LGBTQ Students

LGBTQRecognizing that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and intersex students and alumni may have some unique considerations in their work-related decisions, our career counselors are committed to helping LGBTQ students/alum with their specific concerns and issues. As staff and allies, we strive to:

  • Honor each unique interpretation of self/gender/sexuality to its fullest
  • Help students/alums with questions they need help with
  • Make as few assumptions as possible
  • Approach every person with a holistic perspective and sincere intention
  • Be open to learning and growing a little more every day

 

Possible Career-Related Issues

  • Resumes (what information to include/not include)
  • Benefits (for you/ a same-sex partner)
  • Workplace facilities
  • Finding companies with non-discrimination policies
  • Selection bias
  • Sharing information about personal life
  • Revealing sexual orientation or gender identity to co-workers/supervisors

 

Common Work-Related Questions

Should I reveal my sexual orientation or gender identity in my resume or cover letter?

Revealing your gender identity or sexual orientation at any stage of the job search process is a very personal decision — there is no “right” or “wrong” answer.

  • First, consider your own comfort level and interest in sharing your sexuality or gender identity with others. Is it important to you to be out at work?
  • Second, research your audience. Is it likely the organization you're applying to will look favorably upon LGBTQ -related experiences and activities? If you're concerned they will not, you can highlight the skills you developed without highlighting the organization you worked with.

Should I reveal my sexual orientation in the interview? Can a potential employer ask about my sexuality?

Once again, revealing your sexual orientation or gender identity at any stage of the job search process is personal and up to you.

  • It is illegal for an employer to ask about sexuality if an applicants’ sexual orientation is protected under state discrimination laws, but can be a legal question in states in which sexual orientation is not protected under discrimination laws. (In some states it is illegal to make a hiring decision based on your answer, in others states it remains legal to discriminate against people because of their LGBTQ identity.)
  • Prepare for the questions you would be most nervous about answering so that you go into the interview feeling confident and prepared to tactfully negotiate questions around your sexuality or gender.
  • Mock interviews with a career counselor are a great way to prepare yourself for an interview whether you may wish to reveal your sexual orientation or gender identity or not.

What work considerations do I need to think about as a transgender person?

It is important to be aware of state statutes regarding gender identity.  Right now in 33 states there is no state law protecting transgender people from being fired or not being hired in the first place because of who they are.  Only 17 states (CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, IL, IA, MA, ME, MN, NJ, NM, NV, OR, RI, VT, and WA) and D.C. currently prohibit discrimination based on gender identity.

  • Many transgender people have concerns related to work-place benefits and workplace facilities—will workplace insurance cover hormones and/or surgery? Does the company have gender-neutral or single-sex bathrooms available? If you are uncomfortable revealing your gender identity, you can ask questions in a way that will get you these answers without specifically revealing your gender identity.  Ask about “diversity initiatives” in general, or say “tell me about diversity in the workplace and related policies, such as” and list several types of diversity, including sexual orientation and/or identity, in order to assess the employer.

 

How do I search for LGBTQ career resources?

There are several search engines designed specifically to help job seekers find LGBTQ-friendly employers, workplace information, and networking opportunities.

 

Northeastern University LGBTQ Resources

The LGBTQA Resource Center at Northeastern has programs and events, resources, and opportunities for training and education for Northeastern’ s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally students.  The LGBTQA resource center also strives to create an active and engaged LGBTQA community on campus.

 

Rights in the Workplace

The HRC has a page devoted to workplace issues and resources, including employer benefits, diversity programs, and information on equal opportunity employers. Check out the Corporate Equality index, ranking employers based on their policies and practices related to the LGBT community.

National organization devoted to the LGBT community in the workplace to end employment discrimination.

The TLPI brings experts and advocates together to work on law and policy initiatives designed to advance transgender equality.

 

Job Search and Career Related Resources

GLBT employees of the Federal government.

GLP Careers is a job search engine providing employment opportunities and resources to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender job seekers in the US.

Find jobs, learn about employment at diversity-friendly companies and research careers by networking with your LGBT and allied colleagues.

Mass equality is a Massachusetts organization that has resources and contacts to help locate LGBTQ friendly employers.

An organization dedicated exclusively to the employment needs of the GLBT professional workforce, with a job search engine for GLBT-friendly companies.

The Reaching Out LGBT MBA Conference provides future LGBT leaders from around the world the   opportunity to network, learn, and improve their skills so they will emerge stronger and more confident in the business world. Leading businesses partner with the conference to show support for the LGBT community and recruit top level talent.

A collection of resources about transitioning on the job and other issues transsexual and transgendered workers and their employers may face.

Out For Undergrad grew out of the success of the Reaching Out MBA Conference.  This group hosts two annual conferences, one for the business sector and one for the technology sector, and also sponsors a leadership summit for promising members of the LGBT community.

Out for Work prepares LGBT college students for work as they transition from college to the workplace by providing students with advice and other opportunities.

Out Professionals is a job search and networking website including a directory of businesses, women’s network, LGBT events and links, and volunteer opportunities.

Professional Associations

Assessing Employers

    Check Employer Websites

  • Read their EEO, hiring policies, or check any job posting to assess language—do these policies protect against discrimination because of sexual orientation, gender identity, characteristics, or expression?
  • Check their benefits policies (domestic partner benefits or transgender health coverage) for clues

    Check Other Sources

  • Personal network—Do you know someone who works there that you can ask?
  • LinkedIn and HuskyNation—Do any alumni work there that you can ask?
  • Glassdoor.com—Companies Reviews Section
  • Conduct a Search in the Human Rights Campaign Employer Database
  • Internet Searches (do employee complaints or discrimination issues come up on the company?)

    Assess Through Application Process

  • Assess the applications materials and if there are any disclosure forms/surveys
  • Ask about “diversity initiatives” in the interview