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LGBT+ Climate of the Lab

A UK survey has found that nearly a third of researchers in the physical sciences who belong to sexual and gender minorities have considered leaving their jobs because of their workplace climate, Nature News reports.

The survey, conducted by the Institute of Physics, Royal Astronomical Society, and Royal Society of Chemistry, asked 637 researchers working in the physical sciences who largely identified as LGBT+ about their workplace climate and conducted follow-up interviews with a dozen of those researchers. Three-quarters of the respondents said they felt broadly comfortable in their working environment, though about half said their co-workers lacked awareness of LGBT+ issues.

Still, 16 percent of respondents said they experienced and 30 percent said they witnessed exclusionary behavior in the past 12 months, with women being more likely to experience exclusionary behavior than men and with transgender individuals experiencing more exclusionary behavior than cisgender individuals. Additionally, 28 percent of the LGBT+ respondents said they had, at some point, considered leaving their workplace because of its climate and discrimination toward LGBT+ individuals.

It's "all the tiny things that, over time, build up to create a culture that isn't particularly welcoming," Jennifer Dyer, head of diversity at the Institute of Physics, tells Nature News.