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As Employers Celebrate Pride, Their LGBTQ+ Workers Express Concerns

Major employers have shelled out a lot of money to support Pride celebrations this month, but a recent poll finds that many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and/or questioning (LGBTQ+) workers are not feeling the love from their bosses.

lgbtq flag 1184117 1280 websiteAs much of the attacks against the LGBTQ+ community has stemmed from the political space amid a slew of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, 65% of respondents to a recent Indeed survey expressed concerns about how these actions can impact their employment and career prospects. The survey, conducted from April 27 to May 10, of respondents who identify as LGBTQ+ and who work full-time, also found that 52% say they would never consider a job in a state that has adopted anti-LGBTQ+ laws.

Employers also have a long way to go in winning the confidence of LGBTQ+ workers as 60% feel they weren’t afforded promotions because of who they are, while 47% believe they were paid less due to identifying as part of this community. Just over one-quarter of respondents have not come out at work as 43% of this group worry about discrimination, 35% fear being harassed and 24% are concerned about stifling their careers.

The survey also provides insight for employers on how to make their workplaces more welcoming to LGBTQ+ talent, but highlights their lack of awareness on how to reach that objective.

Eighty-one percent “of LGBTQ+ workers report having an employee resource group (ERG) creates a comfortable work environment, and 80% report it improves their well-being at work,” Indeed reports. “Considering that only 34% of LGBTQ+ workers say their company offers an LGBTQ+ employee resource group, the question of whether a potential employer has an ERG could be worth prioritizing by LGBTQ+ job seekers.”

What might seem like a relatively simple fix is not obvious to employers, the survey found. “In fact, our data shows that 79% of LGBTQ+ workers are more likely to apply for a job when an equal employment opportunity statement is included in the job posting, but less than 25% of U.S. job postings on Indeed explicitly include LGBTQ+ workers in EEO statements,” Indeed notes.

Two companies that have garnered a lot of heat from both pro- and anti-LGBTQ groups recently are Target and Bud Light.

Target has long been celebrated for its large LGBTQ employee resource group and has earned a 100% rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for 10 straight years, Human Resource Executive reports. But the company’s recent decision to remove some Pride Month merchanise from its stores amid threats has some of its employees blasting their employer for “rainbow washing”, or public displays and pronouncements of support for the LGBTQ+ community during Pride month with little else to show for LGBTQ+ workers the remaining 11 months.

“If you’re an employee, you’ll only feel like you can bring your full self to work only one month out of the year,” says Cathy Renna, communications director for the National LGBTQ Task Force. “That doesn’t feel good.”

Target defended its decision in a statement noting that “since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work.”

“Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior,” the statement said. “Our focus now is on moving forward with our continuing commitment to the LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual) community and standing with them as we celebrate Pride Month and throughout the year.”

Renna said despite Target’s explanation, she has viewed internal messages from their LGBTQ+ employees and that “they are very upset and disappointed.”

“They basically said, ‘This has always been a safe workplace for me and now it’s just infuriating and disappointing,’’ she said, adding it will take time for Target to win over these employees.

Conservatives blasted Bud Light after Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender influencer, shared on social media that the Anheuser-Busch-branded beer placed Mulvaney’s photo on a commemorative can, AP reported. The right-wing backlash that followed led to Bud Light’s U.S.. sales sinking 23% for the month ending May 13, Bump Williams Consulting noted.

Pro-LGBTQ+ supporters blasted Bud Light saying that the company caved to the outrage over Mulvaney. But Bud Light has been hearing support from some Pride organizers across the country as the company has remained committed to financially backing their events this month. “There is some tension and we will be watching it,” says Suzanne Ford, the executive director of San Francisco Pride. “But on a local level, they’ve been a very great supporter.”

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