LGBTI+ Social and Economic (in)equalities

Karin Schönpflug, economist at IHS, and a group of international colleagues from 24 countries managed to acquire funding for a three-year research network on LGBTI+ inequalities in Europe. She is vice chair of the action and also a member of the action’s working group on „Employment and Economic Wellbeing“.


The challenge aims to address LGBTI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer) social and economic (in)equalities at times of increased vulnerability for gender and sexual minorities in Europe. The Action will take concrete steps to break scholarly disciplinary silos, work across diverse cultural contexts and engage with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the public at large. The network will also work with government, non-governmental policy organisations, trade unions and businesses.

Despite existing legal protections against discrimination, LGBTI+ individuals continue to face challenges in Europe, particularly in certain EU countries and neighbouring nations. These difficulties extend to research networking since academics often remain hidden. Data remains scarce since gender and sexual identity is not commonly surveyed. The network will bring in potentially less visible researchers from across Europe. New academics and PhD students will be mentored and advised on how to build successful careers in LGBTI+ studies. We will also work to encourage governments to include information on gender and sexual identities in data collection and to consider the specific challenges facing these groups when formulating policy initiatives. Broader networking will include the delivery of online courses, Training schools, Short-term Scientific and Policy Missions, and community engagement.