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LGBTQ+ Diversity and Inclusion: Supporting your LGBTQ+ employees
By Patrick R. Nelson

According to a recent study by the U.S. Chamber Foundation, diversity in your work organization creates a more productive work environment, increases employee retention, and is good for your bottom line. In fact, companies with inclusive policies and diverse boards of directors see a stock performance 6.5% higher than their competition, and they create stronger partnerships with community organizations and employee groups. Potential employees notice these policies. A 2017 Deloitte study found that 80% of job seekers are looking for inclusive employers and 72% are willing to leave current employment if the new company is more inclusive.


The Human Rights Campaign has published the Corporate Equality Index since 2002. It ranks companies on a variety of pro-LGBTQ+ policies that benefit the community. The early days saw only a handful of organizations ranking well and even fewer reaching 100%. The 2019 Index has 571 companies reaching the coveted 100% mark.


What’s important to job seekers is a workplace that allows them to be who they are. Bringing your whole self to work means being out from the start, talking about a spouse no matter your orientation, and even dressing in a manner that makes you feel comfortable—especially if it’s gender non-conforming.


It goes deeper than this, too. Potential employees want to know that you’re encouraging current employees to participate in the shared experience of inclusivity. Do you offer diversity training? Do you offer equitable benefits coverage? Do you have non-discrimination policies in place? Do you actively recruit a diverse workforce?


There are things that you can do to accomplish this: Become an ally.


How do you do that?


First, empower yourself. There are so many resources available at your fingertips that weren’t available even 15 years ago. A quick online search will give you access to LGBTQ+ groups, inclusive companies, and other websites and resources. Read. Read. Read. When you’re done, ask questions.


Once you’re comfortable, be visible and be affirming. You can show your support by treating everyone equally and with respect. Show your LGBTQ+ coworkers that you’re interested in them and make them feel comfortable in your “space.” And, if you’re unsure of an LGBTQ+ coworker’s pronouns? ASK! More than likely, that person will be happy you asked and will share without judgement.


Empower your colleagues. Speak out if you see or hear discrimination. Encourage your colleagues—both gay and straight—to support an office culture of inclusion. Speak up against homophobia and bigotry. Be a person that develops the type of culture you would want to be part of.


Finally, and most importantly: LISTEN. Being a good ally means you hear what your LGBTQ+ employees and coworkers are saying. Having a “safe space” to talk without judgement and with confidentiality is important to all relationships between colleagues. If a co-worker confides in you, feel proud that you are given an opportunity to be a trusted ally. And please do remember that even if someone shares their orientation with you, that information might not be shared with others.


Being an ally isn’t easy. It takes some work. But lucky for all of us, there are resources online and, in many companies, resources that can help you along your journey. Reach out to your HR or People Services office to see what they have on tap. Hop online to read more about the LGBTQ+ community and how to be a great ally in the workplace.


Here are some resources to help you get started:

LGBTQ+ Diversity and InclusionAbout Patrick R. Nelson
I think I am one of the
most fortunate LGBTQ+ employees there is. I have been out for 25 years. Not only have I had great experiences at work, but also have a family that has been incredibly supportive since that post-dinner conversation in the early 90s.Since coming out, I’ve been “out” at work to varying degrees until my most recent job changes. I timidly came out at those first two jobs after grad school, was a bit bolder when I was a contractor at the Veterans Health Administration, and even served a couple terms as president of the LGBT employee group during my time at Fannie Mae. But through those 20+ years of job experiences, I took my time sharing my personal life with my coworkers—until now.In the spring, I joined Booz Allen’s internal corporate staff and for the first time was out from the start of the hiring process. I was referred by the Co-Chair of the Booz Allen GLOBE so there was an air of assumption. And in the fall of 2015, I became an adjunct lecturer in the Professional Writing Program in the University of Maryland’s English Department, having been an out and active alumnus for two decades.

