As a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ+) student or alum, you may have additional questions as you transition from college to the working world, such as 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.
Finding a workplace with a supportive environment that aligns with your values and goals is important. The University Career Center can help as you consider potential workplaces and wish to investigate:
- 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 (city, town, urban, rural, etc.)
Top Career-Related Tips:
- Find out as much as you can about your potential employer’s work environment before you interview. Search their website for references to LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Groups and whether they have a non-discrimination clause that includes LGBTQ+ identities.
- A good indicator of an employer’s culture is their social media. Look for evidence of their proactively taking a stance on diversity and inclusion issues. What events are they sponsoring and what messages of support to the LGBTQ+ community have they posted in the last several months?
- Check out “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality” on the Human Rights Campaign website. It lists over 760 businesses that met all criteria for policies, practices, and benefits pertinent to LGBTQ employees.
- The best insights come from people who work in the organization. UMD alums currently working for an organization to which you are applying can be great sources of information about the workplace climate. Check out the “Alumni'' feature on the University of Maryland LinkedIn page.
- “Pride at Work,” a Job Cast by Indeed.
- “Dressing Professionally When You Don’t Conform to Gender Norms,” from the Queer Career Blog.
- “How the LGBTQ+ community fares in the workplace,” a report from McKinsey & Company featured in McKinsey Insights.
Build Connections & Support
- Queer Leadership Accelerator (Smith School of Business undergraduate organization)
- oSTEM: Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
- LGBTQ+ Students and Allies in Public Health
- Smith Pride Association
- 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.
- Out Professionals – Offers a network of “out” professionals in various fields.
- Out to Innovate - Formerly the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals, Out to Innovate provides education, advocacy, professional development, networking, and peer support for LGBT individuals in STEM fields.
- Out For Undergrad – Organizes four annual conferences for students interested in the fields of Business, Engineering, Marketing, and Tech [limited sponsorships that cover costs of attendance are usually offered to key schools].