Career exploration and advancement are closely tied to one’s intersections of identity. The best Northeastern resource for career-related topics will be the Office of Employer Engagement and Career Design. Reach out to them for support in coaching groups and the Career Studio, which can provide one-on-one support to questions and tailored resources. They also offer many different coaching labs, which you can RSVP for here or on NUworks.
Many offices at Northeastern will help you with identity related resources. NU PLACE has partnered with the following offices to provide support for students and alumni with underrepresented racial, cultural, and/or ethnic identities to develop and achieve your career goals:
Check out the main Career Resources page for more resources.
There are several resources specifically to help job seekers find LGBTQA+ friendly employers, workplace information, and networking opportunities. The resources below will allow you to conduct company research, empower you to know your rights, and allow you to make informed decisions about location specific searches given the socio-political landscape.
- The Human Rights Campaign (HRC)is the largest civil rights organization working to achieve LGBTQ equality in the United States. The HRC envisions a world where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people are ensured equality and embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
- Check out the following work-related resources:
- 2019 Corporate Equality Index – National benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertinent to LGBTQ employees.
- Human Rights Campaign Foundation 2022: Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality – List of companies by industry that achieved 100% on the Corporate Equality Index.
- Human Rights Campaign Employment Map – Search for gender and sexual orientation non-discrimination laws and policies by state.
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – Guide for understanding legal protections and reporting discrimination in the workplace.
The National LGBT Task Force is a non-profit that aims to advance full freedom, justice and equality for LGBTQ people. Explore their website for resources on knowing your rights and advocacy opportunities.
- Immigration Equality – The nation’s leading LGBTQ immigrant rights organization that provides legal resources and an Asylum Manual for international students and families.
- Aperian Global’s GlobeSMART LGBTQ Around the World provides information for LGBTQA rights, legal protection, and societal attitudes on 97 cultures globally. You can complete the GlobeSMART Inventory by clicking here, which will allow you to assess cross-cultural fit in personal and professional environments worldwide.
- GoinGlobal helps new and experienced job seekers find opportunities both at home and abroad. There are Career Guides by global city and country, which also provides cultural insight into living there. Access this portal through NUworks under Career Design -> Resources.
- The National Center for Transgender Equality houses a wealth of resources for employment of transgender and gender non-conforming folks, in addition to tools for knowing your rights beyond the workplace. Helpful guides to navigate existing laws and policies, address discrimination, and identify people as advocates and allies include:
- Listing Your Name on a Resume/Cover Letter/LinkedIn: Your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile allow you to build your professional brand as you choose. In any of these spaces, it is appropriate to list your preferred name. You may also list your pronouns next to your name. It is recommended to research company culture and inclusivity as well as state rights to ensure your decisions are fully informed.
- Listing Your Name on Legal Documents: For many organizations, your legal name is required for background checks, social security documents, and insurance forms. However, you can still apply with your preferred name via application portals and documents (see above). If you would like to learn more about legally changing your name, visit the National Center for Transgender Equality’s ID Document Center.
- Professional Attire: This article on Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Professional Attire Tips provides advice on how to dress your best for an interview or at work while remaining true to your authentic self.
- For resources on continuing education, visit ourGraduate and Law School resource page. You can also make an appointment to meet with Career Design’s Pre-Law and Graduate School Advisor through myNortheastern. Similar to searching for a company, be sure to look for non-discrimination policies and inclusive language when searching for graduate programs.
- For LGBTQA+ specific resources, check out the HRC’sLGBTQ Student Scholarship Database.
- Transgender-Inclusive Benefits for Employees and Dependents provides information clarifying discriminatory versus transgender-inclusive health insurance.
Professional associations are a great way to make connections, look for jobs, and further your own professional development. These groups unite and inform people who work in the same industry or profession. There are many advantages to joining associations such as networking opportunities, conferences, forums, and job fairs.
If you cannot find a professional association that fits with your industry/profession below, conduct a web search to look up “Professional Association” along with your industry/profession title. You can also network with professionals to learn about opportunities within your specific industry/profession.
- National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce – The largest advocacy organization for the LGBT community in Business. They strive to expand economic opportunities, advancements, and certification for LGBT-owned businesses.
- Reaching out MBA – Reaching Out is a space to network, search and post jobs, find mentors/mentees, share events and more
- International Lesbian and Gay Law Association – Strives to unite people around the world who are dedicated to equality under the law. Helps to create laws and regulations that benefit the LGBT community.
- The LGBTQ+ Bar – National association of lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals and students. They promote justice in and through the legal profession.
- GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality – Works to ensure health equality for LGBTQ individuals and professionals.
- National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association – Journalist-led association that works to advance fair and accurate coverage of LGBTQ communities and issues.
- Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies – They work to advance diversity and equity within the US foreign affairs agencies and promoting LGBT human rights around the world.
- U.S. Department of Justice Pride – Serves as the Department of Justice’s recognized organization for LGBTQ+ employees and allies. Works to identify and address key issues and areas affecting employees.
- Lesbian and Gay Congressional Staff Association – Nonpartisan Congressional organization that is dedicated to advancing the rights of all it’s members and the LGBT+ community at large within the House of Representatives.
- National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals – Advocates for equal opportunity, professional networking, role modeling, science education, and scientific freedom with responsibility.
- Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics – Largest non-profit organization for LGBTQ+ people working in STEM.
- Resources for LGBTQ Professionals in Tech – See professional associations and more resources in this article from Master’s in Data Science.
