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Sexual Orientation Policy Tally

The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

Gender Identity Policy Tally

“Gender identity” is a person’s deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or something else or in-between. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms and speech patterns that can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation, and transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily protect or harm transgender people. These laws also can apply to people who are not transgender, but whose sense of gender or manner of dress does not adhere to gender stereotypes.

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LGBT Career Survey Report

The Bottom Line

What are people’s attitudes toward and experiences working in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) nonprofit organizations? The LGBT Career Survey Report examines findings from a 2008 survey of nearly 2,000 individuals. The goal of the survey: to promote better understanding of what people who work in the LGBT movement think about their organizations’ hiring and employment practices. Topics assessed include organizations’ ability to attract top job candidates, develop and promote from within, retain talented staff, and discipline or move out poor performers.

Abstract

The LGBT Career Survey Report presents the findings of the first known survey seeking to understand how people who work for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) movement think about their work, employers, careers and professional development.

In fielding the survey, MAP sought to understand LGBT people’s attitudes towards working in LGBT nonprofit organizations; to get a better sense of the actual experience of working in an LGBT nonprofit from those who currently or formerly worked in the movement; and to take an initial step toward understanding what the movement needs to do to better attract, retain and develop a high-performing workforce.

The following are among the findings from the nearly 2,000-participant survey (included as an appendix at the back of the report):

  • LGBT organizations appear to perform better at managing and developing people than other types of nonprofit organizations, businesses and the government.
  • Staff members’ perceptions of how well their LGBT organizations perform on issues of diversity and inclusion vary by race. White staff members are more likely to think diversity issues are being handled well, while people of color (POC) have less favorable views. Both white and POC employees say their organizations attend better to diversity in hiring and in planning/prioritizing program work than in developing/promoting staff from within or managing on a day-to-day basis.
  • Across the board, workers perceive the pay in LGBT nonprofit organizations to be inadequate. Current LGBT nonprofit staff members say pay will be a key factor in their decisions about whether to remain in the movement.
  • Organizations would do well to focus on improving their overall leadership and management capabilities. Many current and former LGBT movement staff reported frustration with current management practices.

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