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Top university students believe the UK workplace is homophobic

76% of all respondents in a recent Boutique Marketing study believe homophobia and racism is still rife in the UK workplace.

A staggering 89% of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people would hide their sexual orientation should the matter, hypothetically, be brought up during a job interview, and another overwhelming 84% have asserted they would struggle being ‘out’ at work- at least in their early career.

This may be because 76% of all respondents in a recent Boutique Marketing study believe homophobia and racism is still rife in the UK workplace.

The research, on behalf of the UK’s top equality and inclusion jobs event – the Diversity Careers Show, happening in London on Friday 19 October, at the Grand Connaught Rooms – surveyed more than two hundred students and graduates from all kinds of backgrounds, including sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender and disability with the aforementioned percentages showing only a few of the outcomes from the poll.

According to the research results, the participants (all from the UK’s top 20 Russell Group Universities) have serious concerns about their diversity at interview stage and 63% of people from ethnic backgrounds believe their ethnicity could somehow affect their ability to secure a job.

Another 82% of the respondents with physical disabilities are fearful that their difference would be a barrier throughout the selection and recruitment process in comparison to other candidates.

The survey also reveals that 78%of final year students have strong beliefs that their diversity still is an obstacle to enter the job market, even though companies are promoting equality and inclusion within their organisations. In this respect, 68% of all respondents said organisations need to do more to narrow the equality gap.

As per the results of this Boutique Marketing research, 58% of new graduates from ethnic backgrounds believe there may be issues around fitting in at their potential new job and 68% of LGBT people think that being open about their sexuality might impair their prospects for promotion.

The percentage of poll respondents (new grads) that think their career paths will be more challenging because of their diversity is again quite high at 73%, and 83% of participants believe gender inequality is still rife – 58% of these are male.

For more information on the study visit the Boutique Marketing website.




  1. dearGBF

    19 Oct 2012 at 11:34

    @SoSoGay Were the remaining 24% straight, white men perchance?

  2. ctonry

    19 Oct 2012 at 11:48

    @TransMediaWatch I did prior to full time transition when working as a teacher (was myself at home but still pretending to be a guy at work)

  3. MissCassHoskins

    19 Oct 2012 at 11:48

    @TransMediaWatch I’m out at work and know plenty of transwomen who are. Not sure I’d put my trans status on a job application though

    • jenniferbn2

      19 Oct 2012 at 11:59

      @MissCassHoskins @TransMediaWatch IMHO it does not matter. If you present as a female, or male & have the required skills then that is that

    • annekognito

      19 Oct 2012 at 13:03

      @MissCassHoskins @transmediawatch it’s like dating – I may chose to disclose once we’ve got to know each other :-)

  4. geekylou

    19 Oct 2012 at 11:51

    @TransMediaWatch I never mention it during interviews.

  5. Tabby_MUA

    19 Oct 2012 at 11:52

    @TransMediaWatch Seeing as I’m under threat of redundancy I’ll probably find out the answer soon enough.

  6. geekofhearts

    19 Oct 2012 at 11:56

    @christineburns surely it’s an illegal question?

    • christineburns

      19 Oct 2012 at 11:57

      @geekofhearts It’s not illegal to ask, but stupid … impossible to show that decision to hire was not based on discrimination

    • christineburns

      19 Oct 2012 at 11:58

      @geekofhearts Sorry .. slip of the hand … impossible to show decision NOT to hire was not based on discrimination

      • geekofhearts

        19 Oct 2012 at 12:00

        @christineburns I see, so an open door to a civil action, but not an offence in itself? Technicality- I’d call it “illegal question”.

        • zoeimogen

          19 Oct 2012 at 12:02

          @geekofhearts @christineburns I put that I’m in the LGBT+LibDem exec on my CV. If they’re worried about LGBT, I don’t want to work there.

      • geekofhearts

        19 Oct 2012 at 12:00

        @christineburns (that is, if someone asked me in an interview.)

        • zoeimogen

          19 Oct 2012 at 12:03

          @geekofhearts @christineburns However, I don’t mention that I’m specifically Trans. I wouldn’t volunteer that information.

  7. andreimuri

    19 Oct 2012 at 11:58

    @AAEmmerson in the interviews me too. afterwards I’m not saying anything… but at my previous internships people figured out 😛

    • AAEmmerson

      19 Oct 2012 at 11:59

      @andreimuri if people figure it out .. Fine. But I’m no way giving them the answer.

  8. _odraciR

    19 Oct 2012 at 12:01

    @SoSoGay (There are 24 universities in the Russell Group.)

  9. andreimuri

    19 Oct 2012 at 12:01

    @AAEmmerson after 1 month, got an email from a senior person w/ pic of a gorgeous guy + comment “he used to work here”

    • AAEmmerson

      19 Oct 2012 at 12:06

      @andreimuri eh

      • andreimuri

        19 Oct 2012 at 12:07

        @AAEmmerson I thought it was hilarious :P. got along really well with her.

        • AAEmmerson

          19 Oct 2012 at 12:07

          @andreimuri I think I’d just be a bit offended

        • andreimuri

          19 Oct 2012 at 12:08

          @AAEmmerson why?

        • AAEmmerson

          19 Oct 2012 at 12:09

          @andreimuri maybe it’s just me but I think it’s pretty rude to assume / ask about someone’s sexuality in the workplace

        • andreimuri

          19 Oct 2012 at 12:12

          @AAEmmerson I agree, but this was a different situation. I had basically worked with her everyday for a month, and wasn’t exactly hiding 😉

        • AAEmmerson

          19 Oct 2012 at 12:15

          @andreimuri haha I know – but still!

        • AAEmmerson

          19 Oct 2012 at 12:16

          @andreimuri I dunno guess I’m just touchy about it.

  10. Hurp_durpa

    19 Oct 2012 at 12:29

    @TransMediaWatch yes. Sadly.

  11. B1uEYE

    19 Oct 2012 at 13:22

    .@TransMediaWatch Wouldn’t hide it, but I’m not telling them either. Is gay person applying “hiding it” if they don’t state they’re gay?

  12. Kupyer

    19 Oct 2012 at 13:27

    @TransMediaWatch After my last job, yes. I’ve also been discouraged from applying for a job because I’m trans. Wish it wasn’t so.

  13. NaomiClareNL

    19 Oct 2012 at 14:33

    @TransMediaWatch If being trans it is not required for the job I will not disclose it. Don’t get the opportunity,I have transition from hell

  14. SocialistHealth

    19 Oct 2012 at 14:57

    @SoSoGay They don’t know what it used to be like. Problem hasn’t gone away, but much abated.

    • barobsta

      19 Oct 2012 at 15:02

      @SocialistHealth @sosogay I work in an industry consisting mainly of 30-50yo. It’s not easy. :/

  15. edrhonda

    19 Oct 2012 at 22:00

    @TransMediaWatch NO

  16. twisst48

    20 Oct 2012 at 17:13

    @LawrenceMills Two extremely bright ISS passes tonight! First pass starts at 19:03 in Southwest.

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