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New Survey Find Homophobic Discrimination Still Rife in Workplace

Homophobic discrimination within the workplace is still highly prevalent, according to a new survey of professional gay men, published today.

In a survey of 552 gay men undertaken by VILLAGE - The Worldwide Community for Gay Professionals - a shocking 32 per cent of respondents reported that they had encountered discrimination in the workplace.

Three-quarters of those surveyed admitted they were 'out' about their sexuality at work. 41 per cent of those surveyed felt that being out at work engendered greater career satisfaction, whilst almost half felt that being 'out' at work improved relationships with work colleagues.

But a fifth of all respondents felt that their employer could do more to help people feel comfortable in reporting concerns about homophobic discrimination.

One anonymous respondent, who has worked for the Civil Service since the age of 19, said: " I have been asked by colleagues to tell them I was queer, as it would be better for me in the long run. I have had countless innuendos made by male members of staff over the years about my sexuality. Once out at work, I was constantly told what 'my lot' were up to in the news - especially around the times of Pride." Another respondent complained: "One often feels overlooked or conversely, hijacking a conversation if one speaks as freely as others about one's life."

The results of the Village Diversity Survey come as students and graduates from all over the country today (Friday) attend the Diversity Careers Show in London, where up to 100 of the UK's most influential public and private sector recruiters are expected to attend, including Credit Suisse, Tesco and Google.

The event has received Government backing. In a letter to the event organizers, Gordon Brown, Prime Minister, said: "Everyone should have the right to work in their chosen profession without the fear of discrimination or harassment and I am committed to standing at your side until the fight for equality is won. Good luck to all the job seekers at the Diversity Careers Show and my warm best wishes."

Commenting on the survey, Neil Spring, Co-Founder, Village, said: "It is shocking to see discrimination and the fear of discrimination still so prevalent amongst our members... but we would like to congratulate all those companies attending the Diversity Careers Show this year and demonstrating their continued focus on cracking this prejudice that is damaging to both profits and moral principle in British business Despite the downturn, employers are continuing to focus on recruiting and place particular emphasis on diversity."

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