When President Obama signs his executive order banning employment discrimination based on gender identity, he’ll have the power to help a whole lot of LGBT individuals land the jobs they’re qualified for but simply aren’t getting. That’s according to a new study published by Freedom to Work and the Equal Right Center, who have found that openly LGBT job applicants are 23 percent less likely than their non-LGBT counterparts to get calls back for jobs, even when it’s clear they’re the stronger candidates.
As Jim Redmond writes for the gay news and culture website Towelroad.com, researchers conducted their study by submitting two types of fake resumes in application for 100 positions spread across eight major federal contractors, among them General Electric and ExxonMobil, which has a track record of discriminating against LGBT workers. One of the resume types made mention of a leadership role at an LGBT organization, and even though it routinely listed stronger professional credentials, more impressive job titles, and higher college GPAs, it led to fewer callbacks — far fewer.
According to an infographic that accompanies the report, which is titled “Federal Contractors Show Anti-LGBT Hiring Bias,” Exxon clearly “treated the weaker non-LGBT applicant far more favorably than the stronger LGBT candidate.”
It’s for this reason that both Freedom to Work and the Equal Rights Council have commended President Obama on his intended executive order. Their endorsement comes days after a group calling itself the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance submitted a letter to President Obama seeking an exemption for faith-based groups.
“The majority of Fortune 500 companies already have nondiscrimination policies to protect their employees because it’s the right thing to do and because many say it helps to retain and attract the best talent, and I agree,” Obama said last month, as Towelroad reports. “So if Congress won’t act, I will.”