Male business execs are ‘less likely to hire’ gay employees

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A study has found that female business execs are more likely to hire LGB employees than their male counterparts.

The finding comes from researchers at the School of Business, Management and Economics, University of Sussex.

As part of the study, researchers at the university had participants pick hire from two equally-qualified applicants. One CV identified the applicant as part of the ‘Los Angeles Gay Business Professionals’ group, while the other only identified the ‘Los Angeles Business Professionals’ group.

They found that male bosses were more likely to pick the straight job applicants over equally-qualified gay and lesbian counterparts.

The opposite was true for female executives, who have an apparent unconscious bias in favour of LGB candidates.

However, given men are disproportionately involved in the hiring process, you better hope for a female interviewer when you next apply for a job.

Lead author  Dr Ben Everly wrote: “We find that men perceived gay and lesbian job applicants as less hirable, while women perceived gay and lesbian job applicants as more hirable than heterosexual job applicants. Additionally, we show perceptions of hirability are mediated by perceptions of gay and lesbian job applicants’ competence.

“These results show that bias against gays and lesbians is much more nuanced than previous work suggests.”

The hardest hit by bias were lesbians applying for a job under a male executive., with men “perceived the lesbian applicant as the least competent of all”.

The paper notes that LGB people were likely to benefit as businesses tackle institutional sexism, and as more women take on decision-making roles.

They wrote: “One implication is that placing more women in selection roles within organizations could be a catalyst for the inclusion of gay and lesbian employees. Additionally, these results could influence when and how gays and lesbians disclose their gay identities at work.”

“One explanation is that because women experience discrimination and the glass ceiling in organizations, women may believe that gay and lesbian applicants must be more competent than equally qualified heterosexual applicants in order to advance in their careers and overcome interpersonal and institutional discrimination.

“It is also possible that women view gays and lesbians as more emotionally intelligent due to coping experiences with discrimination and navigating the coming out process.”