Air travel and entertainment have the most LGB+ employees

Census data has shown that the professional sectors of air travel, entertainment and theme parks have the highest levels of LGB+ representation in the UK.

Figures from the 2021 England and Wales Census published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that LGB+ people aged 16 and over are most likely to work in one of these three professional sectors.

The census, the first of its kind to ask employees about their sexual orientation, found that at least one in 10 workers in one of these industries reported being gay, lesbian, bisexual or another minority.

Air travel assistant
13.7 percent of air travel assistants identified as LGB+. (Getty Images)

Other popular professions at the top of the list included coffee shop workers (10.8 percent), artists (9.8 percent), bar staff (9.4 percent), writers (8.9 percent) and art producers or directors (9th). .3 percent). ), according to data analysis by the PA news agency.

At the top of the list were air travel assistants, with 13.7 percent identifying as LGB+.

A spokesperson for the International Association of Flight Attendants commented on this finding, saying that the aviation industry allows people to “live and work as their authentic selves.”

They said: “Many people who identify as LGBTQ+ today work as flight attendants to be surrounded and supported by their peers.

“Decades before the law took effect, we worked together to negotiate workplace protections for LGBTQ+ workers and secure domestic partner benefits in contracts. Our solidarity has enabled thousands of flight attendants to live and work like them.”

The occupations with the fewest employees who identify as LGB+ include window cleaners (0.7 percent), bricklayers (0.6 percent), scaffolders (0.6 percent) and farmers (0.6 percent), i.e. less than one in 100.

Coffee shop employee
Coffee shop workers were also among the most likely to identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or another minority sexuality. (Getty Images)

Commenting on the finding, President of the UK National Farmers’ Union, Minette Batters, said the agricultural industry was “an incredibly dynamic sector with people from different backgrounds and experiences”.

She added: “We want everyone to feel welcome and valued. That’s why we have partnered with Agrespect and are committed to challenging prejudice and supporting LGBTQ+ diversity, inclusion and empowerment in rural areas.”

While a small percentage of people across all professions chose not to reveal their sexual orientation, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) noted that these figures were a sign for employers to “act now to champion equality and diversity to improve”. and inclusion in the workplace.”

A lack of LGB+ representation in an industry can have a variety of causes, ranging from cultures of discrimination or social exclusion to barriers to entry or advancement.

CIPD diversity and inclusion policy advisor Jill Miller told the news outlet that her own research had shown that “a significant number of LGB+ employees experience harassment and discrimination in the workplace”.

The group’s 2022 study also found that public or voluntary sector employers were “significantly more likely” than private sector employers to say they had focused on queer diversity and inclusion in the last five years.

“It’s important to attract a more diverse workforce by leveraging a diverse talent pool, but companies need to go further,” Miller said.

“Employers must focus on creating an inclusive culture where there is equal opportunity and equal outcomes for all.”

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