The ‘Gay in the Workplace’ study of over 4,500 members of Gaydar.net – one of the world’s most popular gay dating sites, revealed surprising attitudes at work to the UK’s gay male population, with a further 43 per cent of men saying they had experienced homophobia by colleagues.
Simon Johnson, product manager at Gaydar comments: "Coming out isn't something that happens just once – and with almost half of gay men suffering homophobia from their colleagues it's understandable but unfortunate that almost a quarter are keeping their sexuality a secret at work. Businesses must ensure they have adequate and enforced policies that drive homophobia out of the office."
He adds, “We are police officers, teachers, doctors and engineers. And while we like to think gay men are confined to salons, aeroplanes and the stage, in fact gay men are represented broadly in their career choices.”
Respondents considered the top three stereotypically gay professions to be hairdressers (70 per cent), air stewards (67 per cent), and dancers (39 per cent). However, results showed that less than 1 per cent of Gaydar users actually work in these roles.
Education is the most common sector amongst Gaydar respondents, with over 9 per cent working as teachers, professors and lecturers. Others were more diverse in their choice of career, with roles including engineers (1 per cent), analysts (1 per cent) police officers (1 per cent) and scientists (0.2 per cent).
When asked what they had wanted to be as a child when they grew up, 14 per cent revealed that their dream job was to be a teacher followed by police offer (9 per cent), doctor (9 per cent) and pilot (8 per cent).
Despite the average salary in the UK being £26,000, 18 per cent of the respondents revealed that their earnings are £50,000 or more, with 4 per cent in the £100k or above pay bracket. A further 27 per cent are in the £31-49K bracket.
The top gay earners are London based, with almost one in four (23 per cent) earning £50 - £100K a year, and 7 per cent having an annual salary of £100K or above.
London is also the city with the least amount of low paid gay employees - only 7 per cent are earning under £16K while 11 per cent earn between £17 - £24K.This compares favourably to Plymouth which ranked the lowest paid city amongst gay professionals, with 21 per cent earning under £16K and 18 per cent on the £17-24K pay scale.
The highest paying jobs amongst gay men in the UK (i.e. where men are earning an annual salary of £100K or above) are directors (25 per cent), lawyers/solicitors (23 per cent) and consultants (14 per cent), while the lowest paid roles are shop workers (70 per cent), bar staff (62 per cent) and chefs (45 per cent), all earning under £16K.
Salary amongst gay men in the UK:
1) £0-16K – 14%
2) £17-24K – 23%
3) £25-30K – 18%
4) £31-39K – 17%
5) £40-49K – 10%
6) £50-70K – 10%
7) £71-90K – 3%
8) £91-99K – 1%
9) £100K and over – 4%