National / Social Issues

Nearly half of LGBT graduates in Japan report having uncomfortable experiences in job interviews

JIJI

Over 40 percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual students and over 80 percent of transgender students in Japan had uncomfortable experiences during job interviews, a survey by a nonprofit organization showed Wednesday.

“Company officials in charge of personnel affairs should be aware that job-hunting students include a certain percentage of sexual minorities,” said Tokyo-based ReBit.

“Assuming that job-seeking students are not LGBT could lead to harassment,” said Mika Yakushi, head of ReBit, which supports job hunting by sexual minorities.

ReBit conducted the online survey in July-September, targeting people who see themselves as LGBT and hunted for jobs as new graduates in a 10-year period through 2018. It analyzed answers from 241 respondents.

The result showed 42.5 percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual people and 87.4 percent of transgender people answered that they had uncomfortable experiences during job interviews.

Some of them said interviewers’ questions were based on assumptions that applicants are heterosexual, and others said interviewers were negative toward LGBT people. Many applicants were required to state their gender.

According to the survey, 78.0 percent of respondents did not come out as LGBT to companies, with 70.8 percent saying they were afraid of possible discrimination and harassment and 68.9 percent saying they were concerned about a possible negative impact on employers’ decisions.

The survey also showed that 95.9 percent did not consult job assistance service providers about gender issues. Some of them said they had no idea where to receive consultations, while others said they thought such organizations would not provide solutions.

“Universities need to support LGBT students’ job hunting,” Yakushi said.

Major domestic firms started explanatory sessions on March 1 for job-seeking college students expected to graduate in spring 2020.