LGBT+ workers earn less and are still afraid to come out – survey

The income of LGBT+ workers is £6,703 less on average than their straight counterparts, according to new research.

YouGov figures looked at more than 4,000 workers, comparing their income based on what job sector they work in.

A quarter of the LGBT+ workers surveyed said they would not reveal their sexuality at work.

More than a third said they had heard or experienced homophobic comments.

Marketing manager Benn Ethan-Moore didn’t come out at work for fear of “repercussions”.

He told Sky News: “It was really important to keep it quiet because I worried a lot about whether that would hinder my career progression, whether I’d face any discrimination or just general silent prejudice from colleagues.

“Even though I knew I had colleagues who were openly out and fine in the workplace it was something that was still in the back of my mind and really hindered me wanting to come out for fear or any sort of repercussions.”

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He went on: “I felt like I didn’t really fit into a box, and maybe not seeing enough strong representation on TV in film that I thought maybe I won’t fit in… Looking back now it was foolish but at the time obviously you can’t get away from your own thoughts in your head.”

Nearly half of the workers surveyed said they would like to see more done at work to accommodate diversity and inclusion.

Many also said there is a need for more leaders at the top of their field from the LGBT+ community to inspire others.

Joshua Graff is the UK country manager at LinkedIn.

He said: “I definitely heard some homophobic comments in my (previous) office and that decreased my productivity.

“My experience of coming out at work came much later than coming out to close friends and family.

“Concealing such a huge part of your life from colleagues can be extremely stressful and takes up energy that could be spent excelling at your job.”

He added: “Pride is a fantastic celebration of how far LGBT+ rights have progressed, but the stories shared by LinkedIn members and the results of this research shows that we still have a long way to go.”

This year’s Pride festival marks 50 years of gay activism since the Stonewall riots.

But Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, co-founder of Black Pride, says there is still a long way to go for inclusivity.

He told Sky News: “The more we hear from LGBTQ employees, the more we begin to understand that the fight for equality is far from over.

“Whilst it’s brilliant to see research like this highlighting the conversation, it’s vital that there is change in the day-to-day cultures of companies to help LGBTQ employees feel comfortable at work, including those of colour that may also be experiencing discrimination and racism.”

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