In 2013 it was reported that 19 per cent of lesbian, gay and bi employees have experienced verbal bullying from colleagues, customers or service users because of their sexual orientation in the last five years. 13 per cent of lesbian, gay and bi employees would not feel confident reporting homophobic bullying in their workplace and 26 per cent of lesbian, gay and bi workers are not at all open to colleagues about their sexual orientation.
If you’re LGBT and female or black you may experience racism, sexual harassment as well as homophobic and biphobic abuse. Recent TUC research indicates more than half (52%) of women, and nearly two-thirds (63%) of women aged 18-24 years old, said they have experienced sexual harassment at work.
If you’re a trans you may experiences different and greater forms of discrimination. Research shows that 60% of trans people have experienced transphobic discrimination in the workplace either from colleagues or management and 53% have felt the need to hide their trans status from colleagues.
The TUC is launching an online survey today to understand these issues better for all workers – whether you are in a union or not. We want to know the experiences of LGBT people of work: what has worked well, what hasn’t, and if rates of discrimination and harassment have changed. We want to also understand how homophobia, biphobia or transphobia are impacted by issues of race and gender.
We know that experiences of work can vary if you’re a person of colour. It can depend on your position in a company, your work culture, your management, the diversity training in place and how able you are to go to someone for support if things go wrong.
We will use this research to campaign on the very real issues that exist for LGBT people. We will also produce training material for union reps to ensure they can represent all their members. Our guidance will also help employers work towards a more inclusive environment including training, getting the correct policies in place and supporting their lesbian, bisexual and trans staff when things go wrong.
You can fill in the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/LGBTworker