One in 10 UK employees have experienced homophobic bullying at work, according to new research. While over half of all employees believe employers should do more to support LGBT diversity at work, the research shows that not enough is actually being done.
CV-Library surveyed 1,200 UK workers, which revealed that 11.7 per cent have been bullied because of their sexual identity, with a further 15.4 per cent having witnessed a colleague being subject to this kind of prejudice.
Professionals were asked if they were open about their sexuality at work and if they felt comfortable being so. Over a third felt pressure to be open about their sexual orientation when starting a new job. Nearly three quarters of those that identify as LGBT are open about their sexual orientation at work, but one in ten said that their employer doesn’t actively support LGBT diversity in the workplace.
“It’s positive to see that so many professionals feel they can be open with their co-workers and managers in regards to their sexual orientation, but they should only share this information if they feel comfortable doing so,” Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library said. “That said, it’s concerning to learn that so many are being affected by discrimination and bullying because of this and businesses need to ensure they take a zero-tolerance approach to this sort of behaviour, or intimidation of any kind.”
“It has also become apparent that employers need to do more to actively support LGBT diversity in their workplace. Perhaps then we will see the numbers of those being affected by homophobic bullying begin to decrease.”
The survey also showed that 59.1 per cent of respondents said that their employer doesn’t have, or they are not aware of, any anti-discrimination policies in their place of work. 27 per cent said they either wouldn’t, or were unsure if they would, feel confident enough to report homophobic bullying should they witness this taking place at work.
“It’s important that all businesses have anti-discrimination policies in place, and that staff are aware of the consequences should they breach these policies,” Biggins added. “Not only this, but it’s vital that you create a culture where staff feel confident and safe reporting anything they experience themselves, or that they witness, when it comes to discriminatory and unacceptable behaviour at work.”