AbstractsBusiness Management & Administration

The nature of perceived discriminatory experiences of homosexual individuals at work

by Catherine Lötter

Institution: University of Johannesburg
Year: 2015
Record ID: 1481261
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10210/13749


In line with recent media reports, it is apparent that homosexual individuals are treated unfairly in a variety of contexts. Yet, little is known regarding the discrimination of homosexual employees in the South African workplace. The objective of this study was to examine the nature of discriminatory experiences of South African homosexual employees. In this study a qualitative approach was used with hermeneutic phenomenology as the method of data analysis. Data were collected through the means of semi-structured interviews with ten homosexual employees from various industries within the Gauteng province. The findings suggest that homosexual individuals do experience discrimination at work and that the experiences of discrimination at work are slightly different for gay employees than for lesbian employees. Three themes generated for gay employees (workplace bullying, the use of prejudice and stereotypes, and problems with people management practices, policies and procedures), while four themes were generated for lesbian employees (workplace bullying, the use of prejudice and stereotypes, problems with people management practices, policies and procedures, and sexual harassment). The contributions of the study will be to provide much needed awareness and understanding of workplace discrimination against homosexual employees. It is hoped that the findings of this research will lead to a re-examination of human resource practices and policies regarding diversity training and anti-discrimination.