The study, the first of its kind ever conducted in the UK, found that gay applicants of both sexes are 5 per cent less likely to be offered a job interview than heterosexual applicants with comparable skills and experience.
The firms who offer interviews to gay male candidates pay an average salary of 2 per cent less than those who invite heterosexuals for interview. For lesbian women the average salary is 1.4 per cent less.
Gay men receive the fewest invitations for interviews in traditionally male-dominated occupations like accounting, banking, finance and management jobs, whereas lesbians receive the fewest invitations for interviews in traditionally female-dominated occupations such as social care, social services and charity jobs.
In the accounting, banking, finance and management sector, the study found 74 occasions when only the heterosexual candidate was offered an interview and not the gay male candidate with comparable skills and experience, but no instances of only the gay male candidate being offered an interview.
Similarly, there were 63 examples when only heterosexual women were offered an interview in the social care, social services and charity sector, but no examples of only the lesbian candidate being offered an interview.
The study was carried out with the help of 12 students’ unions at universities across Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Dr Drydakis, Reader in Economics at Anglia Ruskin University who conducted the tests, said: “Despite measures to encourage openness and discourage discrimination, including the introduction of the Equality Act of 2010, it is evident from my research that gays and lesbians are encountering serious misconceptions and barriers in the job market.
“It is also clear that people who face biased treatment in the hiring process must spend more time and resources finding jobs, and firms lose potential talent as a result of biased hiring.”
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