This week on a call with one of our community partners we shared job seeker stories that we have been hearing over the past months.
So often we see LGBTQ+ individuals first on the chopping block at their companies while their cisgender heterosexual co-workers with less time on the job, less experience and less educational experience maintain their roles.
It’s heartbreaking to hear that a transgender worker in Florida was released from their role after being at a company for over 5 years.
It’s heartbreaking to hear that a gender non-conforming individual in Idaho was released even though they have 10+ years experience over others who maintained their roles.
Supporting LGBTQ+ employees and job seekers isn’t just for the good economic times. We have to be intentional with our talent pipelines, our staff reduction policies and ensure that LGBTQ+ people have a voice throughout the process.
It’s heartbreaking to hear about an gay man with diabilities that was put on furlough from his company while his co-workers that sit at the desk right next to him maintained their roles. In this case, the company likely saw the healthcare costs associated with the individual and chose to cut them as an ‘expensive’ employee and maintain their co-worker instead. In turn, reducing the intersectional identities present within the organization.
Hiring AND firing/releasing decisions must be through a lens of equity. We must recognize that knowledge, skill AND intersectional identities are important to the culture of our organizations.
LGBTQ+ people are less likely to advance in their careers because of their intersectional identities.
I was once denied for advancement because the leader in the organization said that if I got the role he didn’t know if I would turn the office into a “gay dance sex party.” My co-worker in that same instance was also denied because he was a heterosexual black man that was Muslim. The reason? The leader in the organization said that if my co-worker got the role he would turn the office into a “harem of polyamory and sin.”
The person who did advance into the role was a Hispanic heterosexual Catholic male. The organization was filled with diversity. The organization was filled with intersectional identities. The issue in this case was the decision makers bias toward religious identity and sexual identity. In retrospect, I don’t fault the decision maker for his choice. I do fault the decision maker for not recognizing his bias and then working to overcome that bias through education.
Intersectional identities bring to the forefront the best and the worst in people. The more we can do to highlight the lived and learned experiences of all those around us, the greater we are able to achieve our goals of economic empowerment for the LGBTQ+ community.
Support us as we build a community that is welcomed, valued and able to experience all that life has to offer. Help us to connect LGBTQ+ job seekers with companies that value their knowledge, skill AND intersectional identities.
Chaleur Creative & IdentifyCareers.com