Recent data says one in 50 people in the UK (1.7%) identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual in 2016. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) says that’s a significant increase from their previous figures. We believe that’s actually just a shadow of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community in the UK.
We created VERCIDA to be the service of choice for jobseekers looking to work in diverse environments. And the information we gather from our users suggests a much higher disclosure rate of LGBT status - around 5.34%. As an organisation, that’s great - we’re truly championing a comfortable environment that allows people to bring their whole self to work. On the flip side, it suggests for every person out and self-declaring, there are two that are not.
How big is the UK’s LGBT community?
The LGBT charity Stonewall agrees with us - suggesting the community is actually between 5% and 7%. Others have put it as high as one in 10. The shortfall between the estimate and the statistical data is down to people being reluctant to come out, the rights group says. The problem, they say, is that people can be honest with an anonymous survey but struggle harder to be open with family and colleagues.
That’s because it can be a hostile environment for LGBT employees. Half of trans employees are so worried about workplace discrimination they have hidden the details of their sexuality, said a Stonewall survey earlier this year. More disturbingly, one in eight have been physically attacked by colleagues or customers. That’s a shocking figure. That figure must change.
At VERCIDA, we believe supportive environments are incredibly important to helping people achieve their potential. We assist our users to find people and environments that allow them to be open, honest and successful. Like Stonewall, we think there needs to be better recognition of the discrimination and anti-LGBT abuse that still exists. And better solutions for smashing down and removing those barriers. We’re proud to be using technology to tackle those challenges.
About the survey
The data from the ONS showed more men (2.3%) identified as LGB than women (1.6%), and persons of mixed race or multiple ethnic groups were most likely to identify as LGB (4.3%.) London has the largest LGB community in the UK (at 2.7%). That’s being put down to the city’s young and diverse population. And high social acceptability of sexual identities which mean people are more likely to explore their own sexuality.