February 25, 2021
(updated February 25, 2021)
Published by Dennis Velco
New research (Feb 2021) from the CIPD has confirmed that LGBT+ employees experience higher level of work-based conflict, and almost one in five transgender workers feel psychologically unsafe at work.
The CIPD’s recent report, Inclusion at work: perspectives on LGBT+ working lives confirms that while workplace inclusivity is fundamental to good, fair work and positive employee outcomes, many organisations have been slow to make headway to support their LGBT+ workforces.
Unfortunately, LGBT+ employees are more likely to experience workplace conflict and harassment than their heterosexual, cisgender counterparts. In particular, 40% of LGB+ workers and 55% of transgender workers have experienced workplace conflict in the last 12 months, compared with 29% of heterosexual, cisgender employees. When conflicts occurred, many reported that their issues hadn’t been fully resolved. Close to half (44%) of LGB+ workers who had experienced being undermined or humiliated said this had not been resolved, and almost four in ten said this had only been partly resolved (38%). Close to a quarter (23%) of transgender workers said they had experienced discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Additionally, 16% of LGB+ workers feel psychologically unsafe in the workplace compared with heterosexual workers (10%). For transgender workers, this figure is even higher at 18%.
All of this suggests that employers’ handling of conflict and harassment towards LGBT+ workers must improve. It is further clear that employers need to develop a greater understanding of the specific experiences – and needs – of their LGBT+ workforce.
All of this news is obviously disappointing to hear, and disappointing to hear while we remain in a pandemic, where the majority of workers remain working from home, many of whom feel lonely and isolated – particularly those within the LGBT+ community.
The current status quo therefore must change, not just for the LGBT+ community but for all. There is no more an important time to do this as we seek to recover and thrive after the pandemic. Recommendations for all in this area therefore include the following:
Reviewing and ensuring that anti-discrimination policies and practices are fit for purpose, well understood, and carried out throughout the organisation. These should set clear expectations of what is and is not acceptable behavior, with practical examples, and provide robust guidance to managers on how to report and deal with incidences of conflict. A zero-tolerance approach to discrimination is fundamental for all employers regardless of size. Employers have legal obligations to prevent and address discrimination and should take a zero-tolerance approach to this.
Create visible leadership in this area, supportive and knowledgeable about the difficulties that LGBT+ workers may face at work. Reciprocal mentoring is encouraged, to enable both groups to learn from each other. Gaining true buy-in and support from senior leadership is vital for building more inclusive workplaces.
Provide training to enable the entire workforce to recognize where conflict exists or may exist and the value of equal opportunity, diversity, and inclusion. Understanding people’s differences, why they are important, and why they should be protected is key and will enable the creation of positive and inclusive work relationships.
Encourage the reporting of any and all forms of conflict and ensure that all such matters are properly and seriously investigated.
Offer support through the use of LGBT+, and allyship, networks. These can be used for LGBT+ workers to discuss difficult matters with other like-minded people. Appropriate training is of course necessary here, particularly for signposting purposes as network members should not act as counselors or dispute resolution experts. Such networks also allow LGBT+ workers to collectively raise important issues and suggestions to improve inclusion and diversity within the organization.
Leverage OutBüro’s (www.OutBuro.com) LGBTQ Employer Branding platform to share your organization’s strides and process with current and prospective employees. Utilize its employee reviews to create an open dialog while demonstrating your organization takes their feedback seriously and is striving to be a welcoming workplace where all are respected equally.
Employers are therefore encouraged, off the back of the CIPD’s report, and as prompted by LGBT History Month, to improve their understanding of challenges faced by their LGBT+ workforce, to combat all possible opportunities for conflict or prejudice in this area, and thereafter to celebrate their diverse and inclusive workforces. The fight for LGBT+ rights and equal opportunity is clearly not over yet; we all have an important role to play to ensure that everyone is treated equally and fairly.
September 12, 2020
(updated February 21, 2021)
Published by Dennis Velco
In this episode host, Dennis Velco chats with Fabrice Houdart about LGBTQ equality and corporate responsibility. Fabrice has had a fascinating career championing for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer rights and equality. Currently, he is the Managing Director, Global Equality Initiatives at Out Leadership.
Fabrice Houdart was previously Human Rights Officer at the United Nations in New York, and for the past four years, he worked on Free & Equal, an unprecedented United Nations campaign for LGBTI equality. He co-authored and led the United Nations Global LGBTI standards of conduct for Business, the largest corporate social responsibility initiative on LGBTI issues in the World. To date, more than 270 of the largest companies in the world have expressed support for the initiative. From 2001 – 2016, Fabrice was Senior Country Officer at the World Bank. At the Bank, he authored economic development analyses on Yemen, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Tunisia and provided contributions to the 2012 Gender World Development Report (WDR) and the 2011 Conflict, Security, and Development WDR. He holds a B.A. in economics and management from Dauphine University in Paris and an MBA from American University in DC. Fabrice volunteers on the Board of Outright Action International, Housing Works, the NYC Gay Men’s Chorus, Alturi, the KindRED Pride Foundation, Witness to Mass Incarceration, and the Institute of Current World Affairs (ICWA). In 2019, he received the Golden Gate Business Association Award, the IGLTA Pioneer Award, and the Alan Turing LGTBIQ Award for his work on LGBTI rights. He was ranked 2nd by Yahoo Finance among LGBTI public sector executives globally in their 2019 Outstanding list. He was interviewed by The Economist, quoted in the New York Times, Foreign Policy Magazine, and The Guardian on issues pertaining to the human rights of LGBTIQ people. He lives in New York City with twin sons 6-year old Maxime and Eitan.
