A study shows that gay and lesbian job seekers regularly face discrimination in both private firms and the public sector. The study found that gay applicants of both sexes are 5% less likely to be offered a job interview than heterosexual applicants with comparable skills and experience in England.
The firms that offer interviews to gay male candidates pay an average salary of 2% less than those who invite heterosexuals for interview. For lesbian women, the average salary is 1.4% less.
"Despite measures to encourage openness and discourage discrimination, including the introduction of the Equality Act of 2010, it is evident from my research that gays and lesbians are encountering serious misconceptions and barriers in the job market," said Dr. Nick Drydakis, lead researcher from the Anglia Ruskin University.
Gay men receive the fewest invitations for interviews in traditionally male-dominated occupations (accounting, banking, finance and management jobs). Lesbians receive the fewest invitations for interviews in traditionally female-dominated occupations (social care, social services and charity jobs).
In the accounting, banking, finance and management sector, the study found 74 occasions when only the heterosexual candidate was offered an interview and not the gay male candidate with comparable skills and experience, but no instances of only the gay male candidate being offered an interview.
Similarly, there were 63 examples when only heterosexual women were offered an interview in the social care, social services and charity sector, but no examples of only the lesbian candidate being offered an interview.
The research involved 144 young people, all first-time job seekers, making 11,098 applications.
"It is also clear that people who face biased treatment in the hiring process must spend more time and resources finding jobs, and firms lose potential talent as a result of biased hiring," Drydakis concluded.
The findings were published in the journal Human Relations