Transgender people are 29% less likely to be called back for a job interview, discrimination tests carried out on the Ghent labour market show, conducted by the city’s university.
This is the first time discrimination on the basis of gender identity has been tested in Belgium, and the results are “striking,” according to the Institute for the Equality of Women and Men, which was part of the steering committee of the project.
People who indicated in their CV or motivation letter that they identify as transgender were invited for a job interview 29% less often.
“We already knew that trans people often experience discrimination, not only on the labour market, but in all areas of life. This study now puts concrete figures on it,” said Liesbet Stevens, deputy director of the Institute.
The researchers used correspondence tests, meaning pairs of CVs and cover letters were sent in response to the same vacancies. The only difference between the two was that one of them contained a ground for discrimination.
“The results of the tests are alarming, and therefore read as a call to politicians to continue investing in the Institute’s mission,” she said, adding that there is still a lot of work to be done.
Additionally, the study also revealed that age discrimination is more common among women than men, and that for people with a migration background, it is mainly men who are less likely to receive a positive answer.
The study was commissioned by the City of Ghent, and tested if discrimination was happening on the grounds of gender identity, age, origin, health condition and work limitations.
Transgender people who are discriminated against because of their gender identity can contact the Institute for free confidential legal assistance via the free phone number 0800/12 800 or via the website http://igvm-iefh.belgium.be.