STUDY: Lesbians Earn More Than Straight Employees, Gay Men Lag Behind

working women

Some rather surprising stats were revealed in a study this week out of Ruskin University in Cambridge. Numbers show that, worldwide, lesbians are paid 12 percent more than straight co-workers, while gay men earn 9 percent less than heterosexual males. In the United States, specifically, lesbians get 20 percent more than straight women (go lesbians!) and gay men make 16 percent less than heterosexuals (ouch!).

Dr Nick Drydakis, the economist who carried out the study, has his theories:

‘Gay men often avoid certain male-dominated occupations in favor of female-dominated occupations—less masculine jobs—for which salaries may be lower. The higher salaries among lesbians in some countries may reflect discrimination in favor of masculine traits rather than against them. In addition, lesbians tend to self-select into male-dominated occupations that may offer higher salaries.’

He adds that, “There are no quantitative studies of the relationships among gender identity, personality characteristics and labour market prospects for lesbians. So whether lesbian employees possess characteristics that enhance their attributes for job advancement and earnings is still unknown.”

So there’s a little good and bad news here, Drydakis stresses that the report claims that discrimination against LGBT employees is still rampant in the workplace. Hetereosexual applicants are generally favored above LGBT people with comparable skills and experience. The report also shows that being out and proud plays a big part in your employment experience: “Gay and lesbian people who are open about their sexual orientation within the workplace are more likely to report higher job satisfaction than those who are not.”

Read more about the study and check out some nifty charts here.