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LGB staff twice as likely to be bullied

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Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) employees are more than twice as likely to experience bullying in the workplace than their heterosexual colleagues, a study suggests.

Manchester Business School and Plymouth University interviewed more than 1,200 workers, finding one in ten of those who described themselves as LGB had been discriminated against in the past year, compared to one in 20 heterosexuals.

Manchester Business School professor in organisational behaviour Helge Hoel said the study “establishes beyond doubt that bullying and discrimination is a common experience for many lesbian, gay and bisexual employees, with LGBs being exposed to intrusive and sexualised behaviour far more frequently than their heterosexual colleagues, as well being as being at risk of social exclusion at work.

“The most surprising finding is that so many people, colleagues and managers alike, believe it is up to LGBs themselves to put a stop to such unwanted behaviours and set the necessary boundaries, instead of intervening directly when confronted with examples of behaviours that are socially unacceptable.”

The research was launched at a workshop and panel discussion hosted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.