extended celebration of queer and trans women’s experiences.
Claire Harvey, MBE, GB Paralympian, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant and DIVA Development Week Lead, believes with the current COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever it is vital that there is a focus on women’s lives:
“We use the word community all too often, but what does it actually mean? For me, it means a sense of belonging, visibility and value.
“LGBTQI women are a diverse, talented and often unheard group – so now, more than ever, it’s important that we build up our community and help those who are most isolated feel connected.”