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Sexual Orientation and the Job Search Process

Sexual Orientation and the Job Search Process

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Sexual Orientation and the Job Search Process

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  1. Sexual Orientation and the Job Search Process Riannon Nute Patty Counihan Jeff Stott

  2. Career Center Services ■ Individual appointments • Job search strategies • Resume and cover letter critiques • Career decision-making • Mock interviews ■ Resources in our library and on the web

  3. The Big Picture • Best Cities to Live in Guide: Center for Policy Research at Syracuse University 60% of gay couples live in only 20 cities • Workplace Policies:

  4. School vs. Workplace • At School: • Supportive environment. • Active GLBT student groups. • Supportive friends. • Non-discrimination and harassment policies. • At Work: • Can vary dramatically in terms of support, openness and protection for GLBT employees.

  5. Finding the Right Work Culture • Do what is comfortable. • Decide what is important in managing your career path. • Remember, you can change your decisions throughout your life.

  6. What Statement Do You Most Identify With? A. Being “Out” is who I am. Being visible will provide me with equal treatment and support. = strong desire for openness at work regarding sexual orientation Sexual orientation is only a small part of what defines me as a person. I am very careful about who I tell and don’t tell. = prefer openness at work but may compromise C. Sharing information about myself is not preferred. I tell very few people, if anyone at all. = prefer a high degree of privacy

  7. Get Yourself Ready • Self-Assessment • Career Exploration • Resume Preparation • Interview Strategies • Company Research • Outreach Potential

  8. Should I Document GLBT Activities? • Was your answer an A, B or C? • Do you desire to “screen out” non-supportive employers? • Focus on skills and accomplishments you developed rather than the affiliation.

  9. The Interview • As with any interview situation, the key to dealing with issues of sexual orientation is to practice, practice, practice. • Focus attention on preparation. • Can never be over prepared for an interview situation. • Make an appointment for a mock interview and practice handling questions regarding sexual orientation or involvement in GLBT groups.

  10. Researching Employers • Many challenges in search of a supportive workplace. • Domestic partner benefits? • Firmly enforced non-discrimination policies? • Comfortable working environment? • Actively embraces diversity? • Welcome GLBT employees?

  11. Do You Want To Ask Hard Questions? • It is often difficult to ask the hard questions that require answers before accepting a position: • “Will my partner be covered by my health insurance?” • “Will I be legally supported if I am harassed?”

  12. Or Choose Another Option ? • You might prefer not to bring your sexuality into workplace matters at all. • You may choose to remain silent or do without benefits because the potential employer offers a high salary or other benefits that measure higher on the list of priorities. • You might want to rely on your own research to get some answers. • Do what is comfortable.

  13. Legal Landscape • As of today, the rights of individuals based on their sexual orientation are not protected by the U.S. Constitution • Currently, federal law bars workplace discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, disability and genetic information. • There is NO federal law barring workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identify. • (ENDA is a bill before Congress that would prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity) February, 2011

  14. Non-Discrimination Policies • Does the employer have a non-discrimination clause? • Example: • “XYZ is an equal opportunity employer, and does not discriminate based on race, gender, age, “ etc. • Look to see if sexual orientation, gender identity and expression are included in their statement.

  15. AT&T's policy: • “AT&T and its subsidiaries are committed to equal employment opportunity. AT&T Companies are Equal Opportunity Employers. All qualified candidates will receive full and fair consideration for employment. All applicants and employees are protected from unlawful discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, marital status, citizenship status, veteran status, disability or any other category protected by applicable law. You should notify the EEOC, the FCC or other appropriate agency if you believe you have been discriminated against.” April, 2011

  16. HRC WorkNet is a national source of information on workplace policies and laws surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity. • HRC WorkNet provides essential guidance to individuals and groups in corporate America in bringing more inclusive policies and programs to more workplaces.

  17. Companies • Human Rights Campaign •

  18. Employer ResearchSearch for a supportive workplace Help job seekers make informed decisions • Criteria used to rank employers • Prohibits Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation • Provides Diversity Training covering Sexual Orientation • Prohibits Discrimination based on Gender Identity • Provides Diversity Training covering Gender Identity • Offers Partner Health Insurance • Offers Partner Dental, Vision, Cobra Benefits • Offers at least 3 other “soft” benefits • Has Employee Resource Group • Positively Engages the External GLBT Community • Exhibits Responsible Behavior toward GLBT Community

  19. Domestic Partner Benefits • At a minimum, DPB signify the organization’s commitment to diversity. • Benefits extended to domestic partners that have traditionally been offered only to spouses of employees. • Health and life insurance • Educational grants • Access to recreational facilities

  20. Coming Out in Corporate America • “…First it was minorities and women. Now it’s gays…companies are rethinking their cultures and the employee programs and benefits they offer as gay employees come out of the corporate closet…” • Benefits • Support Groups (Social activities, employee groups) • Sensitivity Training (Gay 201 – recruitment and retention) • Marketing (“Rainbow Team” – targeting gay consumers) Business Week 12/15/03

  21. Home FurnishingHigh-Tech, Photo, & Science Equip. Hotels, Resorts, & Casinos InsuranceInternetLaw FirmsMail & Freight DeliveryManufacturingMining & MetalsMiscellaneousOil & Gas PharmaceuticalsPublishing & Printing Retail & Consumer Products TelecommunicationsTobaccoTransportation, TravelWaste Management • Advertising & MarketingAerospace & DefenseAirlinesApparel, Fashion, Textiles, & Dept. StoresAutomotiveBanking & Financial ServicesChemicals & BiotechnologyComputer & Data ServicesComputer Hardware & Office EquipmentComputer SoftwareConsulting, Business ServicesEducation, ChildcareEnergy & UtilitiesEntertainment & Electronic Media Food, Beverages, & GroceriesHealthcare

  22. So You Got The Job:How Do You Fit In Without Feeling Like An Outsider? • Buy in without selling out. • Build relationships. • Accentuate positives. • Emphasize accomplishments. • Know your rights. • Have specific goals.

  23. Coming Out On the Job • How can I come out at work in a way that honors my individuality and works well within my current organization? • Assess your readiness • Perform at your best • Gather supporters • Conduct a trial run • Consider the timing • Have no expectations

  24. A Word About Expectations • If you hope for the best but do not expect a specific reaction, you will probably be better positioned to respond to whatever happens. A book titled "OUT In The Workplace" (edited by Richard A. Rasi and Lourdes Rodriquez-Nogues) may be helpful because it describes "the pleasures and perils of coming out on the job."

  25. Transgender Issues • “Coming Out” and transitioning on the job. • Consider the following: • Legal Factors • Employment Factors • Personal Factors • Preparation of co-workers • Support Network

  26. Best Source • Transgender 101: An Introduction to Issues Surrounding Gender Identity and Expression • Table of Contents • Coming Out as Transgender • Leaving Categories Behind • Risks and Gains in the Workplace • Families and Friends of Transgender People • Facing Hate • Conclusion • HRC Related Links

  27. Career Resources • Federal Globe ( • Human Rights Campaign ( • National Gay and Lesbian Task Force • ( • Out for Work ( • Out & Equal ( • Pride at Work ( •

  28. It’s important to have a couple of mentors if possible: one from your “group” and one from outside it. Mentors can offer a broader perspective of the company culture. You Are Not Alone… There are people out there who want to help you. Look around. There are subtle hints. If there is any hand outstretched, take it.

  29. With permission this presentation was based on one created by: Mark J. Brostoff Associate Dean and Director Weston Career Center Olin Business School Washington University in St. Louis