39:45 Must be careful to not allow LGBTQ equality to mask other social responsibility issues
42:00 As LGBTQ is our responsibility to leverage our strength to affect positive change supporting everyone and our environment.
Join Martin on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online community network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, a.lies and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com
September 9, 2020
(updated February 21, 2021)
Published by Dennis Velco
In this episode, host Dennis Velco, chats with Dr. Markus Loew about the Queer Staff Network of Berlin. Dr. Loew describes the group as an LGBTQ professional network of networks. It is a coming together of all the LGBTQ employee resource groups (ERGs) from all corporate employers with offices operating in Berlin. They have 3-4 meeting a year in where they discuss issues, strategies, opportunities, collaborate and share to advance lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer equality, workplaces belonging, career advancement, and how to assist their employers to be a better citizen in the LGBTQ community at large. Join the Queer Staff Network of Berlin group on OutBüro: https://www.outburo.com/community/groups/queer-staff-network-berlin/
Currently, Germany has one LGBTQ chamber of commerce located in Köln (Cologne). The Queer Staff Network of Berlin is bridging the lack of a formal LGBTQBerlin Chamber of Commerce to invite local and regional small and medium LGBTQ entrepreneurs to join the group. They are mentoring the business owners on how to do business with the large corporations, what products and services are needed and how the LGBTQ owned businesses can participate in the procurement process and hopefully win the contracts. On the inside, the corporate members of the Queer Staff Network of Berlin are raising awareness of the need and value of supplier diversity. They are internal champions for the small and medium LGBTQ owned businesses. It is a “Hey Dir of Procurement, we use/need X, and here’s an LGBTQ owned business that can supply that for us”. This level of collaboration, commitment, mentorship, and advocacy is a bright shining example of DOING IT RIGHT! APPLAUSE!
Join Markus on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online community network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, allies and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com
January 2, 2020
(updated January 2, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
Traditional in-person career fairs are great but they have limitations. You must leave work for several hours if not take the full day off, fight traffic, or traveling to the location (incurring travel-related expenses), search for parking, navigate your way through the crowd. Wait in line for a chance to speak with employers. In addition, you likely don’t have any idea if the employers are truely committed to LGBTQ corporate equality.
This is the way traditional career fairs have always been.
However, OutBüro launched LGBTQ focused virtual career fairs to bring quality LGBTQ candidates together online (virtually) with employers who actively want to hire LGBTQ employees!! For jobseekers like yourself, virtual career fairs make connecting with LGBTQ friendly employers convenient. Participate even while on your lunch break.
What can you expect at a virtual career fair?
The OutBüro virtual career fairs are just like traditional ones, where LGBTQ friendly employers gather to meet with LGBTQ job seekers and discuss employment opportunities. The only difference here is that it’s held virtually on our interactive mobile-friendly platform.
Virtual career fairs feel similar to online discussion posts. After you log in, you can choose to “enter” various rooms/booths within the virtual career fair. Each room/booth is hosted by different LGBTQ friendly employers participating in the career fair. When you enter a room/booth, the employer receives a notification. You may choose which employer recruiter you would like to chat with
LGBTQ friendly employers recruiters in OutBüro virtual career fairs are very engaging. They’re there because they’re eager to hire quality LGBTQ candidates like you.
Others already in the virtual room may be in the midst of a conversation and you are welcome to chime in. You can also opt to chat privately with an employer, where you may ask about open positions, details about the organization and your qualifications. Employers may even want to video chat with you face to face.
Before the OutBüro virtual career fair
Don’t “walk” into an OutBüro virtual career fair with zero preparation. These are the things you’ll want to do ahead of time to set yourself up for success.
1. Register ahead of time
You’re going to want to register beforehand. Registration for each event opens around 4 weeks prior to the event date. Not only will this prevent any last-minute hiccups before the career fair, but it will allow you to get a look at the employers participating in the fair.
2. Research participating organizations
After registering, take some time to review the organizations attending the career fair especially their OutBüro employer listing. You’ll want to get an idea of some of the companies you’d like to meet with and how publically LGBTQ friendly they are. You also don’t want to walk in unprepared—learn about the companies and think of questions you’ll want to ask.
3. Prepare your resume
This is a no-brainer, yet so important. Because you’re going to provide your resume/CV to employers you meet with, you’re going to want it up-to-date and spotless for the optimal first impression. Be sure to check out resume tips on OutBüro.
The same goes for your LinkedIn account or a portfolio of your work samples. If the platform allows, upload your resume to your account so it is accessible and ready to hand over to any employers you meet with at the career fair.
4. Practice your pitch
How will you introduce yourself? Why are you interested in the company? What types of positions are you seeking? How is your previous work experience relevant? What do you plan on asking the representatives at the virtual career fair? Know that employers in OutBüro virtual career fairs are seeking you. They also are open and ready to answer questions you may have about how LGBTQ friendly they are. Keep it focused yet bring your authentic self to the table.
5. Make sure your tech is ready to go
You’ll want to make sure your laptop, tablet or smartphone is capable of supporting you in the virtual career fair. It is definitely advised to have camera capabilities in case an employer would like to launch a one-to-one video chat.
You should log on at least the day before and check out the employers, their key listed jobs and ensure your device you intend to use during the OutBüro LGBTQ career fair works.
Plan where you will be when you attend. You want to be in a quiet space with no distractions. Wear headphones with a built-in speaker to ensure the recruiters can hear you during video chats.
At the virtual career fair
Once you log in, how can you stand out from the crowd at a virtual career fair? Here are a few pieces of key advice.
