How To Tell if an Employer Is LGBTQ+-Inclusive

Finding a Place Where LGBTQ+, Transgender, and Nonbinary People Can Thrive

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Nearly 6% of people in the U.S. identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. If you’re part of this percentage—or an ally to this community—you’ll want to seek out an employer who supports and promotes LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and others) rights and builds an inclusive workplace. 

It’s important for both employees who identify as LGBTQ+ and their allies to work in an environment that values inclusiveness. Almost half of employees that are part of the LGBTQ+ community won’t work at a company without LGBTQ+-inclusive benefits. 

Working in an environment that is not supportive can be difficult. One in three employees who identify as LGBTQ+ have not come out at work to avoid discrimination, and 24% haven't come out at work to avoid their gender identity and sexual orientation impacting career opportunities.

Here are some ways you can learn if a company is committed to LGBTQ+ inclusivity. 

Key Takeaways

  • Researching a company can help you understand if it focuses on diversity and inclusion, such as when it has an LGBTQ+ affinity group or donates to LGBTQ+-focused charities.
  • Look at a hiring manager's email signature for pronouns and ask questions during the interview to learn about the company culture. You may also look for pronouns in bios and social media profiles and posts.
  • Company reviews and benefits can also tell you whether the company is inclusive of LGBTQ+, transgender, and nonbinary people.

Research the Company

During the application process, you’ll always want to research companies. This is a key step to writing an effective cover letter and making sure your resume is targeted to the job and company. Later in the hiring process, this research will help you ace the interview

Learning about the company will also help you understand the employer’s policies on inclusivity and equity. Use this research time to learn more about the company’s policies and attitude toward LGBTQ+, transgender, and nonbinary people.

Here’s how to find out about a prospective employer’s inclusivity practices: 

Check Out the Company Website and “About Us” Page

The company’s website is a key place to learn about an employer’s values. Does the company have an affinity group, offer resources, and state its commitment to equity? Does it use gender-inclusive language, like "they" rather than just "he and she"? A green flag is seeing a diversity statement mentioning both gender identity and gender expression. These would all be signs of a company that is dedicated to being inclusive and welcoming.


Sometimes, companies also call out where they donate money. That can be very telling when it comes to their values. 

Look Up the Employer

Look for lists, such as the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Corporate Equality Index, to see if the employer is included and to get details on their rating. This will provide insight into the company’s commitment to implementing LGBTQ+-inclusive policies and practices. You can also check out forums online where current or former employees may be able to speak to the inclusiveness of the company. Do a quick Google search of the company to see if has been written about in any publications for its inclusiveness (or not). This can help you understand a bit of the history of the company and if it's had lawsuits against it or if it's fought for LGBTQ+ rights.

Scan the Company’s Social Media Accounts

Take some time to review the organization’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media accounts. Check, for instance, to see if the company posted anything during Pride Month (in June). Ideally, they’ll go beyond that and feature issues important to the LGBTQ+ community year-round.  

Examine Language During Correspondence and Conversations

Asking for your pronouns or including their own in an email signature or introduction is a small way for interviewers to make it clear that they’re invested in equity and inclusion. 

Inclusive companies will have training sessions and clear policies on appropriate (and inappropriate) language. The language your interviewer chooses to use can give you a sense not only of your interviewer but of the values of the company as a whole. 


During in-person interviews, you can ask questions too. You can directly ask about what the company does to make its workplace inclusive. Or you can come at it sideways: Asking about the dress code, for instance, may reveal dated, gendered policies. 

Check Your Network and Company Reviews

There’s no substitute for firsthand accounts when you want to know more about an employer. Tap your LinkedIn network to see if you know anyone who works at the company. You can shoot people an email to find out more about their experience. 

Another way to get details on the company’s inclusivity practices is to look for reviews on sites such as Glassdoor. 

When you do look for reviews or speak with someone at the company, ask questions like "Does your workplace offer gender-neutral, single-stall restrooms?" or “Did you have to undergo any DEI training in the workplace?” You could also contact someone in the HR department to see what diversity and inclusive policies are in place at the company.

Explore Company Benefits 

While you’re researching the employer, you can see if there’s information about benefits and perks available on the company website. You can also ask questions during the interview to determine whether benefits are inclusive. 

Some key benefits to look for include the following:

  • Health care benefits for domestic partners
  • Health care benefits for transgender individuals for medically necessary care
  • Fertility support, such as IVF or adoption (that isn’t reserved for heterosexual employees) 
  • Gender transition policies and practices
  • Inclusive parental and family leave policies 
  • Bereavement policies that include benefits for a partner or partner’s family 
  • LGBTQ+ employee resource group

These types of employee benefits can help you both professionally and financially. Access to affinity and employee resource groups can help you grow your network, which has long-term positive implications for your career. You may find that in a more casual setting, for example, you're able to build relationships with high-level people at the company. 

The benefits a company offers also have a profound financial effect if they are offered equitably. For just one example: Medical procedures such as IVF can cost thousands of dollars. If that's covered, you can save a lot of money. But if it's not covered for people in same-gender relationships, it's a major cost.


Even if a company has diversity and inclusion missions, policies, and trainings, it's important that it continues to practice what it preaches. Not all companies will be as inclusive as they say they are. Do your research, talk to a lot of people, and make sure your questions are answered before deciding whether the company meets your idea of LGBTQ+ inclusive.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is LGBTQ+ inclusion important in the workplace?

First and foremost, these types of policies make employees feel safe and welcome. But there are other practical reasons for placing importance on inclusivity. It’s good for recruitment, reduces turnover, and generally leads to a happier, more productive, and more creative workforce. 

What are ways to make a workplace more LGBTQ+-friendly?

Whether you’re in management or are an entry-level employee, there are steps you can take to make a workplace more LGBTQ+-friendly. First, avoid making assumptions or asking overly personal questions. Some people may not want to be out at work. Also, use inclusive language. (Don’t, for instance, assume that all people are in a relationship with someone of the opposite gender.) 

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The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Gallup. “LGBT Identification Rises to 5.6% in Latest U.S. Estimate.”

  2. LinkedIn. “The State of LGBTQ+ Workforce 2022.”

  3. Human Rights Campaign. “Corporate Equality Index 2022.”

  4. Human Rights Campaign. “Employee Benefits & Policies.”

  5. American Society for Reproductive Medicine. “Is In Vitro Fertilization Expensive?”

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