A UK report on women in the workplace indicates three quarters of lesbian and bi women not out at work
A recent poll carried out by the British LGBT Awards indicates that three quarters of lesbian and bi women are not out at work.
The poll of over 1,200 women found that “73 per cent were not out to all colleagues and external contacts,” reports the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
The CIPD’s report indicates that women are faced with a “double glass ceiling” in the workplace. The first is the well documented glass ceiling of gender. Based solely on their gender, a survey published by Catalyst lest year showed that women accounted for only 10% of Directors of Irish publicly listed companies.
If gay and bi women overcome this glass ceiling they are, according to CIPD, faced with a second one based on their sexuality. Their report indicates that two thirds of women had a “negative experience” when it came to their sexuality in the workplace.
90 per cent of respondents believe that having lesbian and bisexual women more visible in higher up positions in the workplace would help to tackle the glass ceiling.
Discrimination & Bullying
Sarah Garret, the founder of the Awards ceremony says that “once you’ve battled to overcome [the gender glass ceiling] you are less likely to come out.”
“Worse still, those who are out at work have had negative experiences including discrimination, bullying and reduced opportunities to progress compared to male counterparts.”
Daisy Reeves, the finance partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner’s law firm explains that “evidence, unsurprisingly, demonstrates that LGBT individuals are far happier and more productive in the workplace when they can be authentic.”
Companies are only now beginning to tackle the glass ceiling of gender by focussing efforts on diversity hiring, which can facilitate them being in touch with different customer bases and thus able to deliver a better experience to a more varied market.
What do you think that Irish businesses can do to tackle this double glass ceiling for lesbian and gay women in the workplace?
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