6. Wear a professional outfit at least from the waist up
You can expect to interact with employers at an OutBüro virtual career fair through chat functions. However, some employers may wish to video chat with you face to face via the on-to-one. Make the most out of this opportunity to make a connection by looking professional and presentable. Be sure you are wearing professional clothing and that the background in a video chat is simple, professional and positive.
7. Attend from a distraction-free environment
In addition to your professional attire, you will also want to plan out where you’ll be attending the OutBüro virtual career fair from. A quiet location is ideal—and camera capabilities mean that you’ll want to ensure it’s distraction-free for employers.
Even on a small screen, potential employers can still see plenty of background. Make sure the room you’re in is clean, quiet and well lit. Lighting is important. If at home, grab two additional lamps from the living room and set them on both sides of your desk. Take the lamp shades off and have them on during your virtual career fair time. This will help ensure you are well lit looking your best.
8. Be ready to put yourself out there
During OutBüro virtual career fairs, it’s important to exert yourself to make connections. Be assertive. Initiate conversations. Request one-on-one chats with recruiters. DO NOT BE PASSIVE.
Once an employer recruiter engages you in a chat, the ball is in your court to introduce yourself and ask questions about the organization and open positions.
9. Use clear, professional business communication
Being a virtual career fair, much of your communication will be done through written interactions in the chat function of the platform. To make a great first impression, you’ll want to demonstrate articulate written communication.
Grammar matters. Consider using the online grammar checking tool Grammarly.com. Text as if you are having a live in-person interview.
10. Demonstrate strong body language in video chats
Just like in a traditional career fair, you’ll want to present yourself as a confident and competent job seeker. One way that employers pick up on this is through your body language. If you’re on a video chat with a recruiter at the virtual career fair, you’ll want to stay conscious of your body language.
On camera, hold eye contact with the recruiter you’re interacting with. Speak clearly and avoid slouching. Again, treat it like you are in the room with the recruiter – because you are.
11. Ask for next steps and contact information
When talking to recruiters at the career fair, don’t hesitate to be forward and offer to send a copy of your resume. Request his/her direct contact information. You can also ask about the next steps in the process—whether that means getting in touch with human resources, filling out a job application on their site, a next more detailed phone call or an in-person formal interview. Let them know you are interested and want to take it further.
After the virtual career fair
Don’t let your efforts go to waste by neglecting to follow up with the recruiter after the OutBüro virtual career fair.
12. Reach out the next day with a thank you
Because recruiters at career fairs come in contact with many candidates follow up the next day. Whether it’s an email, phone call or a hand-written thank-you note, be sure to reach out to the connections you made at the career fair, thanking them for their time and let expand on how you are a great fit and that you are strongly interested and why. Request a direct connection on LinkedIn and a friend invite on the OutBüro website.
Get excited for the future of career fairs
Employers participate in the OutBüro LGBTQ virtual career fairs because they’re looking for LGBTQ job seekers like yourself. Just because they’re held virtually doesn’t make that any different.
With this advice in mind, navigate the OutBüro virtual career fairs with confidence. We hope you land the job of your dreams.
November 30, 2019
(updated December 6, 2019)
Published by Dennis Velco
Networking with other LGBTQ professionals, entrepreneurs, and recruiters of LGBTQ Workplace Equality employers enables you to advance your career and business. But no one likes a social media site with a bunch of blank profiles. Get the most of your OutBüro LGBTQ professional profile.
As you complete more of your Therefore on www.OutBuro.com profile you unlock the features of this site being able to participate in the activity stream and so much more such as posting articles that will appear on the site blog and participating in online groups. Further, you have the ability to, interact and engage with others, post photos of your work such as if you are an artist your portfolio, post videos, join and participate in group and more. Come help create an LGBT professional and entrepreneurial global community where you belong and your voice matters.
November 27, 2019
(updated December 6, 2019)
Published by Dennis Velco
Many corporations and other employers who focus on LGBTQ Corporate Equality are actively seeking you to join their organization. They are working hard to develop and maintain an LGBTQ friendly workplace that celebrates diversity, inclusion. Many studies have proven that doing so helps the company thrive by increasing productivity, creative problem solving and its financial bottom line.
Add your LGBTQ professional profile on OutBüro (OutBuro.com) and complete it as much as possible to unlock all the online community features. Indicate your if you are passively or actively seeking a new job opportunity, your willingness to trave and your willingness to relocate. It makes it easy for recruiters to find just the candidate they are looking for – YOU.
When logged into your OutBüro account you will see your community navigation area in the right column.
Current Employment Status
1. Choose About to view your professional profile.
2. Scroll down to find the Current Employment Status area and then Click the Edit button.
3. Make the appropriate choices.
4. Click the blue Save button.
5. As with nearly every profile field, you have control over the level of visibility of each. The button label will display the current setting and by clicking it you may make a change if you desire. The choices are:
Public (non-logged-in site visitor may be able to see it although we require persons to be registered and logged in to view all areas of the community features)
Willingness to Relocate
Once on your profile About page via the steps above, scroll to find the Willingness to Relocate section, choose Edit, make your selection and click Save.
Willingness to Travel
Once on your profile About page via the steps above, scroll to find the Willingness to Travel section, choose Edit, make your selection and click Save.
Complete at least 50% of your profile fields to unlock all the site’s community features.
August 3, 2019
(updated September 16, 2019)
Published by Dennis Velco
In today’s marketplace, a company’s or organization’s consumer marketing to the LGBTQ community is tightly commingled with its employer branding. A recent clear example of this the backlash many companies experienced during the Pride month of June in where they altered their company logo to incorporate the rainbow – a symbol of the LGBTQ community.
It was widely reported that of those companies around 40% did not at the time have any formal LGBTQ inclusive policies and/or benefits for their own LGBTQ employees. This is coined as “pink-washing”. The LGBTQ media spread the news like wildfire. It was viewed as pandering and an ill-informed marketing ploy.
[easy-tweet tweet=”LGBTQ consumers represent an estimated $3.7 trillion US dollars globally according to LGBTQ Capital” user=”OutBuro” hashtags=”#LGBTQ Marketing #LGBTQ Branding #LGBTQ Consumer”url=”https://www.OutBuro.com”]
76% of LGBTQ Consumers said they will give companies that support LGBTQ equality more of their business this year. However, it is the responsibility of the companies to make sure the LGBTQ community is aware of their support.
Perhaps for those 40% rainbow touting logo companies, this may have been their first attempts. Companies are made of humans and humans make mistakes. OK. It’s what you learn from it, adapt and grow that matters. For any company /organization attempting to woo the LGBTQ consumers you must also realize they are all employees too, or business owners who still care about the authenticity of the company/organization doing the marketing. Overall the LGBTQ community are a savvy lot with activists and reporters who will leave no stone unturned. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that once a year rolling out a rainbow logo will yield swooning LGBTQ consumers to your products or services. In fact, without a comprehensive LGBTQ workplace corporate equality approach, quite the opposite is a high potential depending on many factors.
Sure, the LGBTQ community is well reported to be a wonderful typically high disposal income target audience. They are also an employee or business owner (that money comes from somewhere) and therefore wants to see not only general company branding messages to make them feel warm and fuzzy over a TV ad with a same-gender couple holding hands, but they also want to know the full reality of that company’s treatment of their LGBTQ employees. After all, why should the LGBTQ community support you if you don’t even support your LGBTQ employees? Pander with pink-washing and you are sure to reap negative attention as witnessed this past Pride season.
[easy-tweet tweet=”(OutBüro) is fascinating and much more aligned with the UN’s Global LGBTI Standards for Business than most indexes! – Fabrice Houbart – Human Rights Officer @UN” user=”OutBuro” hashtags=”#LGBTQ #WorkPlaceEquality #CorporateEquality” url=”https://www.OutBuro.com”]
Want to win LGBTQ Consumers? Start with your LGBTQ employees.
Don’t pay a marketing company one cent to help you reach the LGBTQ community because it will be clear you are blind greedy panderer if you don’t first understand and support your own current and prospective employees. Your own LGBTQ employees know your products and services. They are also part of your target demographic. So doesn’t it make sense to support them with policies, benefits and business practices that demonstrate you value them? Then consider as part your LGBTQ employee resource group ask for LGBTQ customer-facing marketing ideas and feedback from that group of well-informed employees. If you do use an outside marketing consulting firm ensure they have actual experience and staff in the LGBTQ community. Don’t repeat the errors of others assuming a heterosexual male or female knows the LGBTQ community – they don’t no matter how many gay/lesbian friends they have.
Demonstrate that you value your LGBTQ employees and value your current and prospective LGBTQ customer/client by your earnest actions, even if mistakes are made. Learn from them and move forward.
Conduct LGBTQ brand marketing with authenticity
The LGBTQ community would love to see your brand marketing in a percentage appropriate LGBTQ inclusive manner. But prior to launching off into an ill-informed spiral sure to garner negative attention, again focus first on your own house and your own LGBTQ employees first. Do that through a top-level supported LGBTQ diversity and inclusion program that fosters an LGBTQ welcoming environment and reap the financial bottom-line benefits. Achieve it by focusing on your own internal policies, benefits, business practices and build a community involvement strategy from a place of authenticity.
Go ahead. Jump in.
I grew up in Florida with a pool in my back yard. We had lots of trees so the water even in the hot humid heat was always cold. As the youngest of three, I learned the value of the saying “why tip your toe in when you can jump and get it over with”. The slower I entered the cold water the more I pulled back onto the deck, wasted pool-time and physical shivering with purple lips. Then after being pushed in by one of my sisters enough times I realized, yes, jumping in was a shock at first, but I got use to the water temperature faster and so it allowed me more playtime in the pool having fun.
3 Month challenge
I feel that all too often employers take a super painfully slow process in allowing and creating change, no matter how much the benefits are laid out for them. Don’t be that. If you do you are missing out on so much as a company/organization and your employees are missing out on being treated fairly with dignity for who they are and what they can truly offer your company/organization if you allow them to be 100% their authentic self.
If it takes more than 3 months to lunch full workplace LGBQ corporate equality frankly that in and of its self is an issue. As a company, you have to be able to adapt or go out of business. Adding the policies are a few words added to your current policies. Health benefits are a phone call away. The training program can be a phone call away. Your inclusive recruiting can start with an OutBüro Employer listing. All that if you want can be just one week and here I’m challenging you to 3 months. It may not be 100% perfect and fully implemented/rolled out, but it can have the policies and benefit rolled out. Do not procrastinate waiting on what can be accomplished today for other action items you are working on.
If you believe all your employees and customers/client should be treated with dignity, respect, and equality please continue on.
Even if you are based in a state and only operate in states/countries where sexual orientation and gender identity are legally protected, we still recommend having an inclusive nondiscrimination policy, because it clarifies and communicates your commitment to inclusion for all stakeholders, both internal and external. Just like as you’ll read further down, there have been US federal and state laws on sexual harassment for 40+ years and still nearly every company has a clear sexual harassment policy and training. This is no different.
