Discrimination is keeping some gay men from reaching high-level managerial positions, a new study has suggested.
The research, which analysed data from almost 650,000 working-age adults in the UK, is the first large-scale evidence of the understudied sexual orientation gap in the workplace.
While the new study found gay men outperform straight men in lower level managerial roles, it found “clear evidence that gay men face glass ceilings” when it comes to reaching top positions, Gay Star News reported.
“Gay men are significantly less likely than comparable heterosexual men to be in the highest-level managerial positions that come with higher status and pay,” the researchers wrote in the discussion paper.
The new study attributed the disparity to discrimination, as opposed to different skills and characteristics, and said racial minorities were impacted even further.
The researchers found the same effect also existed for lesbian women but was “notably weaker”.
“Bisexual men and women are both significantly less likely than otherwise similar heterosexual adults to have any of the types of workplace authority,” the study read.
The researchers added, “Bringing more sexual minorities, women and non-whites into managerial posts potentially increases the access for those further down the managerial and supervisory ladder – with similar characteristics – to be promoted.
“As with representation of women and minority groups on corporate boards, there is the potential to shift to a more representative outcome more broadly within the organization.
“We find evidence that women and non-white men are disadvantaged in attaining high-level managerial posts. They too face glass ceilings.”