How very strange

Indeed, research by Stonewall into discrimination in the workplace found that lesbians often consider their sexuality such a barrier to success at work that they hide it.

For on average lesbians make more money than heteros. The usual assumption about this being that lesbians are less likely to take maternity leave (note please, less likely, IVF and helpful friends mean not never).

Something that is kept hidden is unlikely to have such an effect really….

12 thoughts on “How very strange”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    … unless the effect is caused by actually not taking maternity leave. As opposed to employers guessing at the risk of someone taking maternity leave before they do.

    Then it wouldn’t matter if it was hidden or not.

    Although, come on, how many Lesbians do you know who can successfully hide it?

  2. SMFS,

    Although, come on, how many Lesbians do you know who can successfully hide it?

    Lots of them. Look at Portia De Rossi, Ellen de Generes’ partner.

    Femme lesbians are almost the opposite extreme of the butch lesbian. Huge amount of attention to hair, make up, dress, more so than most straight women.

  3. I’ve often wondered whether all this sexism and racism actually takes place more in the state sector than in the private sector.

    I have heard the odd comment about people, but in terms of careers, no-one cares if you can do the job and when your job depends on productivity, you want the best people. When IBM introduced an equal opportunities policy towards gays in the 70s, it wasn’t because they wanted to be nice, it was because they wanted the best people.

    But in the public sector, people don’t get fired for being useless at their jobs. So, where the private sector weeds out the racists and homophobes (because it’s counter to greed), the public sector doesn’t.

  4. What is an “equal opportunities policy towards gays”?

    It smacks of almost every advertisement for any position in a German university these days. “The University of Niederunterkleinenirgendorf is an equal-opportunities employer. Given equal qualifications, preference will be given to crips, pakis, dykes, niggers, poofs, the gender-reassigned, and women”.

  5. JamesV: What is an “equal opportunities policy towards gays”?

    Well, at its most basic it’s a statement that your sexual orientation isn’t going to be used as a factor in deciding whether to hire you. You’re conflating affirmative action with equal opportunities.

    Incidentally, if two people are equally qualified in every respect except that one increases the diversity of the workplace, what would you do? If you want a concrete example, think about primary school teaching. You’re hiring into a school where there’s 8 female teachers to 2 male teachers. The applicants, Alice and Bob, are both great teachers, identical in every way except their sex. Do you hire Alice or Bob? “Whoever is best for the job” is an invalid answer – they’re both equally good.

  6. So that’s why lesbians have to stay in the closet! It’s so they don’t get hit on by the HR chick.

  7. So Much For Subtlety

    Anon – “Lots of them. Look at Portia De Rossi, Ellen de Generes’ partner.”

    Well I don’t know Ms De Rossi so I can’t really comment. On the other hand, despite all the hair and make-up, the flat refusal to allow men to interview her might be a little bit of a give away. What do you think?

    5Tim Almond – “I have heard the odd comment about people, but in terms of careers, no-one cares if you can do the job and when your job depends on productivity, you want the best people.”

    But that almost certainly applies to racists as well as to Gays. One of the most openly and viciously anti-Semitic people I have ever met worked in the oil industry. He did all the big number crunching to tell them where the oil was. Not a very interesting guy I am afraid. I have no doubt his employers knew it. He did not hide it. But I guess as long as he did his job they did not care.

    In fact I think no one much cares. I also think no one much is racist or homophobic. Except perhaps in a casual way. It is just that certain types of people go to University where they are taught the West is Evil and so they are on constant alert for Signs of the Beast. Those sort of people cluster in the public service.

  8. Matthew L: When you have ever encountered two people who are equally qualified in every relevant respect? (Regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnic group, etc combinations).

    Interestingly, working in the energy industry, if I pay too much attention to hair and makeup I get mistaken for marketing or admin. I’d rather be mistaken for lesbian.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *