A quarter of gay men are not out at work, according to a new survey, while one in five have only revealed their sexuality to close colleagues.

The Gay in the Workplace study of over 4,500 people revealed surprising attitudes at work to the UK’s gay male population, with a further 43 per cent of men saying they had experienced homophobia by colleagues.

Simon Johnson, product manager at Gaydar, which commissioned the survey, comments: ‘With almost half of gay men suffering homophobia from their colleagues it’s understandable but unfortunate that so many are keeping their sexuality a secret at work. Businesses must ensure they have adequate and enforced policies that drive homophobia out of the office.’

Although respondents considered the top three stereotypically gay professions to be hairdressers, cabin crew and dancers, actually less than 1 per cent of those who replied work in these roles – with the real top roles being teachers, professors and lecturers. Others were more diverse in their choice of career, with roles including engineers, analysts, police officers and scientists.

When asked what they had wanted to be as a child when they grew up, 14 per cent revealed that their dream job was to be a teacher, followed by police offer, doctor and pilot.