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Heterosexual and LGBTQ+ pay gap higher than UK's gender pay gap

On average, LGBTQ+ employees earn £6,700 less than straight workers.

The wage gap between heterosexual and LGBTQ+ professionals is nearly twice that of the UK’s most notable pay gap, between men and women, according to results from a new survey.

The research conducted by YouGov for LinkedIn and LGBTQ+ organisation UK Black Pride looked at 4,000 UK workers who identified as being heterosexual, gay, bisexual or ‘othe and the results revealed that LGBTQ+ workers earned on average 16% less than straight workers – equivalent to £6,703 annually before tax.

The survey looked at each worker’s income as a whole, including wages, salaries or rent payments received with experts saying the results point to an ongoing lack of inclusion in the workplace.


What else did the survey reveal?

65% believed their workplace was doing enough to support their LGBTQ+ employees while 21% said their employers could do more to support them.

70% of LGBTQ+ staff felt they had no senior LGBTQ+ colleagues to look up to in their organisation, indicating a distinct lack of representation at these levels.

A woman standing in front of a flower wall wearing a white jumper with the words equal on it

This lack of representation, it was suggested, could have an impact on people coming out and being open about their sexuality at work. 26% said they were not out or open about their sexuality in the workplace and of these 28% said it was because they feared being judged by coworkers.

17% said they had not come out at work because there were no openly LGBTQ+ with them at work, while LinkedIn said posts about being out at work had doubled during Pride month which runs from 8th June to 6th July.

In terms of career progression, 14% of LGBTQ+ professionals felt their chances of career progression would be hindered by being open about their sexuality.

And the results showed the harassment and prejudice at work was still prevalent and still an issue. 1 in 5 LGBTQ+ respondents had experienced verbal abuse and 61% had been made to feel uncomfortable by colleagues because of their sexuality.

A blonde man with a beard smiling in his office chair with the words 'be happy' stuck to his forehead

Joshua Graff, UK country manager at LinkedIn, who commissioned the research, said he came out at work later than when he came out to 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 said.

“Pride is a fantastic celebration of how far LGBTQ 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.”


Read more about what your organisation can do to create a diverse and inclusive workplace...

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