Pay disparity | Young LGBT+ staff earning less than straight peers

Young LGBT+ staff earning less than straight peers

The average young LGBT+ worker earns significantly less than a straight peer, new data suggests.

Just Like Us, a young persons’ LGBT+ charity, is set to release a report this summer which highlights the pay disparities based on both gender and sexual identity.

The report will shed light on findings such as that straight women are almost twice as likely to have a salary of less than £19,999 (20%), compared to 12% of straight men.

But being LGBT+ worsens the salary gap, the charity has warned. For example, a third of LGBT+ women (31%) earned less than £19,999, compared to 25% of non-binary people and 17% of LGBT+ men. Of all LGBT+ identities, asexual people and lesbians were the most likely to earn less than £19,999 (34% and 33% respectively).

However, LGBT+ young adults are keen to find better support in the workplace. 46% are currently or have previously been part of an LGBT+ network at work, and 42% said they would like a mentor to support them at work.

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65% of LGBT+ young adults said a company’s commitment to Equality, DiverPsity and Inclusion was “very important” to them when applying for a role, compared to 59% of non-LGBT+ young adults. Those most likely to see this as a very important factor were lesbian (72%), non-binary (70%) and transgender (67%) young adults.

The data forms part of a new report by Just Like Us (the LGBT+ young people’s charity) called Positive Futures, due to be published on 1 June. Just Like Us’ research was carried out independently by Cibyl in January 2023.

The report will look at the experiences of LGBT+ young adults in the UK, covering a range of topics from their wellbeing, home life and time in school to their experiences in the world of work, as well as taking into account intersections like faith, race and disability.

Amy Ashenden, interim CEO of Just Like Us, the LGBT+ young people’s charity, said: “It is extremely concerning that LGBT+ young adults face so many challenges in the workplace that, in 2023, a quarter go back into the closet when starting a job.

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“Our research shows young women face a potential gender pay gap very early on in their careers, but LGBT+ women and trans people are hit even harder.

“These high levels of workplace bullying and what appears to be a LGBT+ pay gap among the youngest in our workforces should be a real cause for concern. Workplaces must do more on LGBT+ inclusion, and LGBT+ young people are eager for their support.

“Our research shows that the treatment of LGBT+ people in British society today is preventing young adults from thriving at work. But the research also shows us that there are ways that workplaces can change this – our Ambassador Programme works with businesses to pair LGBT+ young adults with mentors to do exactly that.

“LGBT+ young people deserve to safely be themselves at school, home and work – there must be no exceptions.”

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