- Pride at Work – LGBTQ+ union members and their allies. Organizes mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBTQ+ community.
- SpeakOUT – Organization focused on sharing stories, educational programing, training, and engaging audiences in honest dialogue.
- Pride in Our Workplace – Provides all LGBTQ+ professionals with ways to amplify their voices and create thriving workplace cultures.
- myGWork – Offers opportunity to expand professional networks, connect with corporate partners, attend events, and receive mentoring.
- Blind LGBT Pride International – Promotes awareness and inclusion about the well-being of the blind and vision impaired LGBT community through education, advocacy, and peer-support.
- Center for Black Equity – Organization dedicated to achieving equality and social justice for Black LGBTQ+ communities through economic, health, and social equity.
- National Black Justice Coalition – Leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black LGBTQ+ people and those living with HIV/AIDS.
- Gay Asian Pacific Alliance – Social, political, cultural, and professional programming directed to building community and strengthening LGBTQ+ Asian and Pacific Islanders.
- National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance – Federation of LGBTQ+ Asian and Pacific Islanders that seeks to develop leadership, promote visibility, educate the community, and enhance organizing and collaboration.
- Trikone – Non-profit for LGBTQ+ individuals of South Asian descent that aims to provide services to the community at large.
- Trans Student Education Resources – Youth led organization dedicated to transforming the education environment for trans and gender non-conforming students.
- Lesbians of Color Symposium Collective – nonprofit community organization dedicated to enriching the lives LBTQ+ women and non-binary people of color
For even more resources visit here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Check Employer Websites
- Read their Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) statement, hiring policies, or check any job posting to assess language—do these policies protect against discrimination because of sexual orientation, gender identity, characteristics, or expression?
- Check their benefits policies (domestic partner benefits or transgender health coverage) for clues.
- Research Employee Resource Groups at the organization by identity.
Check Other Sources
- Personal network—Do you know someone who works there that you can ask?
- LinkedIn —Do any alumni work there that you can ask?
- Glassdoor—Companies Reviews Section
- Conduct a search in the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index
- Search the company in the news online: Have any employee complaints or discrimination issues come up it the company history?
Assess Through Application Process
- Assess the applications materials and if there are any disclosure forms/surveys
- Ask about diversity initiatives in the interview
- Are there any active diversity and inclusion initiatives you can tell me about?
- Do you have employee resource groups? What kinds?
- What is the protocol when an employee feels they have experienced unfair treatment?
- Does your company/organization provide any benefits that might be more likely to attract diverse talent?
- How do you prioritize diversity and inclusion in your hiring process?
- Is your commitment to diversity and inclusion represented in your C-Suite level? If not, how do you plan on reflecting this priority?
- The decision to disclose your LGBTQA+ identity (or any intersections of your identity) to an employer at any point in the job search, interview process, or in the workplace is an entirely personal decision.
- Consider your personal comfort in coming out to an employer in addition to the company culture (see How do I assess employers as LGBTQA+-friendly organizations? above) to make your own informed decision.
- As listed in the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission statement, it is important to note that in the United States, under the protection of Title VII, it is unlawful for an employer to ask questions about an applicant’s sex, marital status, pregnancy, medical history of pregnancy, future child bearing plans, number and/or ages of children or dependents, provisions for child care, abortions, birth control, ability to reproduce, and name or address of spouse or children.
- Discussing any campus involvement or professional experience in LGBTQA+ spaces on a resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, or in an interview depends on your decision to disclose information about your gender identity and/or sexual orientation to an employer (see above question). Here are some suggested ways to list this type of leadership experience:
|Comfortable Disclosing||Not Comfortable Disclosing|
|Out in Business, Vice President||Diversity Business Organization, Vice President|
|Reach(OUT) LGBTQA+ Career Conference, Student Speaker||Career Conference, Student Speaker|
|Rainbow Graduation Award Recipient||Senior Recognition Award|
- You may be asked to elaborate on your experiences in an interview, so be prepared to discuss your leadership experience with whatever level of disclosure you are most comfortable with. You should never feel pressured to “out” yourself in an application or on an interview.
Whether you have decided to disclose your gender and sexual identity to your supervisor or not, if you would like to join and leverage the LGBTQA+ network at work, search for your organization’s Employee Resource Groups. These groups within an organization are similar to student organizations, but in the workplace. Oftentimes, companies will have interest- and identity-based Employee Resource Groups that can be both social and resourceful. Search for a Pride or LGBTQA+ Group at your organization.
Annual Reach(OUT) LGBTQA+ Career Conference
The Reach(OUT) LGBTQA+ Career Conference focuses on the perspectives and concerns of queer, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary, intersex, and asexual students in preparation for co-op, internships, and professional life beyond campus. Students have the opportunity to hear from LGBTQA+ alumni and professionals in various industries about topics such as navigating microaggressions, corporate culture, gender presentation, etc. Additionally, students engage with their peers on these topics and meet with professionals to further discuss questions related to preparing for professional working environments.
The conference has been recognized as a finalist for the 2019 Career Leadership Collective Innovation Showcase and by the National Association of College and Employers with the 2016 Outstanding Diversity & Inclusion Program Award.
Information on dates and more details about the conference can be found on the Reach(OUT) website.
To get an understanding of what the REACH (OUT) Conference is all about and the topics that are discussed, take a look at these video highlights from the November 5, 2016, conference:
Reach (OUT) Conference: Business Under 30
Reach (OUT) Conference: Addressing Discrimination