A workplace divided: Understanding the climate for LGBTQ workers nationwide

A study from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation reporting on workplace climate for members of the LGBTQ community. The percentage of LGBTQ workers who say they are closeted at work has barely budged in 10 years, a new report says

A
Workplace
Divided

out
inclusion
frozen out
unwelcoming
environments
invisibility at work
the double standard
egregious behavior in t
unaccountable systems
pass over for opportun
sexual orientation still
fear of being fired
feeling distracted
depressed or
unprofession
unhappy
fired

Understanding the Climate
for LGBTQ Workers Nationwide

1

Contents
3 Letter from the HRC Foundationas Senior VP for Programs, Research and Training
4 Introduction
6 Topline Findings
8 A Day in the Life of the American LGBTQ Worker
10 Off to a Different Start
The Human Rights Campaign
Foundation a the educational arm
of the largest LGBTQ civil rights
organization in the United States
a improves the lives of lesbian,
gay, bisexual, transgender and
queer (LGBTQ) people by working
to increase understanding and
encourage the adoption of LGBTQinclusive policies and practices.

12 Workers Agree: Sharing Creates the Work Environment

We build support for LGBTQ people
among families and friends, coworkers and employers, pastors and
parishioners, doctors and teachers,
neighbors, and the general
public. Through our programs
and projects, we are enhancing
the lived experiences of LGBTQ
people and their families, as we
change hearts and minds across
America and around the globe.

18 Frozen Out of Social Networks

The HRC Foundation is a nonprofit,
tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.

2

14 The Double Standard
16 Egregious Behavior in the Workplace
17 Little Faith in Accountability Systems

19 Consequences of Unwelcoming Environments
20 Allies Stepping Up
21 Remedies: Using this Report to Start a Conversation
22 Whatas Next: Making Inclusion More Visible at Every Level
23 Acknowledgements

Letter from the HRC Foundationas Senior VP for Programs, Research and Training

From our schools to hospitals to workplaces, the Human Rights
Campaign Foundation partners with key institutions of our daily
lives to make them more inclusive of the lesbian, gay, bisexual,
transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. Through our
Workplace Equality Program, the Human Rights Campaign
Foundation works with thousands of employers, in the Unites States
and globally, to better their workplaces.
Few spaces can have as deep an impact
on the everyday lives of LGBTQ people as
the workplace. For starters, it is where most
of us spend a majority of our waking hours.
Jobs account for our livelihood and financial
security; we need work to put food on the table
for our families and make ends meet. Work is
also about our identity, being able to contribute
something of value greater than ourselves
and through that ultimately, work - and its
conditions - is about basic dignity and fairness.
Despite incredible progress in terms of broad
public support for LGBTQ equality and in great
strides being made across sectors adopting
LGBTQ-inclusive policies, millions of people
still do not feel comfortable being out at work.
When LGBTQ people are compelled to stay
closeted on the job, everyone loses.
The persistence of the workplace closet
comes at a great cost to the individual holding
back every day, looking over her shoulder in

fear, for example of colleagues knowing her
true identity. There is also a great cost to the
community of workplaces, both public and
private sector in terms of lost contributions.
Today, there are no clear, consistent federal
laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual
orientation and gender identity a and 31 states
still lack these protections. Yet, major businesses
a from across every industry and region a have
shown up in droves to adopt inclusive policies,
benefits and practices in order to attract and
retain LGBTQ talent. Look no further than the
HRC Foundationas Corporate Equality Index
and its 609 top-rated businesses to see this
investment in inclusion. What these businesses
and we know is that policies are necessary, but
not enough to create true culture change.
Workplaces that go beyond inclusive
policies to truly cultivate climates of
inclusion are a win-win for employers
- they mitigate the costs of the
closet and capitalize on the focus

and energy that comes from people
bringing their full selves to work.
Allies are key to this transformation. At the HRC
Foundation, we strive to provide individuals and
allied organizations research and tools they
need to support the LGBTQ community. This
research is key to that support in that what
gets measured, gets managed in workplaces.
Whether they are coworkers or supervisors,
this research is an awareness-raising tool
for allies who want to make a difference. By
homing in on the dynamics shown in this
research and interrupting the patterns that
so frequently keep LGBTQ colleagues in the
closet, allies have the ability to proactively
speak up and change workplaces.
Over the course of this year we will release
deeper dives into the experiences of LGBTQ
workers and our intersecting identities a
including race, age, gender, gender identity,
sexual orientation, region, industry of work
and more a and the tools employers need
to improve and sustain more inclusive
workplaces so everyone can thrive together.

