Input from gay and bisexual women is needed for a major study on being a same-sex attracted woman in the workplace.
Professional services network PwC is running the online survey, which is fully anonymous.
“When I thought about it, I couldn’t think of many gay women in business,” said Marks.
“This brief interaction left me wanting to know more, and upon returning to work and talking to others, I realised that the same observations had been made by many people.
“PwC, Pride in Diversity’s Sapphire initiative, and The May Group then developed this research project to explore why this is the case.”
The survey, which is inclusive of trans women and non-binary people, has received almost 1,400 responses already.
The study is set to be the biggest known sample of gay and bi women for any workplace study in Australia.
The researchers are hoping to hear from more young women, regional workers, private sector workers and women who are not fully out at work.
“There are also specific uniquenesses that make it important to address the experience of gay women,” said Marks.
“For example, there are very few gay female role models in workplaces.
“Given the importance of role models we need to tackle this from both sides—understanding how we can encourage more senior women to lean into the opportunity and providing accessibility for more junior women.”
Marks said gay women are 12 per cent less likely to be out at work than men, and less likely to be engaged with LGBTI networks.
“Gay women potentially face a ‘double glazed glass ceiling’ in the corporate world,” she said.
The research aims to improve the workplace experiences of LGBTI women.
“The end goal is to ensure that gay women are given the same opportunities and experiences as any other person within a corporate environment,” said Marks.
“I’m passionate about people being themselves at work, partly because it’s so important for wellbeing, but also because it just makes business sense.
“If businesses aren’t ready to embrace people bringing their whole self to work they’re going to lose out.
“This research is about getting underneath the bonnet of what’s happening today across a range of different industries and sectors to equip businesses with information to help them make the right changes for the future.”
Everyone who completes the survey will be invited to a Sydney launch event—email addresses are optional and will be extracted from the data before analysis, ensuring anonymity.
The survey is open until midnight this Monday January 29.