Be Proud in your Workspace
By Jimmy Bonner | Program Coordinator | Office of Career & Life Design
Finding a career that fits your criteria is only one part of the job search. You have to remember that finding a suitable work culture that supports you is just as important as your position title. In honor of Pride month, we will offer some helpful career tips that support the LGBTQ+ community whether you are looking for a job or wanting to show support in your current career.
Before you start applying for positions, conducting informational interviews through email or LinkedIn can help you zone in on a company that supports your needs. Asking a recruiter about the company’s work culture beforehand can give you a sense if this company is the right fit for you or not. This also shows a company you are proactive and interested.
Do Your Research
Become familiar with companies that interest you. Find out what their stance is on LGBTQ+ employees and if they offer any support. A good place to start is to see if they have a diversity policy which can usually be found on their main website. Out & Equal Workplace Advocates offers a resource guide that checks the LGBTQ+ workplace equality in the United States (take note that the guide was conducted for the year of 2019). You can also check out a 2020 version from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
If your workplace supports diversity but lacks resources to support that work culture, this could be a great opportunity to create an employee resource group. This would also be a great opportunity to network and get to know your colleagues better to create a sense of community. Some additional things that can be done are providing safe spaces to talk about discrimination or harassment, opening the door for same sex health benefits, or providing workshops to help improve the work environment to be more inclusive.
Know your Rights
Above all, know your rights! It is important for you to know your rights under the employment laws within your state. Glassdoor has provided a guide to help fight discrimination in the workplace and what to do if you encounter it. Stan Kimer, president of Total Engagement Consulting and former global corporate LGBTQ diversity manager for IBM mentions that you should document instances of harassment or discrimination.
Your work environment shouldn’t be stressful and you shouldn’t have to hide who you are. If you would like to talk more about your career, make an appointment with us through GGU Careers.