Half of LGBTQ+ employees remain closeted at work. Many fear that they will face discrimination and mistreatment if they come out. From finding inclusive companies, getting comfortable with the interview process, to coming out at work, here is a resource guide to help you navigate the corporate landscape as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
FINDING INCLUSIVE COMPANIES FOR THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY
Finding a job can be stressful and trying to find an LGBTQ+ inclusive workplace on top of that can make things even harder. Here are four things to look for when you are job hunting to determine whether or not a company is LGBTQ+ friendly.
- Look beyond the rainbows. Watch out for rainbow washing. Some companies will put rainbows on their company website once a year during pride month and take it down immediately after without doing any tangible work to support their LGBTQ+ workers or the LBGTQ+ community. If you search for a company and see a picture of employees with a rainbow flag, this may be a good sign but make sure to look deeper.
- Look for an employer’s non-discrimination policy. Check to see if the company’s non-discrimination policy protects employees against discrimination on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity. Here are four steps to help you find this policy.
- Look it up: The first thing that you can do is search online for an employer’s non-discrimination policy. An easy google search is “ [company name] non-discrimination policy”. Pairing “gender identity” or “sexual orientation” in a search with a company name can also bring you to a company’s non-discrimination policies.
- Look at job postings: Employers will often put their non-discrimination policies at the end of job postings. You can look for language like “we are an equal opportunity employer” or “we encourage minorities to apply.”
- Look at company websites:You can also go through an employer’s website. If you are overwhelmed by the amount of content on the website, searching the page for “gender” or “sexual orientation” can bring you to the right section.
- Contact the company:If you are comfortable doing so, you can call or email the company and ask them if they have a non-discrimination policy and where can you find it. You can usually find a company’s phone number or email address on their website under the “contact us” section.
- Find out if the company has LGBTQ+ networks or affinity groups. The presence of these groups indicates that the company is a more inclusive place to work. Being a part of these groups can help you feel more heard and comfortable being your true self at your workplace.
- Look at the company’s benefits. More inclusive companies will usually have health coverage for transgender individuals. It can be very telling of a employer’s attitudes towards LGBTQ+ employees if their health coverage does not include transgender employees. To see if a company has transgender-inclusive healthcare coverage, you can reach out to the HR department at the company and ask what health insurance they provide. If the company does not have an HR department, you can find the company’s general email or phone number on their website under the “contact us” section and ask them. Once you have this information, contact the health insurance provider to find out if they provide coverage to transgender people. You can also look to see if the health insurance policy’s explanatio