An LGBTQ-inclusive workplace does more than make everyone feel comfortable and welcome in the workplace. These diversity-sensitive environments also open the doors to career growth and long-term opportunities. How can you discover these prime employers?

According to Gallup, 5.6% of the U.S. population identifies as LGBT. Unfortunately, the representation in corporate America lags significantly behind this figure.

McKinsey points to a study that shows that 3.1% of entry level positions are occupied by LGBTQ men, with another 2.3% going to LGBTQ women. Together that makes 5.4%, close to the national average. So far, so good.

However, as you go up the corporate level, that representation dwindles dramatically. At the highest levels, only 0.6% of top management positions go to LGBTQ women and 2.9% are held by LGBTQ men.

Together, that equates to 3.5% — meaning that LGBTQ team members are underrepresented by more than a third (37.5%) at the highest echelons of power.

How can you find companies that will recognize your potential? This takes pinpointing employers that promote based on merit and invest in building an inclusive culture. Here are a few tips you can use to find that perfect LGBTQ-inclusive workplace:

Research Potential Employers

Start your process with the company’s public face. You’ll dig deeper later on, but make sure that any company passes the initial inclusiveness test before you invest any more time in considering a job there.

Look around for signs that a perspective employer supports its LGBTQ workers. Consider things like:

  • Social media posts
  • News articles
  • Donations and charity work
  • Participation in events, like Pride month

Talk to Your Network

Most employers will have a public stance that supports inclusiveness. But what really goes on within the company?

It’s hard to discover this insider information. Even with the proliferation of websites like Glassdoor, some fine-print policies and subtle cultural factors don’t become obvious until you’ve already taken the job.

Here’s a spot where your networking skills come in handy. Yes, they can boost your ability to discover opportunities. At the same time, your contacts can offer tips about specific employers.

Ask Questions at the Interview

Your initial research will give you an excellent background on the company. From there, you can craft specific questions to ask during the job interview. These will let you fill in the details and find out the information you need to form an accurate view of the company’s LGBTQ inclusiveness.

Don’t be shy about discussing these topics. Yes, a job interview can be intimidating. But the process is about matching you with the right employer. Remember that the discussion should go in both directions.

At the same time, avoid a confrontational stance. You’re still looking to impress. Frame your questions in a constructive way and treat your interviewers as allies in maximizing inclusiveness.

Look at Specific Policies

It’s important that companies say the right things. Unfortunately, that’s often as far as it goes. Token support for LGBTQ rights doesn’t do you much good as an employee.

Instead, look for the concrete benefits they provide. Ask about the details of the company’s health care plan. Consider issues like family leave. Make sure that the firm’s operations match its rhetoric.

At the same time, drill down on the firm’s leadership and advancement opportunities. Do they have a diverse team running the company? Does everyone within the firm have an equal chance to reach the top of the corporate ladder?

The answers to these questions could make a difference. They could impact the rest of your career.

Ready to find the perfect employer for you? A top recruiter, like SmartTalent, can find the inclusive workplace you need to thrive.

Contact SmartTalent today to learn more.

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