LGBTQ+ corporate employees now have an online guide
for advocating for workplace equality and inclusion.
Advocacy group Out & Equal's new guide is a potential tool for those seeking improved protections for LGBTQ+ employees at their workplaces. It's intended for use by employee resource groups (ERGs),
which are worker-led internal organizations
formed to promote workplace diversity.
"We continue to be inspired by the bold leadership of employee resource groups," Out & Equal managing director Deena Fidas said. "These often serve as a bridge between the internal workings of a company and external LGBTQ organizations."
An increasing number of Fortune 500 companies have implemented nondiscrimination protections for sexual orientation and gender identity at the recommendation of their ERGs, according to Out & Equal. Last year, for example, Alamo City-headquartered USAA received a 100% score on the Human Rights Campaign's corporate equality index.
"Change has happened because of these bold voices, and it's also happened because of the competitive nature of business," Fidas said. "If businesses bury their head in the sand when it comes to LGBTQ equality, they're also burying their head in the sand when it comes to opportunities for growth for their own company and invested interest."
Last Thursday, the U.S. House passed the Equality Act, a bill that would provide federal LGBTQ+ anti-discrimination protections in employment, housing and public accommodations. Texas is one of the 29 states lacking such protections.
President Joe Biden has expressed support for the Equality Act, but the act must clear debate in the Senate before it reaches his desk.
"We are the closest we've ever been to full federal legal equality for the LGBTQ community," Fidas said. "Now is the time for all fair-minded Americans to make their voices heard that LGBTQ Americans deserve the same civil rights and protections as everyone else."