Guides to terminology
A number of LGBTQ organizations offer helpful guides to terms related to sexual orientation and gender identity. Examples include PFLAG’s glossary of terms and “An Ally’s Guide to Terminology” from GLAAD and the Movement Advancement Project.
LGBTQ persons experience workplace stress
LGBTQ employees experience mental stress due to work environments and cultures that are not supportive and welcoming. One recent study places the number at 72%. Due to the hostile and discriminatory history, a recent study found that nearly half LGBTQ workers remain in the closet at work fearing to lose their job, discrimination, harassment and being fired from their job. Couple this with the fact that bisexuals are highly unlikely to reveal their sexual orientation and the number get larger. Further yet another recent study found 29% of Americans under 30 years are considered “heteroflexible” in where for the most part they might lead an otherwise heterosexual life yet open to same-gender encounters “if the mood and opportunity strike”. They do not reveal this part of their life typically in the workplace. There is also the “down-low” culture where particularly men of color (African American and Latino) are pressured to get married and raise children being oppressed and “play on the side” – who they really are. There are work immigrants that come from other geographic regions/countries where being LGBTQ is culturally or religiously governed by laws that oppress them – even with the threat of family abandonment at best and death at worse. They also will marry and have kids and also often if brave enough be on the “down-low”. It is easy for us to say, “Oh that’s morally wrong to marry a woman and have kids if you know you are gay – you are ruining their lives” But that is your lack of empathy into that person’s life assuming they had all the rights and privileges you enjoy. They felt they had no choice. For many lucky ones they flea their countries and leave their family and life friends behind in order to escape having to live a life of lies, self-hatred, environmentally or legally self-denial of being wholely happy.
Taking the numbers and situations into account and the lack of comfort self-identifying as LGBTQ or heteroflexible your actions in creating an LGBTQ friendly work environment and culture has more impact than you may have previously realized.
Transgender people face some of the highest levels of discrimination in the LGBTQ community. In the largest survey of transgender people in the U.S. conducted to date, 27 percent of those in the workforce reported being fired, denied a promotion, or not being hired because of their gender identity and expression.
Understanding deeply engrained prejudices
Your LGBTQ workplace corporate equality initiative has to start with a basic understanding that the company/organization is made up of people – humans. All those humans have a life long history of learned prejudices and beliefs, cultural, religious or agnostic, that affects their conscious and unconscious behavior. Simply observing children from infant to toddler and it is clear that we as humans are not born with these prejudices. They are learned from our environment – parents, relatives (those whom at a young age we must trust), learned religious views and in some areas laws based on religious dogma. All of which are repeatedly reinforced programming their brains deeply creating and reinforcing their own sense of self-identity early in childhood and adolescence. Sure some have a huge change/growth breaking free of most, yet a degree of that deeply-rooted programming can remain and influence consciously or subconsciously the thought, actions, and behaviors.
Creating policies is you requiring every employee to check their own “learned baggage” at the door. Coupled with other actions to foster an environment where all can thrive. Policies set the intent (and legal protection) of the employer along with the attempts to deeply understand through employee training, with an open and welcoming culture and environment approach is key.
Human Resource staff are also humans with learned prejudices
A recent study by the University of Surrey found that person in the hiring process – Human Resource personnel and departmental hiring authorities highly discriminate merely on the perception of a person being LGBTQ based on a headshot photo with the backgrounds removed and a second study took this further to include a voice sampling. The subjects had resumes/CVs and although the resumes/CV clearly had the qualifications, the perception of being LGBTQ whether true or actually heterosexual, the mere perception on those limit physical attributes would mean the job candidate was rejected at a much higher rate and if offered a position would be offered less money than someone who was perceived as heterosexual.
So, it starts with your Human Resources candidate screening and interviewing process. After all, those HR staffs are humans too with that life long learned prejudices as well. How do you help prevent one person’s, even HR staff, prejudices from undermining your ability to attract and retain great LGBTQ talent? Simple, require a diverse multi-person review committee during the full process from resume review through hiring and on-boarding.
Are laws and policies enough?
The simple and short answer is NO. But why?
I’m going to answer that question with one example – sexual harassment. I have been using that as a prime example for around a year now since launching OutBüro because sexual harassment has been a federal and state crime since the last 1970’s (note that’s 4 decades ago). Since then most companies over 50 employees also have sexual harassment policies coupled with typically annual required training and electronic or hand-signed employe acknowledgment documents to cover the company/organization should any employee step out of line and is a perpetrator of sexual harassment in the workplace. However, turn on the news and almost weekly in just the United States alone you will see high profile cases of alleged sexual harassment from sports figures, movie/TV stars, Supreme Court Justice nominees and even the current US President. Think about all the sexual harassment cases that don’t make national news. A recent NPR study found that in the United State alone 81% of women and 43% of men have been sexually harassed. The report did not include “where” the reported sexual harassment took place but it is still a pertinent analogy since most the perpetrators likely had the mentioned annual training at their place of work and generally, therefore, should know it is illegal and not acceptable anywhere.
[easy-tweet tweet=”81% of women in the United States experienced workplace sexual harassment.” user=”OutBuro” hashtags=”#LGBTQ #WorkPlaceEquality #CorporateEquality” url=”https://www.OutBuro.com”]
Therefore by the laws, training, and policies on sexual harassment, it is clear that laws and policies alone are not enough on their own when it comes to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for your LGBTQ employees whose co-workers have life long deeply engrained learned prejudices. But they are an obvious need to instill the best intentions of the employer as well as legally protect it from the actions of employees.
