4 LGBTQ Workplace Equality Issues and Steps to Inclusion - LGBT Employees Rate Employer Review Company Employee Branding OutBuro - Corporate Gay Lesbian Queer Diversity

4 LGBTQ Workplace Equality Issues and Steps to Inclusion

Today still over half the U.S. states lack full legal protection for LGBTQ people. Regardless of politics or laws in the state you do business, companies large and small can take positive action to protect their LGBTQ employees by celebrating diversity, inclusion and creating a welcoming work environment. Studies have shown that companies that support and promote an LGBTQ inclusive work-culture thrive and their bottom line benefits. With 72% of LGBT people experience mental health issues due to their work environment your actions can make a huge difference in your employee’s lives. We hope to be a spark for your company to embrace inclusion and diversity for your current and future LGBTQ employees while reducing your risk exposure. Did you know that a recent study found that 29% of American’s under 30 years old consider themselves hetero-flexible? Having LGBTQ friendly policies and work culture has far-reaching impact on your entire talent base. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this article for 12 more steps to demonstrate your LGBTQ inclusive work culture.

Below is a list of the 4 common LGBTQ workplace equality issues along with thoughts on how to solve them:

#1 – Health Insurance Does Not Cover Domestic or Same-Sex Partners

Having basic healthcare is the foundation of benefits all employees seek. A significant portion of American heterosexual employees who have access to health insurance through their employers also have access to opposite-sex spousal/common-law spouse coverage – but for same-sex couples, coverage has historically been limited, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. This has been a struggle for the LGBTQ community. Two Supreme Court rulings (United States v Windsor in 2013 and Obergefell v Hodges in 2015) changed the legal landscape for same-sex couples and opened doors for greater access to health insurance through the workplace.

Improvement Step: Review your current health insurance plan to see if it allows enrollment for same-sex married and/or non-married domestic partners. Most major health insurance providers today in the US, Canada, Europe and other countries offer domestic partner coverage. If not, seek a plan that does. This will give all of your employees and their families equal access to health care. For equal treatment, you may consider allowing heterosexual domestic partners the same equal benefits as well. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) encourages employers to treat all beneficiaries equally when requesting documentation. If an employer requires documentation for partner benefits, they should request the same level of documentation for spousal benefits,” states HRC. Annotate your LGBTQ friendly company policies on OutBüro to attract quality candidates.

# 2 – Leave Policy Does Not Cover All Employees Equally

In the U.S. there’s a huge trend of fathers caring for children including being the primary care provider and spending more quality time with their children than in decades past This number will only increase given the rise in adoption and other family building methods among LGBTQ community. Studies have shown that men regardless of sexual orientation who take family leave to care for their children can have negative impact on their careers. As a number of gay men add children to their family this can negative macho work culture can be a double hit of being discriminate against for being gay and then further for taking family leave to care for their child. We need to adapt our thought and appreciate the growing trend of fathers wanting to be more involved in raising their children. Unfortunately, many leave policies do not account for this trend – leaving same-sex partners at a loss when it comes to taking time off to care for their children.

Improvement Step: If you offer a family and/or medical leave policy at your company, make sure you are including same-sex partners, adopted children, and foster children in your definition of family members. Enhance your diversity training to embrace and even celebrate the kinder nurturing side of men backed by the studies.

#3 – Discrimination and Harassment Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity

Discrimination and harassment happens in different ways. It can be verbal or written through direct statements, emails or jokes. It can be physical or the threat of physical violence. It can be unwanted sexual advances and/or threats related to sex. It can also be hidden within a decision – like not being considered for a promotion based on the decision maker’s learned prejudices and biases. Studies have found hiring and promoting LGBT employees to management is great for business.

In fact, some 21 percent of LGBT employees report being discriminated against with hiring, promotions, and pay, according to a survey conducted by UCLA’s Williams Institute and that further collaborated in a study by the University of Surrey. Studies show men get penalized for not holding to perceived masculine norms in the office regardless of sexual orientation.

