Is sexuality discrimination rife in the workplace?
While much of the debate over equal pay has focused on the differences between men and women (women are generally paid around 10% less than men), a new report has highlighted a potential link between, not just sex, but sexual orientation and pay too. The research from a World Bank study has indicated that, globally, lesbians earn significantly more than their straight female colleagues, whereas gay men tend to earn less than heterosexual men.
For employers everywhere, this introduces a new layer of complexity to the question of equal pay and avoiding issues of discrimination. The surprising figures show that in the UK, the pay gap between straight and gay women is 8% and this rises significantly in other countries, shooting up to 20% in the USA. Gay men, on the other hand, earn 5% less than their straight colleagues in the UK and in other countries this is much more pronounced , including 9% in Germany and 12% in Canada.
For employers, this necessarily requires a re-examination of the way that gender and sexuality impact on career progression and the potential for discrimination in different workplaces.