A new study has revealed that almost half of LGBTQIA+ Australians say they have faced harassment, bullying or discrimination in the workplace.
The research was released as part of the Out for Love report from the Body Shop, conducted in partnership with youth charity Minus18, to understand the experience of LGBTQIA+ Aussies.
The Out for Love report was based on a survey of 3,876 Aussies who identified as members of the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies.
Findings from the report showed that two-fifths of LGBTQIA+ people surveyed admitted to feeling “worried” about applying for a job due to their gender identity or sexuality.
Around 49 per cent said they experienced mental health issues due to bullying, harassment or discrimination they had received in the workplace due to their gender identity or sexuality.
‘We are tired of young LBGTQIA+ voices being silenced and excluded’
Despite this, almost three-quarters of LGBTQIA+ people say their workplace is or was an inclusive place, which is a sentiment that is shared by 87 per cent of allies.
Shannon Chrisp, APAC brand and activism director at The Body Shop, said the retailer was tired of young LBGTQIA+ voices being “silenced and excluded”.
“Through this report, it is our aim to pass the mic to the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies to tell us about their experiences at school, work, home and in the community, share the issues that matter most to them, and voice the changes they want to see in the world,” said Chrisp.
When it comes to tackling discrimination, Aussies agreed effort was lacking from those in charge – with only one-third of LGBTQIA+ people and allies believing there are formal channels in place that protect and recognise the rights of LGBTQIA+ people.
The majority of respondents suggested there was more to be done from leaders to support the LGBTQIA+ community, particularly in the workplace and schools.
Key findings from the Out for Love report:
40 per cent of LGBTQIA+ Aussies admitted to feeling worried about applying for a job due to their identity
15 per cent of LGBTQIA+ Australians surveyed believe members of the LGBTQIA+ community are accurately represented in Australian society and culture
49 per cent of the LGBTQIA+ community surveyed in Australia say they have experienced mental health issues as a result of any bullying, harassment or discrimination they have received due to their gender identity or sexuality
7 per cent of LGBTQIA+ members and allies surveyed agree that sex education in high school is inclusive of LGBTQIA+ identities
91 per cent of LBGTQIA+ Aussies surveyed believe we should include policies in school that explicitly include LBGTQIA+ people, and 91 per cent believe we should be teaching LGBTQIA+ topics in classes
Report to help empower next generation of LGBTQIA+ Aussies
Minus 18 CEO, Micah Scott, said LGBTQIA+ communities continued to be scrutinised in public discourse and excluded from conversations that directly affected them.
“The Marriage Equality postal vote, Religious Discrimination Bill, and most recently the targeting of transgender students during the federal election are all events affecting young people while excluding them from the conversation,” said Scott.