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Half of UK workers not out at work
[img2=left]http://www.gayspeak.com/forum/images/news/gayworkers.jpg[/img2]Following CEO of BP Lord Browne’s very public resignation, a new study reveals that nearly half of UK gays and lesbians feel uncomfortable coming out in the workplace, despite legal protections.

The research, published by Out Now Consulting London, also found that one in ten gay men and one in eight lesbians are harassed at work about their sexuality.

48% of gay men and 49% of lesbians say that they feel comfortable being out at work.

Official Whitehall figures say that 6% of the UK adult population is gay or lesbian, which amounts to approximately 3 million people.

"Lord Browne of BP is far from alone. Out Now’s research for Diva and GT shows that there are around 1.5 million other UK workers that are in a similar position," according to Ian Johnson, CEO of Out Now Consulting, a specialist gay marketing consultancy which conducted the research.

"Heterosexual people do not experience the same pressures to conceal such a major aspect of themselves when they are at work."

"Being accepted by government in the UK is a big step forward in terms of Civil Partnerships, but being able to be yourself at work is something all workers in the UK really ought to be able to do," says Johnson.

"In the medium to long term that affects workplace productivity, loyalty and ultimately can result in otherwise well-qualified lesbian and gay staff leaving a job because they can no longer keep up a pretence of being heterosexual," says Johnson.

"Perhaps it may be understandable why many UK lesbians and gay men choose to keep quiet about their sexuality, when we consider what our research showed about

"This is quite alarming," said Kim Watson Deputy Managing Director of MPG, publishers of Diva and Gay Times magazines. "How many heterosexual people in the workplace feel the need to keep the existence of their partner a secret? Practically none."

Johnson said he felt that companies need to do more to improve on these results.

"We recommend UK companies should improve their workplace equality and diversity policies. Training on gay and lesbian issues is also likely to help improve the current situation. This would build improved comfort levels, for all staff, working together, irrespective of sexuality. Often Human Resources managers say ’but we don’t discriminate’ - and that might be true. But the situation on the ground, as revealed by these figures shows half the UK’s gays and lesbians do not feel they can just be themselves at work."
Note: No trees were destroyed in the sending of this contaminant free message. However, I do concede, a significant number of electrons may have been inconvenienced.

Can't say I'm surprised.
In my last job I was out and no one cared about my sexuality.

In the one before that, I'd have been sacked if my boss knew I was gay (prior to the laws)

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