LGBT+ in Britain paid £7,000 less than straight colleagues

Sample group of over 4,000 heterosexual and LGBT+ workers surveyed across Britain

More than a quarter of the LGBT+ respondents said they hid their sexuality or gender identity at work. File photograph: Getty Images

More than a quarter of the LGBT+ respondents said they hid their sexuality or gender identity at work. File photograph: Getty Images

 

LGBT+ people in Britain on average earn almost £7,000 pounds (€7,800) 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 per cent 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 from 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,” said Mr Graff.

Can business do more?

Almost two-thirds of LGBT+ respondents said they had been made to feel uncomfortable due to their sexuality or gender identity, according to the study.

“Business can always do more to promote an inclusive workplace culture – many are doing so – but more need to step up,” said Iain Anderson, executive chairman of communications agency Cicero Group.

Mr 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 per cent for full-time employees, according to the most recent government data, in comparison to the 16 per cent gap suffered by LGBT+ workers.

Many companies have rushed to flag their diversity credentials in recent weeks, as countries worldwide celebrated Pride month with parades, events and marches. – Reuters