Improvement Step: Consider having all hiring and promotion actions committee based to reduce the prejudices and biases of a single person impacting the company culture negatively. Develop a strong, all-inclusive anti-harassment policy that prevents employees and managers from discriminating against and/or harassing new hires and their co-workers.

If you hear any hate speech or see hurtful actions, or if reported something, make sure you take it seriously, investigate and take corrective action. Ensure your policies are communicated clearly and often.

#4 – Employees Don’t Report Acts of Discrimination or Harassment

Even though your company has a strong LGBTQ supportive anti-harassment policy in place, discrimination and harassment still happen. Some employees may still suffer in silence because they don’t feel comfortable speaking up and reporting it due to a feeling their job may be in jeopardy if they do. This causes the employee to feel unwelcomed in their place of work.

Improvement Steps: Be proactive through having the policies, education, and communicate it often and widely. Create an inclusive “speak-up” culture to so that your employees are comfortable standing up for themselves and report incidents affecting themselves or what they see or hear happening to a co-worker. Claim or add your company listing on OutBüro and invite your employees to rate your company.

The HRC Corporate Equality Index

The Corporate Equality Index (CEI) is an annual measure of how equitably large businesses in the United States treat their lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees, consumers, and investors. In 2018 they reported on 947 businesses. 609 Of those achieved a 100% score.

No matter your company size or location your company can be listed on OutBüro where you may indicate the LGBTQ supportive policies that are in place. Being present and active on OutBüro also supports gaining and maintaining a 100% score on the HRC Corporate Equality Index.

How to Demonstrate your LGBT-Inclusive Work Culture Regardless of Size or Location

In addition to the items noted above, making LGBTQ employees feel welcome in the workplace takes more than just one act. It needs to be ingrained in the culture.

For starters, however, here are a few things you can do to jump-start inclusion activities:

  1. Openly recruit LGBTQ candidates via LGBTQ focused job portals such as OutBüro.

  2. Start an LGBT Employee Resource Group.

  3. Offer LGBTQ-specific diversity training to your employees.

  4. Participate in local LGBTQ PRIDE events – gather employees who are interested in attending these events and go as a group!

  5. Reach out to LGBT professional associations to form a relationship to be visible for your current employees and cultivate new employee talent candidates.

  6. Donate to local LGBTQ non-profits to support your community.

  7. Contact an independent diversity and inclusion consultant who specializes in the LGBT community to assist as you assess your current environment and move to make improvements.
  8. Leverage that consultant or contact OutBüro to explore conducting an anonymous online survey of your employees before they start rating your company/organization publicly on OutBüro as an employer from their LGBT employee perspective

  9. Take your health care benefits a step further and offer a plan that covers and supports your transgender employees. Be sure to indicate this and all your LGBTQ supportive benefits and policies on OutBüro.

  10. Require all vendors and contractors you do business with to also have LGBTQ supportive policies.

  11. Be sure your employees are aware of all that you do by talking about it regularly.

  12. Get involved on OutBüro to attract quality candidates and ensure your current employees see your presence and activity. This further supports your HRC Corporate Equality Index rating if you now or plan to participate in that.

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Study Occurrences of LGBT Workplace Discrimination Cases in the USA - LGBT Employees Rate Employer Review Company Employee Branding OutBuro - Corporate Workplace Equality Gay Lesbian Queer Diversity Inclusion

Study: Occurrences of LGBT Workplace Discrimination Cases in the USA

InsuranceQuotes - OutBuro LGBT Employee Company Employer Reviews GLBT Business News Gay Professional Networking Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Queer job portal seeker communityIn 2017, reversing prior Department of Justice policy, the Trump administration proclaimed employment discrimination protections do not extend to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals in the workplace. At the same time, several lawsuits alleging employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation are winding their way through the federal court system with mixed results based on this uncertainty.  These legal disputes will continue to play out nationally as the current cases proceed as new cases are brought forth.

To examine this further, statistics from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides insights into complaints related to gender identity and sexual orientation in recent years. It demonstrates how LGBTQ people are increasingly willing to step forward and make formal legal complaints, the increase in frequency they happen along with their success rate at winning their discrimination cases.

