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LGBT+ pay gap revealed despite corporate embrace of Pride

Oscar Williams-Grut
Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
A parade goer holds a giant rainbow flag at the annual Pride Parade on Sunday in New York. Photo: Erin Lefevre/NurPhoto via Getty

LGBT+ staff face pay discrimination in the UK, according to a new survey.

LinkedIn and UK Black Pride found that LGBT+ workers in the UK earn on average £6,703 less than straight colleagues.

The shortfall is equivalent to a pay gap of 16% — almost double the UK pay gap between men and women of 9.6%.

“Although we have seen progress in the workplace for LGBT+ people, it is clear that there are still substantial issues which can make it difficult for individuals to thrive professionally as their authentic selves,” Suki Sandhu OBE, CEO and founder of includisivity campaign group INvolve, said in a statement.

“LGBT+ people are at all levels of a business, whether they’re out or not, so it’s crucial to have inclusive environments.”

The research found the pay gap was slightly less for transgender staff but still stood at 14%, or £5,340 on average.

The data was based on a YouGov survey of 4,000 people who identified as being straight, gay, bisexual or other.

The research, released to coincide with Pride month, found that 65% of people believe their workplace is doing enough to support LGBT+ colleagues. However, 44% of transgender staff said that their employers should be doing more to promote inclusive workplaces.

READ MORE: Diversity champion Suki Sandhu on how to build inclusive businesses

The pay discrimination numbers will likely be seized upon by critics who have accused companies of turning Pride into a “branded holiday” at the expense of promoting real progress for LGBT+ people.

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell told Sky News that Pride is being “swallowed up by corporate commercialisation” and an alternative Pride march took place in New York over the weekend to protest “corporations taking over Pride,” one marcher told Reuters.

Corporate sponsors of this year’s London pride parade include Barclays, Facebook, Amazon, PwC, and Tesco.

“While a significant number of UK workers feel that their employer is supportive and inclusive of LGBT+ colleagues, our research shows there is still a long way to go,” Joshua Graff, UK Country Manager at LinkedIn, said in a statement.

“It is important that businesses build on the steps that many have already taken to create more inclusive environments – places where people can bring their true, authentic selves to work.”