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Gay men ‘significantly’ less likely to reach top manager positions

Gay men ‘significantly’ less likely to reach top manager positions

Man in suit with rainbow tie

Gay men are ‘significantly’ less likely to reach high-level managerial positions, according to a new study.

The study is a landmark one, analyzing data from almost 650,000 working-age adults in the UK.

It’s the first piece of large-scale evidence on the understudied sexual orientation gap in the workplace.

It found ‘clear evidence that gay men face glass ceilings’ when it comes to reaching top positions.

Man in suit adjusting his tie
Photo: Amtec Staffing / Flickr

While the study found gay men outperform in lower level managerial roles, this trend drops completely the higher they try to climb the career ladder.

The study said: ‘Gay men are significantly less likely than comparable heterosexual men to be in the highest-level managerial positions that come with higher status and pay.’

The reason?

The study states it’s ‘due to discrimination’, as opposed to different skills and characteristics.

It also states this ‘gay glass ceiling’ even further impacts racial minorities.

So how do women fare?

According to the study, the same effect exists for lesbians, but is ‘notably weaker’.

Lesbians also benefit from a ‘significantly higher’ skew towards lower level management positions.

The study states: ‘The results for lesbians are less clear-cut.’

It continued: ‘Bisexual men and women are both significantly less likely than otherwise similar heterosexual adults to have any of the types of workplace authority.’

Woman in suit and pink tie at a Pride event
Photo: Tjook / Flickr

So how can we combat this glaring disparity?

The study said: ‘Bringing more sexual minorities, women and non-whites into managerial posts potentially increases the access for those further down the managerial and supervisory ladder – with similar characteristics – to be promoted.

‘As with representation of women and minority groups on corporate boards, there is the potential to shift to a more representative outcome more broadly within the organization,’ it stated.

It concluded: ‘We find evidence that women and non-white men are disadvantaged in attaining high-level managerial posts.

‘They too face glass ceilings.’

See also:

Female bosses judge LGBTI applicants as ‘more hireable’, study finds

Three-quarters of gay and bisexual women don’t come out at work

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