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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

2020 marketing trends, building networks and more! This week’s must reads

Learn how to speak like a digital marketing analyst, predict future marketing trends, and strengthen the networks you have in place. All in this week’s must-read articles!

must-reads

SEM vs. SEO vs. PPC Defined: What’s the Difference?

Source: Search Engine Journal

Posted in In the News, Marketing Communications Trends, News

TorchLight Hire Ranked on Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies for Third Year

D.C. area’s leading marketing and communications search and staffing firm among elite group of companies listed in annual growth ranking for 3 years

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (August 14, 2019)Inc. magazine announced today that TorchLight Hire, a leading marketing and communications search and staffing firm serving the greater Washington, D.C. area, ranked No. 3,150 of the nation’s 5,000 fastest-growing private companies of 2019. This marks the third year TorchLight has been ranked on this distinguished list, something only 13% of companies achieved in 2019.

Posted in In the News

Stephanie Ranno Honored Among Maryland’s Leading Women of 2017

Torchlight’s Director of Enterprise Business Development recognized by The Daily Record for exemplary professional experience, community involvement and commitment to inspiring change

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (December 5, 2017)— TorchLight Hire’s Stephanie Ranno, Director of Enterprise Business Development, has been honored as one of Maryland’s Leading Women of 2017 by The Daily Record of Baltimore. The award recognizes Maryland women age 40 and younger for exemplary professional experience, community involvement and a commitment to inspiring change.

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Posted in In the News

Stephanie Ranno Joins Alexandria-Based TorchLight Hire as Director of Enterprise Business Development

Recruiting industry veteran joins D.C. region’s fastest-growing marketing and communications search and staffing firm to lead strategic partnerships with Fortune 5000 enterprises

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (November 14, 2017) — TorchLight Hire, one of the Washington, D.C. region’s fastest-growing marketing and communications search and staffing firms, today announced that recruiting industry veteran Stephanie Ranno, formerly with Profiles of Baltimore, has joined the firm as Director of Enterprise Business Development.

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Posted in In the News

Alexandria-Based TorchLight Hire Ranked in Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies for Second Consecutive Year

D.C.’s leading marketing and communications search and staffing firm named in annual ranking for continued growth

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Posted in In the News, TorchLight News

TorchLight, a top marketing and communications search and staffing firm, named one of Washington, D.C.’s Best Places to Work

Alexandria-based TorchLight recognized for workplace flexibility, company culture and exponential growth

As a leading marketing and communications search and staffing firm in D.C., TorchLight celebrates its most recent accolade—being named among the region’s 2017 Best Places to Work. The Washington Business Journal released the list today, honoring TorchLight along with some of Washington, D.C.’s most impressive businesses.

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Posted in In the News, Marketing Communications Trends, News, TorchLight News, Workplace culture

Alexandria-Based TorchLight Hire Named Among Washington, D.C.’s 2017 Best Places to Work

D.C.’s leading marketing and communications search and staffing firm is honored for valuing flexibility, encouraging lifelong learning and supporting working women in all their roles—all while the company experiences fast-track growth 


Washington Business Journal today announced that Alexandria, Virginia-based marketing and communications search and staffing firm TorchLight Hire has been named among the Washington region’s 2017 Best Places to Work. The company will be formally recognized at a special event hosted by the Business Journal on June 22.

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Posted in Candidates, Companies, In the News, TorchLight News

TorchLight, Washington D.C.’s No. 1 Marketing Communications Recruiter, is 5 Years Old

For 5 years now, we’ve helped Washington companies find the best marketing and communications professionals for full-time and contract jobs in D.C.

We’re in the “kindergarten year” of our business: learning, growing and so thankful for friends like you.

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Posted in In the News, TorchLight News

Alexandria-Based TorchLight Hire Named to Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies of 2016

Leading D.C. area marketing and communications search and staffing firm continues growth trajectory

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (August 17, 2016)—Marketing and communications search and staffing firm TorchLight Hire, LLC, ranked No. 621 of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in America, according to Inc. Magazine’s 2016 rankings, released today.

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Posted in Companies, In the News, News

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