Blog Archives

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

10 must-reads of the week! Employee personality tests, confidence habits and more.

This week’s interesting articles range from how to use employee personality tests to fighting bias in the office and habits that will increase your work confidence.

Do you know how to use employee personality tests or ways to increase work confidence? Read on to learn

Posted in Companies, Professional Development, Workplace culture

Gender equality in the workplace: Steps in the right direction

By Gabrielle Gramont

Women continue to fight for gender equality and strive for an even playing field in the workplace. Although there are still areas for improvement, recent statistics reflect notable progress in reducing gender inequality in both the professional and academic realms. Here are some positive numbers showing that women are slowly but surely closing these gaps.

Posted in Hiring Trends, Workplace culture

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

Are You a DC Professional Ready for a New Marketing Job Opportunity?

D.C.’s leading companies are currently hiring content marketing managers. As a search and staffing firm, TorchLight can connect you to our  clients—some of the Washington area’s most exciting companies—eager to fill marketing and communications openings

Why wait for the New Year to start searching for a new job? Embrace fall with a fresh start—TorchLight can help connect you to companies hoping to hire content marketing managers.

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Posted in Candidates, Considering a Job Change, Hiring Managers, Hiring Trends, Workplace culture

Are You Highly Organized and Great at Managing Project Timelines? If So, Washington Companies Want to Know About You

Alexandria-based TorchLight, one of the area’s best marketing and communication search and staffing companies, has clients ready to hire project managers in D.C.

Strong project managers are ultra-organized and can juggle multiple projects at once. If this is where you shine, TorchLight has opportunities for you here in the Nation’s Capital.

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Posted in Candidates, Marketing Communications Trends, Workplace culture

Digital Marketing Associates are in High Demand in DC. Are You Ready for a New Opportunity?

TorchLight, a top marketing and creative services search and staffing firm, connects clients and candidates to fill job openings in Baltimore, Silver Spring, Bethesda and beyond

Companies are creating digital marketing teams to try to keep up with—or get ahead of—their competition. That makes digital marketing associates in especially high demand. If you have digital marketing expertise, businesses in and around Washington, D.C. are looking for you. But, where can you find these amazing digital marketing jobs? Let TorchLight help!

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Posted in Digital marketing, Hiring Trends, Marketing Communications Trends, Workplace culture

Searching for Internal Communications Specialists—DC’s Top Employers are Looking for You!

There is no better time to be a communications specialist. Alexandria-based TorchLight can connect you to companies eager to employ your expertise

More and more companies are relying on internal communications specialists to deliver a consistent message throughout an organization. If you have experience as an internal communications professional, we have opportunities for you to shine!

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Posted in Candidates, Hiring Managers, Marketing Communications Trends, Workplace culture

Hiring Managers: Looking for a Highly Skilled Marketing Manager in DC?

TorchLight can make the recruiting process easier—and more efficient—by connecting you to candidates with the expertise to fill your open position

Finding a highly qualified marketing manager to fill an open role takes time and patience. Sifting through a pile of resumes is likely one of a long list of things on your to-do list. So, why not leave the search process to the experts?

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Posted in Candidates, Companies, Digital marketing, Marketing Communications Trends, Marketing Temp Jobs, Workplace culture

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