New research by The Body Shop and Minus18 reveals Aussies surveyed worry about applying for a job due to their gender identity or sexuality
The research has revealed almost half (44 per cent) of the LGBTQIA+ community surveyed in Australia has faced bullying, harassment or discrimination related to their gender identity or sexuality in their workplace or school, to the extent that two-fifths (40 per cent) have felt worried about applying for a job.
The research forms part of The Body Shop’s Out For Love Report, conducted in partnership with LGBQTIA+ youth organisation Minus18, which surveyed almost 4000 members of the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies via The Body Shop stores or social media channels to understand the current experiences of LGBTQIA+ Aussies.
The research also suggests allies are less likely to be aware of discrimination against LGBTQIA+ community members in the workplace. Whilst 87 per cent of allies surveyed say their workplace is or was an inclusive place, just 74 per cent of LGBTQIA+ people surveyed feel the same, indicating there’s still a job to be done.
Similarly, this also extends to schools with a quarter (27 per cent) of LGBTQIA+ Australians surveyed stating their school is or was an inclusive place for LGBTQIA+ people, compared with a third (33 per cent) of allies surveyed. Sex education, in particular, is lacking, with only 7 per cent of LGBTQIA+ members and allies surveyed believing it is inclusive of all identities.
“At The Body Shop we are tired of young LBGTQIA+ voices being silenced and excluded from conversations and decisions that directly impact them. 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” says Shannon Chrisp, APAC brand and activism director at The Body Shop
When it comes to tackling discrimination, Aussies agree it is lacking from those in charge. Only a third (37 per cent) of LGBTQIA+ Australians and allies surveyed believe there are formal channels in place that protect and recognise the rights of LGBTQIA+ members, and only 5% of LGBTQIA+ members surveyed believe leaders are doing enough to support the community.
There are changes that can be made to rectify these, with a third (33 per cent) of LGBTQIA+ members and allies surveyed aged 45-54 wanting the creation of safer spaces for the community, while LGBTQIA+ people surveyed believe schools could be made safer for their community through inclusion training for teachers and staff (93 per cent), teaching LGBTQIA+ topics in class (91%) and policies that explicitly include LGBTQIA+ people (87 per cent).
“LGBTQIA+ communities continue to be scrutinised in public discourse at alarming rates. 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.
“The team at Minus18 posed the challenge to The Body Shop to use their platform to launch a nationwide survey for LGBTQIA+ youth to be heard, and we’re excited to use the findings from the Out For Love Report to inform our future work empowering the next generation of LGBTQIA+ young leaders across Australia,” says Micah Scott, CEO at Minus18.
As part of their ongoing support of the LGBTQIA+ community, The Body Shop has released the Work in Pride charter, a set of principles and initiatives to ensure LGBTQIA+ colleagues and customers are accepted and supported, without exception, to be fully themselves in the workplace. Created in consultation with LGBTQIA+ employees from the TBS Together Network, The Body Shop encourages other businesses to use the charter to inform their own approach toward LGBTQIA+ inclusion within the workplace.
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