Lesbians frequently hide their sexuality in job interviews by changing the way they dress, a study revealed today.
Many lesbians admitted disguising their sexuality by dressing ‘gender neutral’, and most thought they would never get a job if they dressed how they really wanted.
Researchers Dr Helen Woodruffe-Burton and Dr Sam Bairstow, who conducted the study at Cumbria and Glamorgan University, gave the problem a name – ‘My interview dilemma’.
They claim lesbians are caught between their need to express their identity and the pressing requirement to conform to societal norms.
Dr Woodruffe-Burton told PA: “Many deemed the job interview as being stressful enough without it having to choose whether to disguise their true identity through conforming to acceptable feminine modes of dress or dressing in a way which feels natural to them, thereby allowing them to feel more relaxed and natural but exposing themselves to the possibility of prejudice and even hostility from the word go.
“While we all know that first impressions are hugely important – especially in an interview – experience shows that when that impression goes against the norm it can have strong negative effects,” she added.