[easy-tweet tweet=”43% of men had experienced some form of workplace sexual harassment during their lifetime. ” user=”OutBuro” hashtags=”#LGBTQ #WorkPlaceEquality #CorporateEquality” url=”https://www.OutBuro.com”]
Diversity and Inclusion Director
If you don’t have a dedicated Diversity and Inclusion director on your team and company/organization is over 1000 employees we recommend adding a D&I professional.
LGBTQ workplace/corporate equality
Sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination policy
Having a policy prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression demonstrates your company/organization’s commitment to fairness and equal opportunity. Communicating your values to your shareholders, partners, the LGBTQ community, allies, current, and potential employees that the company/organization’s commitment to be inclusive and welcoming is clear internally and externally. It is crucial in LGBTQ active recruiting and LGBTQ employee retention.
Here’s an example but naturally review and edit to your company/organization requirements:
“The [Company/Organization Name] is committed to diversity and to equal opportunity employment. [Institution Name] does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, height, weight, physical or mental ability (including HIV status), veteran status, military obligations, or marital status. This policy applies to hiring, internal promotions, training, opportunities for advancement, and terminations and applies to all [Institution Name] employees, volunteers, members, clients, and contractors.”
What to avoid
Seek advice from your legal counsel, however, we recommend that your policy does not make reference to federal or state law. Many well-intentioned nondiscrimination policies are undermined by including language such as “in accordance with state and federal law,” “to the extent prohibited by law,” or “we prohibit unlawful discrimination.” This type of reliance on laws makes your policy weaker since discrimination against LGBTQ people still is not explicitly illegal in many states, regions, and countries.
Domestic partner benefits
The term “domestic partner benefits” refers to employee benefit plans that offer to non-married couples the same or similar benefits as those provided to married couples. Some argue here in the United States that since it’s legal to marry only legally married couples should be covered. Well, my response is we as a community have had a lifetime of discrimination and oppression and use to living our lives as we choose. Legal marriage is a right, not a requirement and just because some fought hard for that equality right and choose to legally marry does not mean that now 100% of same-gender couples are going to change who society has forced them to learn to be. I personally find the “if you aren’t married then no domestic partner benefits” excuse to further discriminate. Most may have never considered the heterosexual construct of married and are fine living without the legal and tax privilege that legal marriage offers – they are comfortable being who they’ve been in the committed relationship they have and their relationship should be honored with domestic partner benefits as equally applied to all employees.
Transgender inclusive benefits
In order to truly be an equal opportunity employer, you should have at least one transgender-inclusive health insurance plan in your employee benefits package. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare, protects transgender individuals from discrimination by insurance companies — assuming the insurance company receives federal aid which most do. The cost according to studies is minimum in compared to the cost of your full employee base covered under insurance. Google it, lots of info to educate yourself on this topic.
LGBTQ employee resource group
This isn’t just about touting your LGBTQ employees in Pride parades, it can be a meaningful way for LGBTQ employees and allies to connect and foster an inclusive and welcoming work culture. ERGs help employees come together, support each other, collectively raise issues and opportunities to management, and create a community within your company/organization with a feeling of belonging.
When you have employees self identify as LGBTQ during the hiring onboarding process be sure to make them aware of the ERG and let the ERG leadership aware of the new employee that both parties may reach out to one another.
Have clear requirements for ERGs such as a budget, mission, and goals. The goals should outline the ERG’s planned activities, initiatives, and campaigns along with a proposed budget. Ideally, the ERG will have an executive sponsor whether they are themselves LGBTQ or a community ally to can help navigate the company/organization politics and keep upper management informed of the actions and progress. Plan on advertising the new or reinvigoration of the ERG through all internal company/organization’s employee-wide communication channels. Place posters in common area and invite individuals. In your goals, plan to have regular meetings, in-person where you can and be sure to include remote workers through videocasts. Depending on the size, geographic spread, and budget you may also consider an annual ERG meeting bringing all participants together for networking and career development activities. Local chapters may also plan and budget for participating in local Pride parades – it is a create camaraderie building and employer branding activity. The company may even consider sponsoring a booth for consumer and employer marketing. If the company has paid volunteer time, the ERG may also consider volunteering at local charities wearing company branded clothing.
I can tell you in managing LinkedIn’s largest LGBTQ group for 11 years now and in my initial researching the potential of OutBüro I personally found it very difficult to find most company’s LGBTQ content – even those that have been rated 100% on the HRC Corporate Equality Index for several years.
If you take the advice here and from others and create an LGBTQ ERG (events, participate in Pride and more), do LGBTQ active recruiting (LGBTQ career fairs, including LGBTQ employee video testimonials, etc.), and have LGBTQ inclusive customer-facing marketing it should be easy to find. But it’s not. Some of those same companies don’t even have much if anything on their own company website for customers and prospective employees to access. Thus one of the primaries focuses fo OutBüro is employer branding as a platform for you to consolidate and show off all that you do in an easy to find, manage and promote in one location coupled with your LGBTQ employee ratings/review with timely and continuous feedback to help you get better and better because you want to be an awesome employer.
Support the same policies, benefits in all regions you operate
If your company/organization operates locally or regionally this is pretty easy. If you operate in a state/province or country that does not have legal protection for their citizens your supporting LGBTQ equality everywhere you operated is further creating an employer brand that LGBTQ candidate will view as a great potential company/organization to work for. Even as of today, in over half the United States LGBTQ citizens are not legally fully protected from discrimination. Again recall the sexual harassment analogy here, and even other EEO requirements that you still have in your official policies. So even if operating in areas where LGBTQ employees are legally protected it is still a good business practice to have them and state them in your policies.
