About the Project
This project was a mixed method exploratory research that aimed to better understand the workplace experience of Tasmanian LGBTIQ+ employees in a wide cross section of workplaces. It focused on the issues of acceptance, discrimination, support and barriers. The study also sought to identify which workplace practices influence these experiences. Finally, this research examined the degree to which Tasmania’s legal framework enables an inclusive workplace culture, looking in particular at the impact and function of Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Act (1998) and subsequent workplace policies. While the study focussed on the Tasmanian experience, it compared these with respondents across Australia.
The research was conducted by researchers at the University of Tasmania and partially funded by a grant from the Tasmanian Government, Department of Premier and Cabinet. Data was collected from 292 survey responses and ten semi-structured interviews from LGBTIQ+ employees in Tasmania. Survey data from 192 respondents from other states in Australia was collected to enable comparisons to be made, where relevant.
Comparative Results with the Rest of Australia
When Tasmanian respondents are compared to the rest of Australia, the research suggests a two-sided story of the experience of LGBTIQ+ workers. Culturally, there is less explicit support for LGBTIQ+ people in Tasmania, but LGBTIQ+ people in Tasmania are more likely to report equality of opportunity in their careers and working life, compared to those in the rest of Australia.
• Negatively, Tasmanian LGBTIQ+ people report it is harder to find LGBTIQ+
communities, they perceive their managers to be less explicitly supportive of LGBTIQ+ inclusion, and they are less likely to be ‘out’ in the workplace, in comparison to LGBTIQ+ workers in the rest of Australia. This probably reflects Tasmania’s regional status.
• Positively, compared to their counterparts in the rest of Australia, Tasmanian
LGBTIQ+ people are more confident to apply for a broader range of jobs, feel their careers are less limited, and are more likely to report their LGBTIQ+ status does not affect promotion opportunities or the responsibilities they are given. This probably reflects the greater legal protections for LGBTIQ+ workers in Tasmania.