Study: Gay and lesbian jobseekers are less likely to be successful

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A study has found that jobseekers are less likely to get an interview if their CVs indicate that they are gay.

The study, conducted by researchers at Anglia Ruskin University, analysed the reactions of employers to 11,098 job applications from young people.

The researchers paired up the CVs of 144 equally-matched young people, half of whom indicated that they had experience helping to run their student union’s LGBT society, and half of whom did not indicate their sexuality.

The pairs – who had similar CVs aside from the identification of sexuality – then sent off applications to a list of employers, and the number of invitations to interviews was recorded.

Researcher Dr Nick Drydakis found that both gay men and lesbians are 5% less likely to be offered an interview than a straight applicant with similar experience.

It also found that lesbians were least likely to receive interviews for female-dominated jobs including social care, while gay men were least likely to receive interviews for male-dominated professions like banking and accounting.

Dr Drydakis said: “Because of the limited research carried out so far into the experiences of gays and lesbians in the labour market, the disadvantages and discrimination they experience has gone unnoticed and therefore unchallenged.

“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.

“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.”

The study was carried out with the help of 12 students’ unions at universities across the UK.

The participants were all third-year undergraduates, 21 years old, British nationals and unmarried. They were all predicted to achieve an upper second class degree (2:1).