Mary Beth Maxwell
Senior Vice President for
Programs, Research and Training
Human Rights Campaign Foundation
3

Introduction
Since 2008, the Human Rights Campaign Foundationas Workplace Equality Program has
conducted three major national studies of the workplace environment for lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) workers: Degrees of Equality, The Cost of the
Closet and the Rewards of Inclusion, and now, A Workplace Divided: Understanding
the Climate for LGBTQ Workers Nationwide.
In the prior two studies, the number of LGBTQ workers nationwide feeling compelled to
be in the closet on the job has remained at above 50 percent. In A Workplace Divided:
Understanding the Climate for LGBTQ Workers Nationwide, we seek to uncover the
prevalence of LGBTQ workers feeling pressure to hide their sexual orientation and/ or
gender identity on the job and the cost of that hiding both to individuals and employers writ
large. Conversely, we also research the benefits to employers and workers when workplace
climates are more welcoming of LGBTQ people. Over this decade of research we
have been able to better identify the key shapers of the workplace climate for
LGBTQ inclusion, namely everyday non-work-related conversations and the
primary impact of oneas immediate supervisor and working group over all other
leaders andA departments.
This body of research complements our history of work, anchored
in the annual Corporate Equality Index, on systems-level change,
primarily with major private sector employers to improve workplace
policies, benefits and practices at major Unites States and global
corporations. With so many employers investing resources and
human capital to create more equitable workplaces, how can they
measure the daily impact on their LGBTQ workforce? Are these
policies borne out as daily practice and employersa cultures? How
can we as strategic partners to employers and advocates in the
LGBTQ community provide reliable data to get measurements of

4

the workplace environment that are actionable and can lay the
groundwork for practical remedies to current challenges employees?
This is key because currently LGBTQ Americans are living under a
patchwork of state and federal laws. While there has been significant
progress since the first study in 2008 - including the first federal law
to specifically include the LGBTQ community (The Matthew Shepard
and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act), to historic Supreme
Court victories ensuring full marriage equality, to groundbreaking
advancements in transgender visibility in the media and in politics,

and more - there are still no federal protections
on the basis of sexual orientation or gender
identity with respect to employment, housing,
public accommodation, education, and a range
of aspects of daily life for LGBTQ Americans.
Even though the Supreme Courtas ruling has
brought marriage equality to all 50 states,
31 states still lack clear, fully-inclusive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people,
meaning that despite the ruling, LGBTQ
Americans can get legally married but still
be at risk of being denied services for who
they are or risk being fired simply for getting
married and wearing their wedding ring to
the office the next day. Discrimination is a
real and persistent problem for too many
LGBTQ Americans. Nearly two-thirds of
self-identified LGBTQ Americans reported
experiencing discrimination in their personal
lives. Even at a time of historically broad and
deep support for full LGBTQ equality, an
estimated 12 million-plus LGBTQ Americans
and their families remain at risk, particularly
if they live in one of the 31 states where laws
do not adequately protect them against being
fired, evicted or denied services because of
their sexual orientation or genderA identity.
The data in the following report tells a story that
will be familiar to many LGBTQ workers. It tells
a visual story. We chose this design because
the experiences as reported by LGBTQ people
over and over again is of not being seen or

valued for who they are, which means that
employers are losing out on potential talent. We
hope that this research gives greater visibility to
the full spectrum of creativity, perspective and
untapped potential of LGBTQ people who hide
in plain sight when they do not feel welcome to
be themselves at work.
Data can validate experiences and can help to
drive change by giving definition to a problem
and helping to inform actionable solutions. One
thing that we have learned in nearly 20 years
as the Workplace Equality Program is that
fundamentally many institutions and individuals
want to do better and want to treat people fairly
and oftentimes they simply need a roadmap
and some help to get there.
This is the first of several reports to come
out of this study. The following findings in
this report are based on the topline data.
Subsequent reports will further break down
the data to look at workersa experiences at
the intersections of race, gender, age, region,
industry and other variables that affect
someoneas experience at work.
At the end of this report, we provide a
facilitation guide to continue this conversation
within your organization. In addition to the
subsequent reports, be on the lookout for
additional standalone toolkits and resources
to improve the workplace environment at
yourA organization.

