A new survey conducted by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) suggests that more than 2/3rd of the LGBT community faced sexual harassment at work. Of the 1151 LGBT people that TUC surveyed, 68% experienced harassment and 42% say their colleagues made unwanted comments about their sex life. While more than 27% said they were victims of unwelcome sexual advances. The government said in a statement that it is soon planning to avoid such instances and also to strengthen the laws on harassment.
This survey was released by the TUC on International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia. This study is believed to be the first major study into LGBT sexual harassment at work in the UK.
Out of the 68% who experienced sexual harassment at work, about 66% did not report their employer due to the fear of being left out by their colleagues. Among this, 68% for LGBT people in the TUC’s survey compares with a figure of 37% for the wider population in a BBC survey conducted in 2017. Furthermore, 53% of women and 20% of men said they had experienced sexual harassment. The harassment included cases of inappropriate comments to actual sexual assaults at work or place of study.
One of the women shared her experience stating she is a psychologist and she regularly experiences harassment at work. She also shared an experience where she was working out at the gym at work, when one of the two male colleagues standing behind her said, ‘She’s such a waste of a woman’, by referring to the fact she was in a relationship with a woman. When she was leaving the gym, one of them said, ‘Is it because you’ve never had a real man?’ He laughed and went off. She has never hit the gym since then.
The TUC survey also suggested that LGBT women were more likely to experience harassment at work than men.