How do gender and sexual orientation impact the labour market? Sean Waite – Department of Sociology

How do gender and sexual orientation impact the labour market? Sean Waite – Department of Sociology


Hi my name is Sean Waite. I’m an Assistant
Professor in the Department of Sociology here at Western University. My research
focuses predominantly on the labour market outcomes and experiences of
Canada’s LGBT community. There is a growing international literature
interested in the economic lives of non-heterosexuals. With few exceptions this
literature generally finds that gay men earn less and lesbians earn more than
their heterosexual counterparts. Other studies have found that bisexuals are
also particularly disadvantaged with bisexual men earning less than gay men
and bisexual women at the very bottom of this wage hierarchy. Other studies have
found significant barriers for transgender individuals in the Canadian
labour market including high levels of self-reported employment discrimination
and harassment. Taken together this literature demonstrates that labour
markets are stratified by both gender and sexual orientation. To study these
issues I use a host of different research methodologies including
large-scale quantitative surveys, semi-structured interviews, and even
experimental research designs. I think it’s an exciting time for researchers
interested in studying these issues particularly because Statistics Canada
is taking steps to include gender identity and sexual orientation on their
population-level surveys. This provides new and exciting data for young scholars
interested in studying the labour market outcomes of the LGBT community.

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