If you operated in countries where it is still illegal to be LGBTQ, work with your legal team and contact the resources listed at the end of the article for guidance on how best to move forward with the highest intent of protecting your LGBTQ employees in those countries.
LGBTQ inclusion – sensitivity training
As you roll out your LGBTQ workplace corporate equality initiative, LGBTQ sensitivity training will be crucial. There are resources you may leverage. One of which is Diversity Resource’s LGBTQ Sensitivity Training. You may already have a relationship with a training source provider. Check them out to see if they already have such training to add to your training portfolio.
Require the same from vendors/contractors
In the operation of your company/organization, you have a lot of interactions with other companies/organizations. Once you have your workplace LGBTQ corporate equality duckies in a row, you then are in a position to be a leader and influence those other employers to follow your lead. At some point, you may even consider it as a requirement for doing business with you.
Indicate your LGBTQ inclusive policies, benefits, and practices
As part of your LGBTQ employer branding, show off your hard work and how you are striving to create and maintain an LGBTQ corporate equality standard through OutBüro employer branding portal along with social proof to make clear and easy to know/find. Link to your own and/or third-party sites. You may also upload PDFs, for example, a document showing at least one of your company health plans provides transgender-inclusive health coverage and more.
LGBTQ active recruiting is best done once you have the above-mentioned policies and benefits in place. In involving participating in and maybe sponsoring LGBTQ focused career fairs, placing your sexual orientation and gender identity inclusive non-discrimination policy in your job postings and more. One of the issues, as mentioned that I have found, is that even though companies/employers may have these and may today do everything outlined here, it is darn difficult as a job seeker to find all the wonderful LGBTQ inclusive content.
OutBüro answers this problem as an employer branding platform geared specifically to highlight your workplace LGBTQ corporate equality efforts and activities allowing potential job seekers to easily see what a proactive, inclusive and welcoming LGBTQ employer you are. It has the most areas not only LGBTQ candidates are looking for but an attempt at demonstrating your company/organization’s full spectrum. We’ll further adapt as we get feedback.
OutBüro allows you to add the LinkedIn profiles of the HR recruiters who focus part-time or full-time on recruiting LGBTQ candidates. Also, you may link to any website, your own or others, that demonstrate your LGBTQ job seekers attraction activities such as career fairs and more. You may also link videos such as LGBTQ employee testimonials and other videos that support your LGBTQ active recruitment efforts as well as images, say photos of your table at career fairs, activities of your LGBTQ employee resource group and more.
LGBTQ employees in management
When employees who are part of the diversity sphere including LGBTQ are in positions of management it fosters a sense of belonging for other employees. In addition to adding the total number of employees to your OutBüro LGBTQ corporate equality employer listing, we recommend adding the total number of employees in management across all diversity categories. Then further as a subset, the number of out known LGBTQ employees who are in positions of management. Additionally, you may indicate the title of the highest-ranking LGBTQ employee and please provide a link to the individual’s LinkedIn profile as social proof.
LGBTQ community involvement
As part of your full picture, we have added the ability to link and show the LGBTQ owned businesses and non-profits/NGOs your company/organization supports/sponsors. Additionally, you may consider linking to videos, maybe LGBTQ conferences you sponsor and/or have a speaker at, webinars you are a part of and more.
If your company/organization sponsors any LGBTQ owned businesses and/or non-profits, you may indicate that is awesome. You should let the world know by adding them to your OutBüro LGBTQ employer branding listing.
They, in turn, may indicate you as a sponsor too.
Need funding or got funding?
As a source of funding you may indicate the types of funding you have available, the amount, a description of the types of companies/organizations that are an ideal fit, link to more information and upload files such as an application or brochure.
As an LGBTQ owned business or LGBTQ non-profits, you may indicate if you are seeking funding of any type, provide a description of what it would be for, who it will impact and the amount sought.
LGBTQ consumer inclusive marketing
OutBüro provides you the option to indicate if you are currently marketing your products or services in an LGBTQ inclusive manner percentage appropriate. In addition, the months that your marketing is active. Social proving is important, you may link to sites that demonstrate your LGBTQ inclusive marketing, link to videos, upload images, and PDF documents.
Proactively disclose policial contributions
OutBüro provides the location where your political contributions can be disclosed in a proactive manner both pro-LGBTQ and anti-LGBTQ. We added the anti-politician donations sections not to beat you up because we understand you don’t control who are in political positions that have influence over local, state/province and national laws that can benefit your company/organization. The idea is to disclose it here and make a statement and/or video about why those contributions needed to be done. This is ideal before the LGBTQ media and activist learn through other sources and frame the message. This allows you to get in front of the conversation in a positive manner alongside all the other pro-LGBTQ inclusive stuff you do setting it into context.
LGBTQ employer ratings/reviews monitoring
OutBüro for the employee is an LGBTQ employer ratings/reviews platform. We have lots of content on that to learn more. Our goal is to help you shine. The system allows your current and recent past employers to rate/review you on many LGBTQ specific factors and also feedback in several areas in while remaining anonymous.
GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love.
United Nations: Free & Equal
In July 2013, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) launched UN Free & Equal – an unprecedented global UN public information campaign aimed at promoting equal rights and fair treatment of LGBTI people. In 2017, UN Free & Equal reached 2.4 billion social media feeds around the world and generated a stream of widely shared materials – including powerful videos, impactful graphics, and plain-language fact sheets. Several campaign videos – including a popular Bollywood-themed clip “The Welcome” – rank among the most-watched videos ever produced by the United Nations. National UN Free & Equal campaigns and events have been organized in almost 30 countries, with visible support from UN, political, community and religious leaders and from celebrities in all regions of the world.
