Looking for an employer who is a good fit can be challenging enough on its own. Adding the element of looking for an LGBTQ+ inclusive employer can make it more so.
For LGBTQ+ job seekers, it’s crucial to know if a potential employer is inclusive.
Or even for LGBTQ+ allies who actively prioritize this value in the workplace.
More and more, job-seekers are investing time, research and serious consideration into understanding what a company stands for, and whether or not that aligns with their values.
And though in 2022 you’d think that all companies would be very supportive of the LGBTQ+ community, the unfortunate reality is that that is not the case.
It should be for you, and for the job you choose to take your talents to.
Everyone deserves the opportunity to work for a company that makes them feel supported, respected and seen.
Whether it’s a career switch or entering the workforce, here are some tips for finding an employer who is a good fit for you.
1. Begin with some research.
Start with the basics. Give your potential employer a quick Google search. Take a look at their website and social media profiles. Do they have a recent blog or social media post highlighting DE&I initiatives? On their website, do they have a mission statement or core values listed?
Consider company awards and accreditations. Is the majority of their executive leadership diverse? What do their diversity ratings look like in recent years? Most company websites and review platforms feature what awards the company has received. Take time to look into what those awards entail.
Employee reviews. Check out employee reviews on a variety of different platforms. Glassdoor and Indeed are good places to start. When you’re looking at reviews, keep an eye out for ones about the company’s culture. Do current employees feel comfortable sharing their pronouns? Do they applaud the company for promoting a safe space for all employees?
2. Look into the programs they offer.
Does the company you’re looking into have inclusive initiatives or programs? If they do, that’s a good sign that they’re making progress towards building a more inclusive community. Larger businesses should recognize the importance of their platform and how to use it to help others.
For instance, GoPuff created a small business accelerator program called Put Me On GoPuff. This program focuses on providing a platform for entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities. To apply, businesses must be 51% owned, operated, and controlled by individuals who identify as the following:
● Differently Abled
Programs like these show an example of what to look for in a company’s inclusivity program. The main purpose of a company-led program or initiative should be to elevate the voice of the company’s surrounding community and help them in some way.
Adobe is another brand known for its LGBTQ+ programs. Their AdobeProud network for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer colleagues and allies– is one of the biggest ERGs of its time.
Members of the group often participate in Pride marches in the U.S. and globally, panel discussions, networking events, and fundraising activities. The group also raises money for LGBTQ+ charities and advocacy groups.
They’re also fully committed to diversity in all ways, with their Adobe For All program.
Hubspot is another company that actively empowers its LGBTQ+ employees with its ERG program.
“12% of HubSpot’s workforce identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. HubSpot has an employee resource group called the LGBTQ Alliance that aims to empower HubSpotters through the creation of a safe, respectful community.
Alliance members participate in multiple events year-round with a variety of global initiatives, including breakfast roundtables to talk about current issues facing the LGBTQ+ community, a workshop on partner benefits and family planning, or any other number of employee events.”
The razor blade company, Harry’s, extends employee benefits to their families regardless of gender or sexual identity. Benefits like parental leave and medical insurance that provide coverage for gender-affirming care are also extended to spouses and domestic partners.
3. Examine their partnerships and donations.
What a company decides to invest its money in and who they align with can say a lot about its values. Recently, FedEx partnered with Point Foundation to support LGBTQ+ college students. The Point Foundation’s mission is to help LGBTQ+ students reach their academic potential. They do this through scholarship funding, mentorship, leadership development, and community service training. FedEx has helped set up a 4-year scholarship with Point Foundation to aid their efforts. Companies that create meaningful partnerships give more insight into their priorities and values.
Here’s a list of other LGBTQ+ organizations to look for when assessing a company’s partnerships:
● Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
● The Trevor Project
● Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)
● It Gets Better Project
● National Center for Transgender Equality
This list isn’t exhaustive since there are plenty more nonprofits supporting the LGBTQ+ community, so make sure to continue your research.
4. Try to spot representation.
This one can get a little trickier because it can be difficult to try to discern this from the outside looking in, but it’s a good sign if a company has outright LGBTQ+ representation. Not just among their staff, but also in leadership.
The photo above is of Beth Ford, Land O’Lakes CEO, and an openly gay woman.
You’ll find that LGBTQ+ leaders at that level are still, unfortunately, few and far between, but that is changing more and more.
Sometimes a simple Google search of their executive leadership page, or a quick click to their LinkedIn or Instagram, can show if they are showcasing a diverse mix of individuals and leaders at all levels.
5. Ask the tough (but important) questions.
An interview is a great opportunity to gain more insight into the company’s culture and employees. If you’ve followed all these tips and end up securing an interview with your potential employer, this is a chance for you to speak directly with someone already working at the company. You’ve shown them who you are during the recruiting process, and now it’s your turn to ask them questions. If you’re unsure where to start, here are some talking points.
Ask about core values and mission. In the instance that an employer hasn’t listed its core values on its website, this is an appropriate question to ask. It will help you get an understanding of the alignment of your values and theirs.
Ask about employee resource groups. If employees have the option to group together and discuss issues, it’s likely that the employee culture is supportive. ERGs can also indicate that the company is willing to listen to and resolve employee concerns. It should be noted that it’s not a red flag if ERGs aren’t present at a company. There could always be a discussion about starting one after you take their job offer.
It’s crucial for all job seekers to research their potential employers thoroughly.
Recently, more employers are starting to make diversity and inclusion efforts a priority. So, there are sure to be many opportunities for you.
The most important thing to keep in mind when looking for an LGBTQ+ inclusive employer is making sure their values align with yours.
This leads to a work environment that you can not only safely thrive in, but that makes you feel a part of an organization that mirrors your commitment to positive change, acceptance, and above all, respect for others.
That’s all that really matters.