Should you tell a potential employer that you’re LGBTQ+? was originally published on College Recruiter.
When it comes to being part of the LGBTQ+ community, openness is an extremely personal choice. This goes for not just your personal life, but your professional life as well. It’s understandable to be nervous and unsure about disclosing your sexual orientation or gender identity in the workplace, and even more so during the interview and job-seeking process.
Naturally, if you’re nervous about this, there’s a big question likely looming over your job search: should you tell a potential employer that you’re LGBTQ+? Though it really comes down to whatever you feel is right for you, arriving at that decision often comes with having an understanding of a company’s views and policies around diversity and inclusion.
Simply put, there are state and federal laws in place that prevent discrimination in the workplace. Having a knowledge of those laws is crucial, however compliance with a law might not always mean that the people at your potential organization are all welcoming and inclusive in their personal views. But, there are ways LGBTQ+ workers can ensure a potential employer is inclusive and accepting even before the onboarding process. If you’re able to do some research on people at the job—management, executive level, etc—this would be a way to hopefully gain some insight as to whether or not they have a history of problematic views regarding the LGBTQ+ community. Having this knowledge will surely help inform your decision as to whether or not you feel comfortable disclosing it in the interview process.
At the end of the day, you don’t have to disclose anything to an employer that you don’t want to in regard to your personal life. If it doesn’t impact your work, it’s your business and nobody else’s. But sometimes being up front early on in the process can help you gauge whether a company is the right fit for you. We’ve come a long way in the U.S. as it pertains to acceptance towards the LGBTQ+ community, and employers are really emphasizing diversity more than ever—especially when hiring students out of college—but there are of course still people out there who aren’t accepting of the community and who may ultimately pose a risk of being discriminatory. Being informed goes a very long way.
The reason that discrimination laws are put in place is to not only create a safe, equal, and diverse workplace for everyone to feel part of, but also to help move the needle towards a more equal and accepting society. Despite many companies continuing to operate remotely, feeling accepted through a screen is still important. Not feeling accepted at work can lead to poor work performance and a decline in job satisfaction, making a safe and accepting work environment even more crucial for quality of life.
At the end of the day, the decision is yours. If you feel comfortable and informed enough to disclose to a potential employer that you’re LGBTQ+, it could very well help to create a trust and openness that you might never have experienced with a boss or employer before. Do research, trust your gut, and make the choice that’s right for you.
— Article by Sean Kelly, an analyst researching the latest industry trends for College Recruiter