Career Advice, Interviews

How Can I Tell If a Potential Employer is LGBTQ Friendly?

Business colleagues in discussion during client presentation in office conference room

All job seekers should evaluate the environment of a business or organization before deciding whether to accept a position — and for LGBTQ candidates, judging whether an employer is inclusive is paramount. Luckily, according to Glassdoor’s ebook Workplace Guide for LGBTQ Professionals: Embracing Your Authentic Self in Your Career, more companies than ever are embracing LGBTQ inclusion. Here are tips to use throughout the hiring process to determine whether a company is LGBTQ friendly.

1. Use the Interview Process

The interview process is a chance to talk to current employees of an organization and inquire about the environment of their workplace. LGBTQ workplace advocacy non-profit Out & Equal recommends asking questions such as:

  1. What are your core values?
  2. What resources do you provide to employees?
  3. How would you describe your company culture?
  4. What are your inclusion policies and practices?

By digging into company culture, LGBTQ job seekers can determine whether they feel comfortable bringing their full, authentic selves to work. If you want to talk with current employees about the inclusivity of an organization but don’t want to discuss it during an interview, Out & Equal suggests connecting with current employees through networking websites such as LinkedIn.

2. Do Your Research

Researching companies online is another valuable way to learn more about an office environment. Glassdoor reviews can inform job seekers about employee experiences, and LGBTQ-inclusive organizations may use their Glassdoor profiles to publish posts or photos that show their diversity and inclusion initiatives. For example, IBM features a rainbow version of their logo on their page, as well as a section on employee diversity.

Beck Bailey, deputy director of the Workplace Equality Program at the Human Rights Campaign, advises looking at the Human Right Campaign’s annual Corporate Equality Index, which rates the LGBTQ inclusivity of a company’s policies and practices — companies that scored 100 percent in 2018 include Boston Consulting Group, SAP and Delta Airlines.

3. Look at Policies

Employment rights for LGBTQ employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity vary throughout the United States. Use the Movement Advancement Project to view legal protections in different areas. Job seekers can also check an employer’s non-discrimination clause – an LGBTQ inclusive employer should have sexual orientation and gender identity included in these policies.

4. Look Out for Company Culture Red Flags

Certain warning signs can give you that gut feeling that a company isn’t the right fit for you. Look out for the following red flags:

  • Glassdoor reviews by employees
  • Poor interview experience
  • Lack of diversity in employee ranks
  • Management’s social media posts
  • Low-ball salary offer
  • Lack of inclusive benefits and perks
  • Misaligned mission or values
  • Overworked staff

Not everyone is able to work at their dream job, but most people can find a position where they are happy and successful. Erin Uritus, CEO of Out & Equal, notes that while career decisions are always up to the individual job seeker, “It’s really ultimately better for you to end up somewhere that you’re happy and accepted.”

Want more advice for your job search? Read the full eBook here.

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