Gay women are higher earners – but employers still biased against gay men

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A study by World Bank has revealed that the earnings of gay women are significantly higher than their heterosexual colleagues – but homosexual men earn less.

The New Zealand Herald reported that in the Western world, gay women are paid up to 20% more than their straight colleagues.

However, the study found that gay men earned between five and 12% less in the same countries.

Dr Nick Drydakis, senior lecturer in economics at Anglia Ruskin University and the author of the report, attributed the differences in pay to career and lifestyle choices that gay women are more inclined to make.

These decisions might include opting for longer periods of education, degree choices, working longer hours or choosing male-dominated career paths with higher average salaries. The report found that such choices “differ from those they would have made had they adopted traditional gender-based household specialisation roles”.

The lower income of homosexual men was, according to the report, due to many organisations being “biased against gay men”.

The study stated that “the labour market values gay men's characteristics less than those of heterosexual men, and the difference in earnings is attributable to the failure of gay men to conform to traditional gender roles.”

It was also said that the gap in the earnings of gay men was directly related to “the strength of the firm’s bias against gay men.”

Researchers gathered information from across the globe, finding that male-dominated industries were biased against gay men in the recruitment process, while lesbians were discriminated against by recruiters in female-dominated professions.

In spite of higher earnings, homosexual employees were found to be more likely to experience harassment, unfair treatment at work and lower job satisfaction than heterosexual workers.

Fewer than 20% of countries have legislations in place to prevent workplace discrimination based on sexuality, The New Zealand Herald reported.

However, the study claimed that governments could improve opportunities for gay workers by promoting respect and equality in the workplace as well as publishing annual data on progress towards equality in relation to sexuality. 
 

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