A new study has discovered that openly gay job applicants are 40% less likely to be offered a job interview compared to those who do not disclose their sexuality. The jobs they are invited to interview for are also lower paid.
The research, which was carried out in Cyprus and involved making 9,062 job applications, was led by Dr Nick Drydakis of Anglia Ruskin University, and is published in the latest edition of the International Journal of Manpower.
Drydakis submitted four fake job applications, two for each sex, in response to positions that were advertised on six online job sites in Cyprus. The job vacancies covered a range of work environments – offices, industry, cafes, restaurants and shops – and a total of 9,062 applications were sent out.
The covering letters and CVs contained almost identical qualifications and levels of experience, and were for 30-year-old Cypriot nationals, male and female, who were unmarried. The only difference was in the “interests” section, where one fictitious applicant had been a volunteer for an environmental charity while the other had been a member-volunteer in the Cypriot Homosexual Association.
Dr Drydakis’ survey http://www.anglia.ac.uk/ruskin/en/home/news/cv_bias.html found that the probability of gay male applicants receiving an invitation for a job interview was 39% lower than that for heterosexual male applicants. The situation was even more pronounced for the lesbian applicants, who were 42.7% less likely to receive an interview offer compared to heterosexual female applicants.
Lesbian applicants were invited for interviews by companies paying salaries that were 5.8% lower, on average, than those paid by firms that invited the heterosexual female applicants for interviews, and this pay gap increased to 9.2% for gay male applicants compared to heterosexual males.
“The hiring process is perhaps the single most important part of the employment relationship, but is the least understood,” said Dr Drydakis, Senior Lecturer in Economics at Anglia Ruskin.
“What is clear is that people who face biased treatment in the hiring process must spend more time and resources finding jobs, and at the same time firms are missing out on potential talent as a result of biased hiring,” he said.
“The results of this study in Cyprus show that these differences in offer rates and salaries can lead to significant welfare losses for gay and lesbian job seekers.
“To date, Cyprus has not devoted the necessary resources to public education in the area of employment. This is apparent in the public’s general lack of awareness regarding the legal protection against unequal treatment.”
In the UK, the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report called ‘How Fair is Britain?’ suggests that sexual orientation can result in job dismissals, wage discrimination, and the failure to promote gay and lesbians to higher-status jobs.
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