Methodology
This national study is
based on data from
a probability-based
sample of self-identified
LGBTQ people (N= 804)
with a shorter survey
to gauge perceptions
and experiences of
non-LGBTQ people
(N= 811). Probabilitybased samples of LGBTQ
people are rare in social
research: most studies
are conducted through
opt-in or snowball
methods of growing
respondent pools. All
research methods have
their value: to capture
the most diverse range
of representative
experiences, we opted
for a smaller, probabilitybased sample rather than
a larger, non-probabilitybased one.

5

Topline Findings
The following topline results are from the HRC Foundationas
Workplace Equality Programas 2018 national, probabilitybased sample of 804 LGBTQ respondents and 811
non-LGBTQ respondents to its LGBTQ Workplace Climate
Survey administered in February and March of 2018.

100+0
100+0

LGBT Worker
Non-LGBT Worker

Broad Social Acceptance for LGBTQ Community
at All-Time High, But Subtle Biases Remain
aa 1 in 5 LGBTQ workers have been told or had coworkers
imply that they should dress more feminine or masculine
(compared to 1 in 24 non-LGBTQ workers)

73+78+
27 22

aa Both populations share: 73% of LGBTQ workers and 78%
of non-LGBTQ workers say that they are comfortable talking
about their spouse, partner, or dating to coworkers, but:
employers report that coworkers who they
25+aoao 75 A1/4areLGBTQ
out to seem uncomfortable once they say something
related to their sexual orientation or gender identity (e.g.
mentioning a partner, spouse, personal history, etc.)
of non-LGBTQ workers say they would feel uncomfortable
36+aoao 64 36%
hearing an LGBTQ colleague talk about dating, and 59% 59+41
of non-LGBTQ workers think that it is unprofessional to talk
about sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace

Despite Legal Gains, LGBTQ Workers
Remain Closeted on the Job

46+54
50+50
100+0

aa 46% of LGBTQ workers are closeted at work
aa 50% of non-LGBTQ workers reported that there are no employees
at their company who are open about being LGBTQ
aa Top reasons for not being open at work about their
sexual orientation and gender identity:

38+aoao 62 Possibility of being stereotyped: 38%
36+aoao 64 Possibly making people feel uncomfortable: 36%
31+aoao 69 Possibility of losing connections or relationships with coworkers: 31%
might think I will be attracted to them
27+aoao 73 People
just because I am LGBTQ: 27%

6

Sexual Orientation for LGBTQ People is Still Sexualized

54+46

aa 54% of non-LGBTQ workers said that they would be very
comfortable working with an LGBTQ coworker; of those who
wouldnat be very comfortable, a majority said it was because
they adidnat want to hear about their coworkeras sex lifea

18+82

aa 18% of LGBTQ workers reported that someone at work has made
sexually inappropriate comments to them because their coworker
thought their sexual orientation or gender identity made it okay

53+47

aa 53% of LGBTQ workers report hearing jokes about lesbian
or gay people people (and 41% transgender-specific and
37% bisexual-specific jokes), while only 37% of their nonLGBTQ counterparts report hearing the same jokes

Major Employers Losing Talent
Engagement to Anti-LGBTQ Biases at Work
Working in an unwelcoming environment that is not
always accepting of LGBTQ people leads to:

25+75
28+72
17+83

aa 25% of LGBTQ workers feeling distracted from work
aa 28% lying about their personal life
aa 17% felt exhausted from spending time
and energy hiding their sexual orientation
and 13% from gender identity

20+80
25+75
31+69
20+80
20+80

aa 20% of LGBTQ workers avoided a special event at
work such as lunch, happy hour, or a holiday party
aa 25% of LGBTQ workers avoided certain people at work
aa 31% felt unhappy or depressed at work
aa 20% have stayed home from work because the
workplace wasnat always accepting of LGBTQ people

