Could being gay stop employers from hiring you? This study says yes

PinkNews logo on a pink background surrounded by illustrated line drawings of a rainbow, pride flag, unicorn and more.

People applying for jobs are 40% less likely to be offered an interview if they are gay or lesbian, according to research.

The study, conducted by researchers from Anglia Ruskin university, sent nearly 9000 fake job applications to employers across Cyprus.

Two sets of applicants were created with near-identical qualifications, with one set having experience with a gay rights group on their CV, and one set having experience with an unrelated environmental charity.

The research showed that gay male applicants received job interviews 39% less often than straight men, and lesbians received interviews 42.7% less often than straight women.

The pay offered to gay men was also 9.2% lower than straight men, while lesbians were offered 5.8% less pay than heterosexual women.

Anglia Ruskin lecturer Dr Nick Drydakis said: “The hiring process is perhaps the single most important part of the employment relationship, but is the least understood.

“What is clear is that people who face biased treatment in the hiring process must spend more time and resources finding jobs, and at the same time firms are missing out on potential talent as a result of biased hiring.

“The results of this study in Cyprus show that these differences in offer rates and salaries can lead to significant welfare losses for gay and lesbian job seekers.

“To date, Cyprus has not devoted the necessary resources to public education in the area of employment. This is apparent in the public’s general lack of awareness regarding the legal protection against unequal treatment.”

The study’s results mirror findings in the US three years ago, when gay and lesbian people were also found to be at a disadvantage.