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Unfortunately, this is a thing. We have heard about the gender pay gap and I will talk more about that later, but we need to talk about the sexuality pay gap too.
It seems that the workplace (and I use that term purposefully because I am not sure who to blame for this) is paying us differently based on who we are attracted too.
But more interestingly, it is not as clear cut to say that non-heterosexuals are paid less than heterosexuals. Let us take a look at the findings.
Gay men earn less than straight men
First up, the bad news. Gay and bisexual men are paid, on average, 11% less than their straight counterparts. They are also more likely to be working in part-time positions.
Although the situation has improved recently, there is no way of explaining this one other than pure discrimination. In some workforces, gay men earned up to 30% less than heterosexual men.
Lesbian women earn more than straight women
The flip side to this is the “lesbian premium”. This is the name given to the fact that lesbian women actually earn MORE than heterosexual women.
We can reason this one out a bit more. The thinking behind this one is that lesbian women are less likely to drop out of the workforce due to pregnancy, which is unfair because it assumes that lesbian women won’t get pregnant (they can you know) and it penalises straight women based purely of their increased likelihood to take maternity leave.
Same-sex couples compared to different sex
Now we have discussed how sexuality affects earning potential, let us look as how the relationships we are in change our pay. Naturally, as a bisexual, this is an important topic.
Men, regardless of their sexuality, if they are in a relationship with a same-sex partner will earn less than a man in a different-sex relationship. There is even evidence to suggest that the pay gap increases if you are in a relationship.
For women, the gap widens too. If you are in a same-sex relationship then you are likely to earn even more (as opposed to being a lesbian and single) than women in straight-presenting relationships.
Accounting for the gender pay gap
When you compare this to the gender pay gap, you will find that gay men are still out-earning women, even lesbians, because the gap is so pronounced.
Therefore, even though there is a sexuality pay gap, it is far less of a determining factor than your gender.
What about transgender and non-binary individuals?
Although not related to the sexuality pay gap, it feels right to discuss how the gender pay gap affects the transgender community.
One study reported that female-to-male transsexuals saw, on average, a small increase in their wages. Whereas male-to-female transsexuals saw a 30% drop.
There is little evidence about the pay gap surrounding non-binary and gender non-conforming people, but it has been shown that people that fall into this category are more likely to report living below the poverty line.
Work to be done
Clearly, this area needs more research. Furthermore, more employers need to take action to address this inequality in the workforce. How can we encourage them to make these changes?
Disclaimer: Remember the information you read here does not represent advice. Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you. Read the full disclaimer here.