Career Development is dedicated to providing resources and supporting Willamette students who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community by tailoring our services to meet your unique needs. Content areas for this page include strategies for finding inclusive work environments, disclosing identity-specific information on application materials, gender expression and the job search, and coming out at work.
LGBTQ+ Nondiscrimination and Workplace Protections
Currently, National workplace protections for LGBTQ+ populations do not exist. Protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression varies state by state. This resource from the Movement Advancement Project provides information on protections for each state. It is important to note that Career Development is not able to offer legal advice. The resources we provide are not meant to replace the work of an attorney. Rather, we provide these resources to help you navigate the culture of the state(s) in which you are job searching.
Oregon LGBTQ+ Workplace Protections - Oregon State Bar
Oregon state law protects employees in the private and public sector from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression.
On October 25, 2019, Governor Kate Brown signed Executive Order 19-08 ensuring equal treatment under the law for the LGBTQ+ community in Oregon, updating a previous executive order and expanding protections for more sexual orientations than gay and lesbian and recognizing that there are more than two gender identities.
Career Barriers for LGBTQ+ Students
You may already be aware of several career barriers LGBTQ+ students may face in their career development process. We want to address a few of these barriers while also identifying ways that we can work together to overcome them.
|Career Barriers for LGBTQ+ College Students||Advice and Support from WU Career Development|
|Have to navigate sexuality at work||We recognize that the decision to come out is incredibly personal and confidential information. The decision to disclose sexuality in the workplace is a very delicate decision to make because of the ever-changing legal framework around LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination. We are here to discuss your decision-making process and provide resources to help you determine if/how you would like to disclose your sexual orientation at work.|
|Gauging LGBTQ+ workplace openness||We recognize that engaging in job search means looking into what places and businesses have inclusive environments. We provide individual career advising to help students search for inclusive organizations. See “Searching for Inclusive Environments” Resource section below this matrix.|
|Navigating pronouns and gender identity in the workplace||We provide a safe and welcoming space where your pronouns will always be heard, valued, and respected. We can provide resources and conversations to help you determine how you would like navigate gender expression in your workplace.|
|Transgender individuals statistically face disparate amounts of workplace discrimination and harassment||We recognize that LGBTQ+ individuals, but especially the transgender community - and specifically transgender individuals of color, face a disproportionate amount of workplace discrimination. While we cannot provide legal advice, we are here to talk to you about your experiences and can discuss your options if you are considering filing a report or complaint. See below “Transgender Specific Resources” section below for resources.|
|Hiring discrimination in the hiring process||Unfortunately, the discrimination that LGBTQ+ individuals face can start as early as the hiring process. Career Development can help you navigate organizational culture, help evaluate the inclusivity of a workplace, tailor your resume to ensure that you are comfortable with all of the information that you share, and navigate challenging interview questions. See the “Searching for Inclusive Environments” and “Resume Writing” sections below for resources.|
Searching for Inclusive Environments
HRC GenEQ Guide to Entering the Workforce: A comprehensive guide on navigating challenges many LGBTQ+ individuals face when entering the workforce. This covers information on exploring your values, finding inclusive employers, non-discrimination policies, the job search, and coming out at work.
HRC Corporate Equality Index: This resource provides a list of employers that earned a 100 percent rating on the HRC Corporate Equality Index. HRC states that their rating system consists of the following three factors: “non-discrimination policies across business entities, equitable benefits for LGBTQ workers and their families, supporting an inclusive culture and corporate social responsibility.” Because of their rating, these corporations have been listed as a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.”
HRC Best Places to Work 2020: A list of companies that have scored a 100% in the Corporate Equality Index (described above) organized by industry.
HRC Municipal Equality Index: “examines how inclusive municipal laws, policies, and services are of LGBTQ people who live and work there.” This resource can be helpful if you are looking to relocate and would like to research the cities that you are considering. While state laws are considered in the ranking system, the end result focuses on each individual city’s inclusivity. Cities can score up to 100 points.
Informational interviews are a strategy that you can use to evaluate an organization’s inclusivity. Informational interviews allow you to connect with professionals working in organizations you are considering and inquire directly about their commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. For more information on how to conduct an informational interview, visit our Comprehensive Networking Guide.
Transgender Specific Resources
Navigating Gender Identity and Expression During a Job Search: This article was written by a career services professional who is a transgender woman. She shares her personal experiences in job searching while offering advice on how to navigate topics such as legal names, pronouns, and interview questions while you are job searching.
Practical Advice for Transgender and Nonbinary Folks Navigating the Job Search - (Content warning from the author: Mentions of misgendering, harassment, discrimination, and anti-trans hatred). This article is helpful in offering advice on finding trans-inclusive work environments, transitioning your references, changing your legal name, and checking your online presence.
National Transgender Center For Equality’s (NCTE) Know Your Employment Rights Page - The NCTE is a national advocacy organization committed to advancing transgender equality. This page includes resources on transgender-specific employment rights.
Model Transgender Employment Policy - The Transgender Law Center has prepared a thorough model nondiscrimination policy that you can use to compare to other businesses’ workplace policies.
Navigating Disclosure Issues in Resume Writing - A guide from Oregon State University that outlines options for various levels of disclosure when discussing work with LGBTQ+ organizations on a resume.
Coming out at work
Ready to Come Out at Work? Here's How to Start - Advice on steps to take when coming out at work. The author offers advice around taking the coming out process in multiple stages and provides some examples of ways you could approach coming out at work.
Should You Come Out at Work? - A follow-up article with factors to consider before deciding to come out at work. The author offers suggestions for doing research on a company. Additionally, the article offers some insight on potential consequences of coming out or choosing not to disclose.