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Taking a look first at geographical patterns of EEOC charges citing sexual orientation or gender identity the regional differences are easily apparent, with a heavy concentration in the Southern states. Georgia and Mississippi was near the top of the list, with roughly four charges per 100,000 residents each.  Based on those states current policy records on LGBTQ issues it’s not surprising.  These states lag far behind the rest of the country in terms of legal protections for gay. lesbian, bisexual,  transgender, queer people.

What was a bit of a surprise is that Washington, D.C., had the most complaints related to gender identity and sexual orientation per capita, even though it has a long history of activism by LGBTQ community in the nation’s capital.

LGBTQ Discrimination Charges by State - Insurance Quotes - OutBuro - LGBT Business News Information Employer Rating Gay Professional Network Lesbian Bisexual Queer Transgender Community

 

From 2014 to 2017, legal charges of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation were significantly more common than allegations of gender identity discrimination. Thatis is not surprising and seems to reflect the relative size of the respective communities. While estimates of the transgender population vary, a greater number of people identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. In a small portion of cases (roughly 3%) complainants alleged both sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination together.

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Cumulatively, LGBTQ-related discrimination complaints increased substantially between 2014 and 2015 and continued to rise between 2015 and 2016. In 2017, however, complaints declined slightly from 2016. That statistic provides an interesting counternarrative to research suggesting a surge in anti-LGBTQ sentiment among heterosexual people in 2017. But this decline could also be attributable to hesitation on the part of the LGBTQ community to file complaints with the EEOC, given the uncertainty of protections under the Trump administration and the media attention anti-LGBT action receives.

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Equality: A Work in Progress

This study suggests hundreds of thousands of people encounter workplace discrimination each year on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Although discrimination is clearly unacceptable in any professional setting, the volume of these charges may indicate LGBTQ empowerment. Rather than suffering in silence, LGBTQ employees are making use of a valuable legal resource to claim their rights for equality. Although discrimination remains an unfortunate part of America’s employment landscape, we should celebrate those with the courage to combat it.

Join Now - OutBuro LGBT Employer Reviews Rating Gay Professional Network Lesbian Business Networking Diversity Recruiting Jobs Company Queer Bisexual TransgenderOne way to combat discrimination even if you as an employee don’t feel comfortable making is making it publically known by joining OutBüro for free, then adding the company to the directory and rating it anonymously.  Your feedback will be helpful to the company and to countless future prospective LGBT job seekers considering working there.  See this article for more information: Be a Superhero – Your Voice has the Power to Create Change

The research calls for employers to break the culture of silence that surrounds discrimination and harassment.  Check out the below article for more information:

 


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72% of LGBT People Experience Mental Health Issues Due to Work Environment - OutBuro LGBT Business News Information Gay Professional Network Lesbian Business Networking GLBT Queer

72% of LGBT People Experience Mental Health Issues Due to Work Environment

YouGov - OutBuro LGBT Employee Company Employer Reviews GLBT Business News Gay Professional Networking Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Queer job portal seeker communityGay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer employees still face workplace discrimination, harassment, and limitations on their career due to their sexuality.  From this is common to experience mental distress caused by the employer and coworkers.  The survey, conducted by YouGov and sponsored in part by Mercer, was published ahead of World Mental Health Day (October 10th) and shows LGBT people are disproportionately affected by mental health issues.

Nearly three-quarters of LGBT people have experienced mental health issues because of work according to the poll, commissioned by Business in the Community with HR firm Mercer, which found 72 percent of LGBT people have experienced various levels of mental distress as a result of work/work environment.  Mercer - OutBuro LGBT Employee Company Employer Reviews GLBT Business News Gay Professional Networking Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Queer job portal seeker communitythat 20% of bisexual employees said they had hidden their identity (Creative Commons)  Further the poll found that  26% of LGBT employees said they had hidden their identity at work in the last year because they were afraid of discrimination, it also found. For many, this causes them to remain in the closet and validated by the results show only 60 percent of LGBT employees feel comfortable being open about their sexual orientation at work, while 32 percent of managers have disguised that they are LGBT due to fear of discrimination.  This is collaborated by a separate study by HRC showing that the majority of LGBT workers closeted on the job.

