Survey reveals homophobic culture within the construction industry

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1st September 2015 16:31 - Construction

A recent survey has revealed that homophobia is rife within the construction industry, with approximately 80 per cent of gay construction Survey reveals homophobic culture within the construction industryemployees experiencing homophobia at work.

In total, approximately 1,000 people from within the construction industry took part in the survey and answered questions on a range of issues surrounding sexuality at work, such as the visibility of sexual minorities in the workplace, management, and working in countries with poor records on gay rights.

Of the respondents who identified themselves as gay, just 14 per cent said that they would be transparent about their sexuality on-site, with fewer than 50 per cent of all gay employees in the survey saying that they would trust their line managers to deal with issues relating to their sexuality.

An average of 3 in 5 (60 per cent) of the gay respondents said that they did feel comfortable being open about their sexuality with their colleagues, however, this figure varied throughout the industry, with 70 per cent revealing that they’d feel comfortable being open with their sexuality, as opposed to 27 per cent of those in architectural practices.

Of the respondents who said that they would not be happy disclosing their sexuality in the workplace, a few said that doing so may have a negative impact on relationships with colleagues and future career opportunities. A further 1 in 3 believed that their sexuality may create a barrier to career progression.

The findings also revealed that the number of gay people who felt comfortable revealing their sexuality fell to just 27 per cent when at a client meeting or industry event and plummets even further on construction sites.

Of the respondents, 59 per cent said that they would feel more comfortable and happier if they felt that they could be more open about their sexuality at work.

Just 10 per cent of the respondents said that they would recommend the construction industry as a great sector for homosexuals.

The findings from the survey revealed that a quarter of the respondents had been at the receiving end of offensive comments about their sexuality in the last year and more than 60 per cent said that they had heard inappropriate or offensive insults/comments being used in the workplace. More than 50 per cent of the respondents said that they had heard the word ‘gay’ being used as an insult within the workplace.

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