Finding a job can seem like a real slog sometimes, and it can feel even harder if you’re struggling to find employers who you think will treat you fairly just because you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Telling your new boss about your sexual orientation is an entirely personal decision. You’re not legally obliged to say anything and it’s unlawful for them to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation.
But, in reality, how easy is it to find employers that don’t just follow the letter of the law, but actively promote the fact that they support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other (LGBTQ+) applicants and employees? They’re not exactly flying the rainbow flag out of every office window, or are they?
Here’s some hints and tips to help you find LGBTQ+ friendly employers you can apply to:
1. Look at the Stonewall Equality Index
This is a list of 400 employers who have all said, and done something to prove, that they welcome LGBTQ+ candidates and that LGBTQ+ staff are happy working there. You can find the index on Stonewall’s website.
2. Use job search sites
Most job sites advertise jobs from lots of employers, but some specifically promote vacancies from LGBTQ+ friendly ones. The Proud Employers site is aimed at LGBTQ+ jobseekers and wants to help them find roles with LGBTQ+ friendly employers. Another useful site is vercida.com which has a section called ‘What you want from an employer?’. This is a list of options which include LGBTQ+ initiatives. By ticking that, you’ll only be shown vacancies from employers that have these initiatives.
3. Do your research
Whoever you’re applying to, it’s always good to do a bit of research on them first. So, whilst you’re doing this, take a look at their website to see if it mentions having an LGBTQ+ staff network and look out for the ‘Proud Employers’ and ‘Stonewall’ icons.
Attend career and networking events, especially those targeted at LGBTQ+ students and graduates such as Authenticity aimed at LGBTQ+ students interested in a career in the city.
5. Attend a Pride event
It may sound strange but whilst partying you might find your next employer. There’s often large companies and organisations in attendance as well as sponsoring the event. Check out the gallery after the event if you can’t remember who was there or if you couldn’t attend.
6. Be out if you want to be
Consider the pros and cons of being ‘out’ or not, depending on each individual employer. Remember to do what makes you feel comfortable.
Job searching isn’t simply about finding ‘a job’ but about finding a working environment where you can be yourself, feel positive and supported and thrive. While the process can feel overwhelming, know that there is support out there to make it that much more manageable. Start by having a clear understanding of what it is that you’re after and use the tools above to help you find a job that is right for you.