Social experiment film reveals extent of LGBT+ discrimination at work

Social experiment film reveals extent of LGBT+ discrimination at work

A powerful video is highlighting the different experiences of discrimination in the workplace between LGBT+ and their straight colleagues.

The video, released to raise awareness of LGBT+ discrimination, shows people who identify as LGBT+ tearfully open up about being verbally abused and physically threatened at work

'Equal at Work' sees pairs of young people with similar jobs completing a task side by side. They were asked to pick up bricks and put them into a sack if they've been threatened - verbally or physically - or if they've felt the need to 'hide their true selves while at work'.

Those who identified as LGBT+ picked up nearly twice as many bricks than their straight peers.

It should shock people but it most likely comes as no surprise that things are still this bad for people in the LGBT+ community.

At the end of the study the pairs were shown statistics from a new international survey commissioned by Vodafone from Out Now.

The pairs were shown horrifying statistics which revealed that three quarters (76 per cent) of young people have hidden their LGBT+ status at work, with more than half of them fearing they would face some form of discrimination in their job if they were upfront.

In the video, Bethan is seen choking back tears as she learns 37 per cent of young LGBT+ people like her are not out to their direct colleagues.

Bethan comments:

People just wanted to make you feel like you didn't want to be there.

Pete, a young trans gay man left jobs in the past because of discrimination, even going as far as saying he was once too scared to go to work.

Karen, who is a support worker and identifies as bisexual, shared that she had the cup she drank from smashed in front of her by a colleague in response to finding out her sexuality.

The research at this point is shining a bigger light on how garbage most humans can be, but there are ways you can help.

Pete was asked how companies can help make a difference and support LGBT+ community, to which he replied:

Having something that's for you as an LGBT+ person to go to, somewhere you know you are definitely safe in bringing it up.

The insights gleaned from the social experiment and the international survey, along with research conducted amongst Vodafone's LGBT+ employees has informed a new multi-country programme at Vodafone called 'LGBT+ Friends Connect'.

This new initiative is aimed at hiring and supporting LGBT+ people in their first jobs and providing training to managers.

The international survey shows that the overwhelming majority said that clear and visible signs from managers that they are serious about LGBT+ inclusion is key in helping them to feel comfortable at work.

From the same survey 83 per cent of respondents cited the importance of visible LGBT+ leaders and friends, allies and supporters in the workplace.

Read more: 9 LGBT+ people who defined and defied in 2017

Read more: Racism is widespread within the LGBT+ community, Stonewall research reveals

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