To read this content please select one of the options below:

Employer tenure in gays, lesbians and their straight counterparts

Karel Fric (Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Article publication date: 8 February 2021

Issue publication date: 8 June 2021




This article aims to shed more light on seemingly contradicting labour market outcomes of lesbians: they were found to have similar unemployment rates as straight women but their unemployment spells are significantly shorter. No such contradiction is observed for gays who seem to have on average a higher unemployment rate and longer unemployment spells compared to straight men.


The main hypothesis is that lesbian and gay employees spend ceteris paribus shorter time working for a given employer (employer tenure) than comparable straight people. This hypothesis is tested on EU Labour Force Survey data using multi-level regression model.


Consistently with the predictions, lesbians and gays were found to have significantly shorter employer tenure than their straight counterparts. These differences remained significant after controlling for individual, workplace and occupational characteristics. The results suggest that shorter employer tenure of lesbians and (possibly) gays is driven by labour demand factors.


To author's knowledge this is the first large-scale quantitative study that compares the employer tenure between lesbians, gays and comparable heterosexuals. The study provides additional insight into mechanisms that lead to (lack of) differentials in unemployment probability between these groups.



Funding: This article was written under the lead of Prof. Dr. Ferry Koster (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and of Prof. Dr. Romke van der Veen (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and I would like to thank for their advice and support.


Fric, K. (2021), "Employer tenure in gays, lesbians and their straight counterparts", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 40 No. 5, pp. 591-614.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles