How to Evaluate Company Culture for LGBTQ+ Friendliness Before Applying

How to Evaluate Company Culture for LGBTQ+ Friendliness Before Applying was originally posed on Diversity Jobs.

Company culture is important. So if you’re looking for a new job that supports the LGBTQ+ community, there are a few things to keep in mind during your job search. 

How a company operates doesn’t just directly impact its bottom line, but both customer loyalty and employee retention, as well. A Gallup poll confirmed this, finding that employees who felt strongly connected to their company’s culture weren’t just 3.7 times more likely “to be engaged at work,” but “68% “less likely to feel burned out at work very often or always.” 

Simply put, how a company operates matters – and this includes their hiring practices, values, community participation, and support they offer to all employees, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Everyone deserves to be respected and given access to supportive resources and opportunities at work. Evaluating a company’s culture for LGBTQ+ friendliness is a great place to start. 

Here are a few helpful ways you can do just that:

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Check The Company’s Diversity Statement

Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a company without a DEI statement. However, since it’s not a federal requirement, you may want to steer clear of companies that do not have one posted on their website. 

DEI, which stands for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a public statement that highlights a company’s stance on creating an inclusive and diverse working environment that offers ample opportunities to everyone employed. 

The goal of a DEI statement is to ensure that, not only do employees have an opportunity to use their voice, but also that they have a comfortable work environment in which they feel safe and respected. Furthermore, a DEI statement should highlight the company’s goals to create strategies that create this welcoming environment. You can usually find a company’s DEI statement on their About Us page. 

Keep in mind that, just like mission statements and values, some companies may not have had time to update their website to reflect their commitment to diversity. That’s why you should check out the other suggestions below. 

However, generally speaking, companies that do not have a DEI statement or similar wording on their website might be a red flag. 

Participation in LGBTQ+ Friendly Events

Another way you can gauge a company’s LGBTQ+ friendliness is if they actively participate in LGBTQ+-specific events. A great example is their participation in Pride Month, which takes place every June. 

There are several ways a company could engage in Pride Month, such as sharing posts on social media, offering updated diversity training to employees, or participating in charitable initiatives that benefit companies such as ILGAOutright International, or the Stonewall Foundation

Just like with any type of corporate initiative or employee function, companies will usually share these updates on their social media platforms and websites, making them visible to any interested applicant doing their due diligence before applying. 

Using Inclusive Language

In today’s corporate environment, the use of inclusive language is incredibly important in making everyone feel safe and included. 

As you likely already know, inclusive language refers to using and addressing someone with their preferred pronouns. Commonly, this refers to the pronouns: he/him, she/her, and they/them. However, some employees may prefer using their own modified pronouns that go outside the scope of these. 

To see if the company you’re applying to is LGBTQ+ friendly, see if they use this inclusive language in their corporate blogs, social media posts, and in their e-mail signature sign-off. 

Kind of Employee Benefits They Offer 

It’s not always possible to find out about a company’s benefits program before you apply, so this is one thing you’ll have to find out either during or after the interview process, but before you accept an offer. 

During your interview, ask the recruiter/hiring manager about the company’s benefits package. Health benefits that are LGBTQ+ friendly should include the following: 

  • Gender-affirming healthcare, including hormone therapy
  • Access to therapists who specialize in working with the LGBTQ+ community
  • Adoption/IVF
  • Coverage to domestic partners
  • Access to resource groups

While these are just a few examples, they’re pretty big ones in terms of the support, both physically and mentally, they can offer LGBTQ+ workers. Offering these benefits is a sign that the company isn’t just friendly to the LGBTQ+ community, but supportive of it. 

Check Personal and Business Social Media Platforms 

Last but not least, the best way to find out if a company is LGBTQ+ friendly is to check out their personal and business social media accounts. 

First, let’s talk about the company’s social media account. As briefly mentioned above, this is a great place to check for LGBTQ+-friendly events, initiatives, and participation in Pride Month and the like. This is an easy, effective way of measuring how supportive a company is, and by proxy, the culture is to the LGBTQ+ community. If possible, check out Google and Glassdoor reviews for a more honest portrayal of how the company operates from former and current employees. 

Second, let’s talk about personal social media platforms. Though it may not always be possible, you can try to scope out the company’s recruiters and managers if they’re tied to the company’s public LinkedIn account. 

If you can, try to see what they post on their personal Facebook page, Instagram, or X feed. This will give you some personal insight into how they spend their time and how they think, which could give you an idea of how accepting and supportive they’ll be in the workplace. 

Remember, hiring managers are checking out your social media profiles before they make you an offer; it’s okay to do the same thing to them. After all, an interview is a two-way street. It has to be a good fit for you as much as you are a good fit for them. 

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A Company That Supports the LGBTQ+ Community Has Everyone’s Best Interests in Mind

It’s true when experts say that finding a job is like having a job. If you are interested in working for an employer that supports the LGBTQ+ community, these tips can help you identify them and make the application process easier. 

At the end of the day, workplaces are stronger and more successful when they are inclusive to everyone. Look for companies that have diversity statements on their website, are flexible with pronoun usage, and welcoming to all who are interested in pursuing a career there. If you feel respected during your interview, chances are you will be once you land the job, too.

By Nora Diaz-Vasquez
Nora Diaz-Vasquez Career Counselor