Study: Job applicants less likely to get interview if they list LGBT activism on résumé

By Tom Boggioni
Saturday, July 5, 2014 21:04 EDT
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A recently released study shows job applicants whose résumés include hints of LGBT orientation or activism are less likely to land a job interview, even if candidate is more qualified than other applicants.

The study, conducted by the Equal Rights Center and Freedom to Work, documented a 23 percent decrease in receiving a call-back from human resource departments, according to Takepart.

In the study, fake résumés were submitted to eight companies that are federal contractors, including Exxon Mobil and General Electric Co., seeking employment for over 100 jobs. One résumé made reference to the ‘fact’ that the applicant worked with LGBT groups, while the other didn’t.

The applicant whose résumé showed LGBT ties,  or hints that the applicant may be LGBT, got fewer responses than the other, even though the first applicant was better-qualified.

Overall, “LGBT applicants were 23 percent less likely to get an interview than their less-qualified heterosexual counterparts,” the study showed.

“Despite significant progress in advancing civil rights and equality, employment discrimination remains a persistent barrier for the LGBT community,” said Melvina Ford, executive director of the Equal Rights Center.

In one case, applicants ‘Michelle’ and ‘Jennifer’ each  applied for the same position with Exxon. Jennifer’s résumé showed that she had superior grades while attending the same school as Michelle,  as well as a job history demonstrating more relevant job experience and skills, but also noted that she had a history of LGBT rights activism.

However ‘straight’ candidate Michelle was the one who received an invitation to interview for the job.  Even after Michelle failed to respond to the offer, Jennifer was never contacted with a  chance for an interview.

The findings from the report have been shared with the White House and the Labor Department, said Tico Almeida, president and founder of Freedom to Work.

“As much progress as our LGBT community has made in freedom to marry, there’s still a lot to be done to make sure our LGBT community has the freedom to work without discrimination,” said Almeida.

The report follows on the heels of President Barack Obama announcement that he would be  issuing an executive order requiring all companies with federal government contracts to refrain from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

[Bad job interview on Shutterstock]

Tom Boggioni
Tom Boggioni
Tom Boggioni is based in the quaint seaside community of Pacific Beach in less quaint San Diego. He writes about politics, media, culture, and other annoyances. Mostly he spends his days at the beach gazing at the horizon waiting for the end of the world, or the sun to go down. Whichever comes first.
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