Dr Nick Drydakis of Anglia Ruskin University carried out a research that included 144 first-time job seekers students from 12 randomly selected Universities across the UK making 11,098 applications to 5549 firms.
Results indicated that gay and lesbian applicants were 5 per cent less likely to be offered a job interview than straight applicants with comparable skills and experience.
The study also found that heterosexual applicants were offered prospective annual salaries that were, on average, higher than those that were offered to gay and lesbians job-applicants.
Furthermore, gay men and lesbians also received fewer invitations to interview for positions in which masculine or feminine personality traits were highlighted in job applications and at firms that did not provide written equal opportunity standards, suggesting that the level of discrimination depends partly on the personality traits that employers seek and on organization-level hiring policies.
It thus appears that gender assumptions affect United Kingdom sexual orientation minorities’ labour market prospects.
In the accounting and finance sectors, there were 74 occasions that only heterosexual candidates was offered an interview and not an equivalent gay male candidate.
Conversely there were no instances of only the gay male candidate being offered an interview.
This result implies that gays and lesbians are discriminated against when actual employers make hiring decisions.
Despite the introduction of anti-discrimination labour legislation in the United Kingdom in 2010, the findings show a statistically significant negative effect of gay and lesbian orientation on employment prospects.
The Equality Act of 2010 consolidated anti-discrimination legislation in the United Kingdom into one statute. Under the Equality Act, it is unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of someone’s sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation. This applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, promotion, training, terms and conditions, pay and benefits, and dismissals.
The findings suggest that heteronormative discourse may continue to be reproduced within United Kingdom workplaces, despite the Equality Act, and that this prejudice negatively affects the lived experiences of gay and lesbian job applicants.
The study suggests a bias against lesbian and gay job-seekers by employers and that it negatively affects job-interview invitations and salary.
United Kingdom firms appear to maintain stereotypical notions when gays and lesbians apply for jobs, which is a pattern that international studies over the last 30 years have also identified. Furthermore, the results suggest that gay and lesbian applicants receive fewer invitations for interviews from firms that do not provide written commitments to equal opportunity.