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UL student Karen Cusack investigates LGBTQ+ workplace discrimination

LQBTQ+ workplace discrimination is being investigated by UL student Karen Cusack – Pictured above is Limerick Pride 2019.  Picture: Cian Reinhardt

UL student Karen Cusack investigates LGBTQ+ workplace discrimination

By I Love Limerick Correspondent Jade Crowe

Postgraduate student at the University of Limerick, Karen Cusack, has completed a dissertation around the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals in Ireland, both positive and negative.

This very interesting and extensively researched project takes a particular focus on the experience of the LGBTQ+ community within the work environment.

According to Karen’s research piece, LGBTQ+ workers face a significant amount of discrimination due to their sexual orientation or identity within the workplace. Global studies show that a large number of LGBTQ+ workers worldwide reporting such discrimination. This discrimination has even shown to work against members of the LGBTQ+ community regarding job offers or even promotion. Many LQBTQ+ members reported to not be ‘out’ in the workplace to avoid this discrimination. Many LGBTQ+ employees still choose not to be ‘out’ in the workplace as they fear homophobia or being overlooked for promotion.

Shockingly, discrimination within the workplace only seems to increase when it comes to the Transgender community. According to the study, Transgender workers appear to be significantly more vulnerable within their work environments. Astonishingly, there is quite a high rate of unemployment within the transgender community. Not only this, but according to Karen’s study, members of the transgender community oftentimes face negative reactions from other employees. “Transgender workers would appear to be particularly vulnerable to discrimination and there is a consistently high level of unemployment among members of the transgender community.”

Karen welcomes all people to participate in her study saying “I am a researcher from the University of Limerick who wishes to further explore the experiences of LGBTQ+ employees in Ireland, both positive and negative. I am inviting participants to participate in confidential and anonymous interviews exploring experiences within the workplace with a particular focus on experiences of harassment/discrimination and psychological safety as an LGBTQ+ employee within the workplace and wider organisational factors that differentiate between supportive and negative work environments for LGBTQ+ employees. If you are interested in participating in a study on your workplace experiences, please contact me at [email protected] Thank you.”

If you would like to partake in Karen’s study, please do not hesitate to contact her.

Well done to Karen on her very eye-opening and informative dissertation!

For more information on LQBTQ+ in the Irish workplace go HERE 

For more stories on the University of Limerick go HERE 

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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