The job-search process is difficult for everyone, but members of the LGBT community often face additional challenges related to discrimination and bigotry. In honor of Pride Month, the website Glassdoor asked two LGBT career experts to offer up some advice on how to navigate a playing field that, for as far as America has come in recent years, isn’t always equal.
Read on to see what the two experts — Kirk Snyder, author of “Lavender Road to Success,” and Out & Equal Workplace Advocates associate director Julie Beach — had to say.
1. Do Your Homework — As per Snyder, LGBT job seekers should look for companies with diverse workforces — particularly at management levels. The key, he says, is to “place yourself in an environment where you can succeed based on your abilities and you’re not held down because of your sexual orientation or gender identity.” Beach agrees, and she advises job seekers to visit company websites and read their diversity policies. Do they specifically mention a commitment to hiring LGBT employees?
2. Consider Companies With Track Records — Asked to name some firms with great histories of hiring and promoting LGBT workers, Snyder mentioned Cisco, Deloitte, Apple, and Ernst & Young. Outside of these, he said LGBT job seekers should look for firms that mention sexual orientation in their EEO statements, as well as ones that support LGBT causes with charitable giving.
3. Be Yourself During the Interview — Ideally, Snyder says, one’s sexual orientation is a non-issue during the hiring process, so in the early stages, he advises sticking with why you’d be a good fit for the company. Beach agrees, and she says it’s only in the final stages, when you’re close to being hired, that you should begin asking about things like insurance coverage for domestic partners and paid time off to care for members of a partner’s immediate family. As for the question of whether to out yourself, Beach says it’s something that should ultimately be based on one’s values and situation. Discrimination still exists, she says, and it could cost you a job.