Check out these related studies that support some of the sources of the stress LGBT workers face:

This represented just a four percent drop from HRC’s 2008 Degrees of Equality report, which was created before Barack Obama’s presidency, before same-sex marriage was legalized across the US and before transgender rights became a prominent issue in the civil rights struggle.

  • 53% said they had heard jokes about lesbian or gay people at every few months at work
  • 20% queer employees reported to HRC that they had been told or had colleagues imply that they should dress in a more feminine or masculine manner.
  • Nearly 33% LGBT+ people said they had felt unhappy or depressed at work.
  • Black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT employees are more than twice as likely as white employees to have experienced negativity from customers and clients (23 percent compared to 11 percent).
  • 7% have been physically attacked by colleagues or customers in the last year, rising to 15 percent of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people, 20%of non-binary people

The research calls for employers to break the culture of silence that surrounds mental health and to invest in basic mental health literacy for all employees.

 


Are you aware of an LGBT owned business or community non-profit we should inform our readers about?  Contact us with an LGBT owned business lead or news tip.

 

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OutBuro - Research Finds Females Favor Hiring Gay and Lesbian Job Seekers - LGBT Professional Networking employee Employer Company Reviews Directory GLBT Bisexual Transgender Community Portal Board

Research Finds Females Favor Hiring Gay and Lesbian Job Seekers

Women are somewhat more inclined to hire gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer job candidates when compared to equally-qualified heterosexual applicants, according to a study headed by the University of Sussex. However, the contrary is true when the recruiter is a male. All else being equal, male recruiters and hiring managers judge perceived heterosexual applicants as more desirable to hire.

One would assume that a recruiter and hiring manager with more experience would not demonstrate prejudice bias. Surprisingly, this prejudice was stronger among people who had considerable experience of assessing resumes/ CVs.

Female recruiters scored homosexual candidates an average of 5.21 and heterosexual candidates 4.8.  Whereas males scored homosexual candidates 4.6 and heterosexual candidates 4.93.

The analysis in the Journal of Business and Psychology is the first to spot a favorable bias for gay and lesbian applicants in the hiring process. This manifests when only females are making the hiring decisions and are the make up the majority of the hiring process from initial resume scanning, through interviews and offers of employment. Since an all-female hiring panel is not common the LGBT job seeker remains at a huge disadvantage based on learned bias. Hiring panels made by groups of both women and men could result in less biased conclusions.

Dr. Ben Everly of Sussex’s School of Business, Management, and Economics, “These results reveal that prejudice against gay men and lesbians is considerably more nuanced than previous work indicates.”

Also, these outcomes can impact if and how gay men and lesbians reveal their homosexual identities on the job.  This can make many feel the need to be in the closet at work.

Across two experiments, around 400 people were randomly shown one of four resumes/CVs: that of a lesbian, a gay male, a straight female or a straight male. The resumes presented where identical in all details, such as professional expertise. The only differences were if it indicated a male or female indicated through the name – Greg Johnson (man) or Jennifer Lewis (female) and secondly for each gender it listed belonging to a professional association. Those were the Los Angeles Gay Business Professionals (LGBT applicants) or Los Angeles Business Professionals (straight applicants). Note there was only one-word difference in those organizations – Gay. During post-experiment screening, some participants that wrongly identified that a candidate’s sexual orientation had been taken out of the research.

The analysis also found signs that women perceived the gay and lesbians applicants to be warm and competent, which these factors affected their hiring choices.

Males, however, considered heterosexual candidates as more capable, which influenced their hiring choices, but revealed no difference in perceived warmth between the four candidates.

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Source: Journal of Business and Psychology

The Journal of Business and Psychology (JBP) is an international outlet for publishing high-quality research designed to advance organizational science and practice. Since its inception in 1986, the journal has published impactful scholarship in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Organizational Behavior, Human Resources Management, Work Psychology, Occupational Psychology, and Vocational Psychology.

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