73% of lesbian and bi-sexual women are not completely out to colleagues in the workplace – the results of a startling new survey by the organisers of the RBS British LGBT Awards revealed today (Tuesday 13 July 2016).

The survey gathered the experiences of over twelve hundred lesbian and bi-sexual women and was carried out between May and June this year.

The survey, initiated by British LGBT Awards founder Sarah Garrett, came in response to the low number of nominations for gay women ahead of this year’s awards.

The results found that:

73% of lesbian and bi-sexual women are not completely out to colleagues in the workplace

Two-thirds (64%) said they had experienced some form of negative experience (including sexual discrimination, inappropriate language, lack of opportunity or bullying at work)

64% felt it was harder for lesbian and bi-sexual women compared to male counterparts

74% thought bisexual women had more difficult challenges than other areas

85.66% of respondents said it would help if there were more visible lesbian and bi-sexual women in senior roles

The results are being considered by British LGBT Awards organisers who are now set to launch a campaign to increase visibility of lesbian and bi sexual role models.

Commenting of the survey results, Sarah Garrett, said: “This survey was commissioned in response to the very low number of women being nominated for awards ahead of this years British LGBT Awards.

“The results are startling and clearly show that in 2016 lesbian and gay women are still finding it hard to be themselves in the workplace and worse still, those who are out at work have had negative experiences including discrimination, bullying and reduced opportunities to progress compared to male counterparts.

“The findings are worrying and show that a lot of work remains to be done to change attitudes and promote acceptance. The British LGBT Awards will now be campaigning to increase the visibility of lesbian and bisexual women.”

Daisy Reeves, Finance partner at international law firm, Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP and an ambassador, who backed the commissioning of the survey said:

“The results speak for themselves – a significantly higher proportion of gay and bi women feel additional obstacles to being ‘out’ at work compared to their male counterparts. Yet evidence, unsurprisingly, demonstrates that LGBT individuals are far happier and more productive in the workplace when they can be authentic. I am now supporting the campaign to address this through role models who will demonstrate that being an ‘out’ women can be an overwhelming positive experience.”

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