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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

How to Make the Most out of Reference Checks
By Julie Lowe

Reference checks can be challenging—TorchLight’s Chief Culture Officer Julie Lowe explains how to dig in and get the information you need.

“Do reference checks really matter? I’ve never gotten a bad reference…”

Posted in Companies, Hiring Managers

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

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

Could You Be Guilty of Unconscious Gender Bias? Here’s What to Do About It

by Shaara Roman, Founder & CEO, The Silverene Group

Gender Bias

Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

We like people who are like us – that’s a human truth. It’s natural to gravitate toward those who are similar in gender, schooling, religion, what have you. The crux lies how we approach people who are different from us. And despite decades of progress for working women, gender bias has proven to be one of the toughest nuts to crack in corporate America.

Posted in Hiring Managers, Hiring Trends, Workplace culture

Diversity and Inclusion ARE the Future of Work
by Stephanie Ranno

In the space of one week, I flew to Seattle to attend the Autism at Work Summit at Microsoft, returned home to Baltimore to join leaders at AARP’s DC headquarters for a conference entitled The Future of Work for All Generations, and then, with many companies and communities, kicked off Pride month. If there is one theme – one takeaway – one transformative “aha” moment – for me it is this: diversity and inclusion ARE the future of work and the future of our workforce.

Posted in Candidates, Hiring Managers, Hiring Trends

What are the best marketing recruiting firms in DC?

Get hiring help from one of Washington’s top marketing recruiting firms

TorchLight is one of the best marketing recruiting firms in DC and we specialize in hiring and placing highly skilled marketing, communications and PR professionals in the area’s leading businesses. And, because this is all we do, we’ve become experts.

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Posted in Candidates, Companies, Contract Consultants, Hiring Managers, Hiring Trends

3 Reasons to Use TorchLight for Your Company’s DC Marketing Recruiting

Looking for DC marketing recruiting help? Call TorchLight!

The job market is hot in DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland right now and your business is working hard on marketing recruiting in the DC metro area.

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Posted in Candidates, Companies, Hiring Managers, TorchLight News

Are you trying to fill a PR job in DC? Let TorchLight help with communications recruiting

As a leader in DC-area communications recruiting, TorchLight assists hiring managers by finding and placing top PR job seekers

TorchLight is an expert in communications recruiting and we can help you find the right PR job seeker in Washington, D.C. From posting the position to sifting through resumes and screening potential job candidates, it takes time to locate professionals with the skills and qualifications you—time busy hiring managers don’t have a lot of. At TorchLight, we’ve developed a system that not only finds the best of the best, but we’re also able to connect our clients to superior job candidates quickly and efficiently. Our personalized approach ensures the employer and potential employee are well matched.

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Posted in Candidates, Companies, Contract Consultants, Hiring Managers

How to Create a Learning-Focused Workplace Culture

In today’s competitive job market, applicants and employees seek companies committed to learning and development. This focus on growth is critical for attracting and retaining top talent. To develop or increase your company’s focus on professional development, you need to take specific steps to both offer learning opportunities and gain employee participation. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you create a learning-focused workplace culture.

Posted in Hiring Managers

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