Gays and les­bians less likely to be called for job in­ter­view

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

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-yearold 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 mem­ber­vol­un­teer in the Cypriot Ho­mo­sex­ual As­so­ci­a­tion.

Dr Dry­dakis’ sur­vey 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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