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Being LGBTQ at Work: Still a Challenge?

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It’s Labor Day, and we’re thinking about what it means to be gay, queer, trans employee. It is still legal to fire someone for being LGBTQ here in Virginia. Do we feel safe – and included – at work?

Allison Linney of Allison Partners recently reviewed the Harvard Business Review’s How Companies Make It Harder for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Employees to Achieve Work-Life Balance on her company’s blog. 

In her review, Linney calls out extremely interesting research that seems to suggest that companies still have a lot of work to do to create inclusion in the workplace:

While interviewing a sample of 53 LGB employees, Sawyer and Thoroughgood learned that even in workplaces where the employees were open about their sexual orientation, the employees still often felt left out or anxious about the consequences when discussions of family and spouses took place.

Would it be okay to have pictures of their families included in the company mural? Can a same-sex partner attend the company picnic? Could they talk openly with a supervisor about challenges related to adoption? In other words, these LGB employees didn’t feel safe talking about their lives outside of work. I was especially moved by this observation, “I don’t think our organizations want to hurt us. They just don’t know that we’re here.”

Is this your experience at work? What does your business or employer do to make you feel welcome? Let us know in the comments below.

Read the whole article.

Allison Partners is sponsoring the special, free screening of Weekend, a Pride Week event coming up Sunday, Sept. 9th, 3pm, at Vinegar Hill Theatre.

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