Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer “LGBTQ” community
Kissimmee, Florida -- I was asked to write on the pros and cons to hiring freelancers within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer “LGBTQ” community. Now, allow me to begin by stating that I am a middle aged, heterosexual man who traditionally believes in fighting the good fight, especially with regard to human rights. But in an effort to provide full disclosure, I never consciously felt one way or the other about the gay community prior to beginning to prepare for this piece. Whenever I personally interviewed a candidate for a position, the nature of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity played no conscious role in my decision-making, at least that was not positive. In my expert opinion, I've always found if an employer's aim was to hire a person who was almost certainly assertive, organized to a fault, thorough, and creative, gays, people of Asian descent, and women typically rose to the very top of my list. Yet, that is not to say that I am oblivious to the challenges that members of this community face.
I don't have to be gay in order to appreciate the level of discrimination most face within the workplace. I can imagine how it feels to be uninvited from an after-hours function because your boss is concerned about who you will bring as your "plus one." What is difficult to fathom is how it feels to identify as a woman but then be forced to use a male bathroom or to leave the building entirely. I can only assume how demoralizing it is to know within everything in you that the only reason you were not hired for the job is because the interviewer was personally offended by your decision to transition into a male.
As I studied and prepared, I was appalled by the statistics and the pseudo-legal loopholes within the federal Constitution. It is as if the personal life decision of those men and women instantly makes them American exceptions to the rule. At least, that is how they are often treated. Yet, I continue to stand by the fact that it's okay to hire gay (Twitter #ItsOkayToHireGay). In fact, the pros tend to far outweigh the cons.
A recent study was conducted where a number of LGBTQ-neutral or supportive employers and human resource professionals were asked to list the pros and cons to hiring members of this community. Based on the poll, it appears that everything that I have experienced within my own professional career was confirmed one hundred-fold.
My personal option and professional experience, here are just a few of the pros and cons that we generally concluded regarding LGBTQ hires:
PRO: Members of this community tend to pay amazing attention to detail
CON: 65% are found to be self-conscious
PRO: They are generally extraordinarily hard workers
CON: 70% tend to be sensitive to criticism
PRO: On average, their work has very few flaws.
CON: Because they have a tendency to be so incredibly meticulous, 75% charge higher than average rates.
What does this mean?
This means that within the United States population alone for example, there is a pool of more than 2 million meticulous, focused, and notably hard-working Americans out there for hire. Considering the fact that one-fifth (20%) of LGBTQ Americans have experienced some form of discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity when merely applying for a job, this community is a remarkable resource of incredible talent. Some other interesting statistics and facts were:
* LGBTQ people of color are even more likely to experience discrimination in the workplace than their white contemporaries
* Members of this community experience pay disparities that parallel what is often experienced by many women and African American professionals
* 25% of the transgender population said they were not hired, were fired, or were not promoted in 2015 due to their gender identity or expression
* 62% of LGBTQ employees are regularly subjected to gay and lesbian jokes at work, 43% to bisexual jokes, and 40% of the jokes regard transgenders
* Within technology companies it was found that LGBTQ employees were more likely to experience bullying, public humiliation and embarrassment than their non-LGBTQ peers.
While this community appears to harbor some of the best talent in the world, they are often treated in a way that is deplorable. Considering this disparate business climate, it would seem that if you are a company that can offer a professional and productive working environment where one's pay is based on one's actual ability instead of one's personal biases, and where each individual is treated fairly and equally regardless of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity, your company may be able to lure some really amazing talent from a very unexpected resource pool.
So on behalf of these talented and under-appreciated professionals, we are initiating a new movement today. We recognize as many others will soon come to understand that this conversation is long overdue. In a world that is founded on the beauty of our diversity, it is time for us to begin to tear down this wall of discrimination, unfairness, inequality, and mistreatment in the professional workplace against members of the LGBTQ community. This needs to be done before it is built to the height that so many other members of our otherwise remarkable society have been held behind for generations.
Today is a new day!
Today will become known as that famous day in 2018 that we stood together to say to the world #ItsOkayToHireGay!
We ask for you to join us in our stand against this global injustice. Go to www.Twitter.com and enter in the hashtag #ItsOkayToHireGay to join us in this movement.
#ItsOkayToHireGay is a Twitter-based global social movement for change in the professional workplace. It is intended to uproot hate against LGBTQ professionals before it becomes a permanent strand in the world business fabric.
N. D. Brennan is a contributor for The Jordan Effect, author of "51 Successful Business Tips For Millennials," and the creative mind behind The Social Media Millionaire book series. 51 Successful Business Tips For Millennials is scheduled to be available at www.Amazon.com on October 15, 2018. N. D. Brennan may be contacted directly at email@example.com.