Coming out is a never-ending process, especially while teaching. Each new semester and class, the process starts all over again. But since my then boyfriend and I decided to get married two years ago, I somehow outed myself during that first day of class rather than let that news leak during the semester. What was the reason my coming out timeline changed? Part of that is that it’s 2019, but mostly it’s because the places I choose to work support their LGBTQ+ employees, encouraging them to bring their whole selves to work each day. That is good for employees and it’s good for business.

Posted in Candidates, Hiring Managers, In the News, Tips for Job Seekers, Uncategorized, Workplace culture

What we’re thankful for…

During this season of gratitude, the TorchLight Team has a lot to be thankful for—family, friends, fulfilling work with great clients and candidates, and so much more. Read on to learn what each of us is grateful for this year and beyond.

Posted in Candidates, Companies

Meet our November 2019 TorchLight Contractor of the Month Jennifer Coggins

We’d like to congratulate Jennifer Coggins for her selection as the first TorchLight Contractor of the Month! TorchLight Contractor of the Month is a new program that recognizes top-notch efforts by our contractors. Jennifer was an obvious choice—she consistently delivers high-quality work and shows complete dedication to her projects and clients.

Posted in Candidates, Contract Consultants, Interviews

Jobs of the week including PR Manager, Marketing Specialist and more

Seeking talented PR Manager, Marketing Specialist and other qualified marketing and communications pros

Are you a top marketer or PR manager and looking for a great new opportunity? Read on for our latest job openings.

Seeking talented PR Manager, Marketing Specialist and All-around Marketing Pros

PR Manager

Location: Herndon, VA

Posted in Candidates, Hiring Managers, Marketing Communications Trends

TorchLight Referral Program—Refer your friends and colleagues and you could earn $500!

At TorchLight, we LOVE to reward people for good work! That’s why we want to tell you about the TorchLight Referral Program.
Did you know that if you refer a friend or colleague who specializes in marketing, communications, digital, or creative, and he or she is hired, you could receive $500?
Referring someone is easy—simply email with the following information about your referral:
1) Full name
2) Email and phone number
3) Resume in Word format
Afterwards, if the person you refer is hired, isn’t already in our candidate database, and completes the required length of service in their new role—500 hours for permanent and contract positions—you will receive your $500 bonus.
Thanks in advance for sending your talented contacts our way!
The TorchLight Team
Posted in Candidates

Remote work – what it means to the TorchLight Team

To celebrate 2019 National Work From Home Week, TorchLight’s fully remote team shares what working from home means to us both personally and professionally. Read on to hear how remote work positively affects our families, work, health, and happiness!

Posted in Candidates, Flexible Workplace, Hiring Managers, Hiring Trends

Get that entry-level job and thrive in your last year of college!

By Gabrielle Gramont

Young Female Student Celebrating Graduation Senior Year to get an entry level job

Your final year of college is finally here. Where did the time go? Everyone keeps mentioning the dreaded “J” word (job search!), and you feel like dropping out of school is becoming a more appealing option with every passing day.  Are you trying for an entry-level job in DC? Law school in LA? A Gap Year abroad? No idea?

Posted in Candidates

This week’s Hot Jobs from the D.C. area’s top marketing recruiters

At TorchLight, the D.C. area’s top marketing recruiters, we have a variety of exciting roles at top companies right now. Whether you are interested in marketing, communications, digital, or creative roles, we have a position for you. Here are this week’s Hot Jobs:

Posted in Candidates

Looking for a top communications manager job? Test your PR/communications know-how with our quiz!

By Samantha Nguyen

take the communications manager quiz


To get a top communications manager job, you need deep knowledge of PR, media relations, writing, measurement and other areas of communications. Take our quiz and see how you stack up!


Congratulations — looks like you have your communications knowledge down! You are definitely top-notch communications manager material. Keep up the good work.

Posted in Candidates, Tips for Job Seekers

Digital Marketing Manager Quiz:
How do you stack up?

In today’s competitive business climate, a great digital marketing manager must be up to speed on many different aspects of their craft:  analytics, creative, SEO, paid search, and the list goes on. This digital marketing quiz will help you identify areas you already know well and possibly a few you could brush up on. Take the quiz and see how YOU stack up as a digital marketing manager!

Posted in Candidates, Digital marketing

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