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UK - LGBT+ workers earn 16% less on average than their heterosexual peers

Reuters London
Updated: 04-07-2019 09:42 IST
UK - LGBT+ workers earn 16% less on average than their heterosexual peers

Image Credit: Flickr

LGBT+ people in Britain on average earn almost 7,000 pounds ($8,800) less than their straight colleagues each year, a shortfall that dwarfs the country's gender pay gap, according to a new workplace study.

According to research by networking site LinkedIn and LGBT+ organisation UK Black Pride, gay, bisexual and transgender employees earn 16% less on average than their heterosexual peers, which equates to £6,703 a year. "LGBT+ people often put huge amounts of time and energy into fitting into their workplaces," said Jon Miller, founder of Open For Business, a group of companies promoting LGBT+ inclusion.

"(The survey results) should be worrying for employers – it shows they aren't getting the most of their LGBT+ employees." The study, released on Tuesday, canvassed more than 4,000 heterosexual and LGBT+ workers across Britain. It did not say if the pay gap sprang from discrimination or other reasons.

More than a quarter of the LGBT+ respondents said they hid their sexuality or gender identity at work, which could be holding them back professionally, said Joshua Graff, who manages LinkedIn in Britain. "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," Graff said in a statement.

Almost two-thirds of LGBT+ respondents said they had been made to feel uncomfortable due to their sexuality or gender identity, the study showed. "Business can always do more to promote an inclusive workplace culture - many are doing so – but more need to step up," Iain Anderson, executive chairman of communications agency Cicero Group, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Anderson said he was unaware that a pay gap between LGBT+ and heterosexual employees even existed, describing it as "shocking". Britain's gender pay gap sits at 8.6% for full-time employees, according to the most recent government data, in comparison to the 16% gap suffered by LGBT+ workers.

Many companies have rushed to flag their diversity credentials in recent weeks, as countries around the world celebrated Pride month with parades, events and marches. However, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, co-founder of UK Black Pride, said companies should bring inclusive practices into the day-to-day running of a business, "and not just during Pride month". "The more we hear from LGBTQ employees, the more we begin to understand that the fight for equality is far from over," she added.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

COUNTRY : United Kingdom