As a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) student or alum, you may have additional questions as you transition from college to the working world. While you may have found a vibrant support network for LGBT students, the workplace can be different and you may have to engage in additional career exploration and research to best align your values and goals with a supportive work environment.
In particular, you may have questions about how “out” you want to be on your resume, in your interview, on the job and in work-sponsored social gatherings. You may also have questions about appropriate interview or workplace attire in relation to your gender identity and expression. As you explore potential workplaces, you may want to investigate some or all of the following:
- Organizational climate
- Partner benefits
- Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
- Non-discrimination policies
- Ways to combat and respond to workplace discrimination
- Changing state and national laws and regulations
- Culture of, and opportunities in, the work location (e.g., city, town, urban, rural, etc.)
Staff members within the Center are available if you wish to discuss how these issues may impact your job search, and they can help you clarify personal values and career goals. Login to Careers4Terps to request an appointment and discuss these issues with a career advisor.
You may also discover that there are LGBT-focused professional associations for your particular field or LGBT caucuses within your field's larger professional associations. These can be excellent places to find information and networking opportunities. Please consult with a career advisor or staff at the LGBT Equity Center to learn more about opportunities specific to your field.
Campus Programs and Resources
The Center works closely with the University of Maryland’s LGBT Equity Center. Career development programming and networking events are offered for LGBT students throughout the school year, often in partnership with student organizations such as the Lavender Leadership Honor Society, SmithOUT, and oSTEM. Past programs have included:
- "Werk It to Work It" – A workshop about gender and identity expression in the workplace presented by an experienced professional with background in both business and government who also served as a leader of employee resource groups. Practical advice and group discussion.
- Branch OUT Speed Networking Night – An interactive event pairing students with alum volunteers for brief conversations about career paths, industry insights, and advice for success in the job search. Co-sponsored by Lambda Pride, the University of Maryland LGBT alum group based in Washington, DC.
A wide range of resources may serve as helpful tools as you begin your job search:
- Out and Equal – A nonprofit seeking to end employment discrimination of LGBT employees.
- Human Rights Campaign – Maintains the “Corporate Equality Index” which is searchable by employer and/or policy.
- Pride at Work – Fosters collaboration between organized labor/unions and the LGBT community.
- National LGBT Chamber of Commerce – Supports LGBT business owners and showcases the diversity of talent in the LGBT community.
- Out Professionals – Offers a network of “out” professionals in various fields.
- National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals – Provides education, advocacy, professional development, networking, and peer support for LGBT individuals in STEM fields.