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates is the world’s premier nonprofit organization dedicated to achieving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer workplace equality.
We partner with Fortune 1000 companies and government agencies to provide executive leadership development, comprehensive training and consultation, and professional networking opportunities that build inclusive and welcoming work environments.
Pride At Work is a nonprofit organization that represents LGBTQ union members and their allies. We are an officially recognized constituency group of the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations) that organizes mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBTQ Community to further social and economic justice. From our national office in Washington, DC, we coordinate and support more than 20 Chapters across the country.
We seek full equality for LGBTQ Workers in our workplaces and unions. We work towards creating a Labor Movement that cherishes diversity, encourages openness, and ensures safety & dignity. We aim to educate the LGBTQ community about the benefits of a union contract for LGBTQ working people and to build support and solidarity for the union movement in the LGBTQ community.
Through dialogue, education and thought leadership, Pride at Work Canada empower employers to build workplaces that celebrate all employees regardless of gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation. We help create safer, more inclusive workspaces that realize the full potential of all employees and bring down barriers to employment. Our learning, networking and community events happening across the country, celebrating and connecting the most inclusive Canadian employers.
We work with institutions to create inclusive and accepting cultures, to ensure institutions understand and value the huge benefits brought to them by LGBT people, and to empower institutions as advocates and agents of positive change. We will work with all organizations (including employers, schools, healthcare providers, sports organizations and religious institutions) to ensure they offer inclusive, equal and inspiring environments for LGBT people, and to empower them as advocates and agents of change in wider society. We will help institutions recognize the value of different perspectives, and the benefits these bring to employees, service users and members of the community. We will collaborate with local LGBT campaigners to help UK-based multinational employers extend their LGBT inclusion work to every country they have an influence in.
The Rainbow Tick is a national accreditation program for organizations that are committed to safe and inclusive practice, and service delivery for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) people. Organizations wishing to receive a Rainbow Tick are required to undergo accreditation against the Rainbow Tick Standards, owned and developed by Rainbow Health Victoria (formerly GLHV).
If you need referrals of Diversity and Inclusion consultant with a specialty focus on the LGBTQ community please contact us.
Additionally, if you are aware of other resources no matter where in the world that helps employers promote on LGBTQ corporate equality we’d love to add them to this list and/or create a separate resource guide including them with these great organizations. Contact us with their website URL if they have one and if not whatever contact information you can provide.
Shh..OutBüro is a catch-all bucket Employer listing is for you.
LGBTQ employer ratings/review overview
Employer social media policy – no employer ratings/reviews
In response to the rise of the employer rating/review sites such as OutBüro some employers have implemented social media policies in where if an employee has been found to have left and employer review/rating while still employed there they run a high risk of being fired. Is that you? Sure if it is a positive review they will likely turn their head and allow that. But when an employee has had an experience such as discrimination and/or harassment and posts about that the employer is more likely to enforce the policy adding salt to your already wounded employer experience firing you now with cause. This can leave the employee feeling like they have no options but to endure the bad employer working conditions and be part of the 72% of LGBTQ employees who suffer mental stress due to work environment where employers do not have a comprehensive LGBTQ inclusive, supportive and welcoming environment where LGBTQ bullying is not tolerated. Not only are those companies fostering a toxic work culture they are missing out on all the benefits of being LGBTQ inclusive.
An employer rating/review may blow my anonymity
Maybe you are just not out and afraid that your rating/review could possibly “out” you believing your review/rating would pretty much blow the concept of being anonymous.
Perhaps you work for a small employer and feel that providing an employer review/rating on the actual employers listing would make it very apparent as to who placed it in there for blowing your anonymity. You may feel this would jeopardize your job if you choose or have no choice but remain and it could make your work environment that much more hostile.
Your experience is valid and voice needed
Whatever reason. YOUR voice is needed. Even with all the LGBTQ discrimination and harassment cases that get filed every year so many suffer in silence fear of losing their job and their stability of an income.
Your voice and experience are still valid in any of these cases and as a community, we would appreciate you sharing it with us. For such cases, we have created the Shh..OutBüro is a catch-all bucket Employer listing. Even with all the LGBTQ discrimination and harassment cases that get filed every year so many suffer in silence fear of losing their job and their stability of an income. Think of it as an employer review/rating on the DL (down low).
Even while anonymous and even if you feel you need to post on the Shh..OutBüro is a catch-all bucket Employer listing, telling your story, getting it off your chest, putting it out there, is therapeutic and may help you feel empowered to deal with your situation even if that means moving on to a more LGBTQ inclusive and welcoming employer.
It will also help by increasing our collective understanding of the state of LGBTQ Employer/workplace/corporate equality. It is you standing up providing YOUR voice for workplace-corporate equality.
Please be sure to answer the statistical data area so that at minimum your voice may be attributed to measurable elements such as geographics and demographics.
We believe that no employer is perfect and that is OK. Companies are made of people and the more people you have the more complex it becomes. People have a lifetime of learned beliefs and prejudices and those don’t easily get left at home when they go to work. Policies of non-discrimination is outstanding and employers who conduct LGBTQ sensitivity training are amazing yet if we look at the laws on sexual harassment that where enacted 40 years ago, sexual harassment policies and training and yet still today it is prevalent you can only draw a conclusion that the struggle for true LGBTQ equality and inclusion where zero discrimination and harassment happens is unfortunately likely decades away just here in the United States let alone around the world.
That is why YOUR experiences and voice matters to attempt to speed that process all while it benefits the employer to do so.
IF YOU ARE OK with placing your review/rating anonymously on your actual employee record, that is appreciated and the intent of the site.