LGBTQ Workers Lack Faith
in Accountability Systems,
Sometimes With Good Reason

100+0

aa The top reason LGBTQ workers donat tell a supervisor
or Human Resources about negative comments about
LGBTQ people is because they donat think anything
would be done about it and because they don't
want to hurt their relationships with coworkers
aa 1 in 10 employees have heard their own
supervisor make negative comments about
LGBTQ people a this statistic has remained
the same since our first study in 2008

45+55

aa 45% of LGBTQ workers agree with the statement
that enforcement of the non-discrimination
policy is dependent on their supervisoras
own feelings towards LGBTQ people

13+87

aa 13% felt that they would be fired because their
workplace was unwelcoming of LGBTQ people

aa 20% searched for a different job

LGBTQ Climate Directly Affects
Retention and Turnover
aa 1 in 4 LGBTQ workers have stayed in a
job primarily because the environment was
very accepting of LGBTQ people
aa 1 in 10 LGBTQ workers have left a job because the
environment was not very accepting of LGBTQ people

7

A Day in the Life of the American LGBTQ Worker

Bringing the Data to Life
In this report, you will
see how the results of
our national survey of
LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ
workers play out over the
course of a workday.
You will follow workers
before they arrive at their
workplace and see how
the days of LGBTQ and
non-LGBTQ workers
diverge, where common
themes of invisibility
on the job and double
standards of inclusion
play out day after day.

8

53+47+T
53

%

of LGBTQ
workers are open
to all friends

1in5

LGBTQ workers have been
told or had coworkers imply
that they need to dress
more feminine or masculine
as compared toa|

in24

workers who
were told to dress more
feminine or masculine

Off to a Different Start
Mindsets Heading into Work:

46%

of LGBTQ workers
are closeted at work

10

50

%

of non-LGBTQ workers
donat think that there
are any LGBTQ people
at their workplace

Non-LGBTQ workersa feelings
towards LGBTQ people have
been most shaped by their
upbringing, having a friend who
is LGBTQ, and their religion

28 %

of LGBTQ workers
are totally closeted
and not open to
anyone in their lives

LGBTQ employeees say that they are not open at work because:

38

%

The possibility of
being stereotyped

36

%

The possibly making
people feel uncomfortable

%

31

The possibility of losing
connections or relationships
with coworkers

%

27

aPeople might think Iam
attracted to them just
because I am LGBTQa

11

Workers Agree: Sharing Creates the Work Environment
Percentage of LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ workers that say these
agetting to know youa topics come up at least once a week at work:
LGBTQ Worker
Non-LGBTQ Worker

Children

%
61 71
%

12

Social life, such as
what you did over the weekend

Spouses, relationships,
or dating

65 63
%

The workplace, where we spend most of our daily
lives, is full of seemingly innocuous chit chat - it is so
common that its prevalence can go unnoticed.

%

82% 81%

TV shows, movies
or celebrities

65 % 62 %

When asked to reflect on the subjects that often come up in this chit chat, both LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ workers notice the same topics coming up at nearly identical rates.

Percentage of LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ workers that say these things you
aarenat supposed to talk about at worka come up at least once a week at work:
LGBTQ Worker
Non-LGBTQ Worker

Politics

48

%

Religion

44 %

22 % 21%

Sex

34 %

22 %

We all share at work, but when LGBTQ workers share, something different happens from when their non-LGBTQ coworkers share...

Workplace gossip

66 % 59 %

13

The Double Standard

When LGBTQ workers try to engage in
this everyday chit chat, they are met with a
double standard. Every workplace demands
some level of sharing which informs
the work environment, builds important
rapport among workers, and creates
team cohesion. Despite this, a double
standard for LGBTQ workers persists
in significant ways where they receive a
message that their sharing is not welcome.

80

%

78%

Non-LGBTQ workers

Breaking it Down
aa Both populations share: 73% of LGBTQ workers and 78% of non-LGBTQ workers say
that they are comfortable talking about their spouse, partner, or dating to coworkers, but:

LGBTQ workers

say they are
comfortable talking
about their spouse,
partner, or dating
to coworkers

of non-LGBTQ people
agree that LGBTQ
people should not
have to hide who they
are at work

While 80% of non-LGBTQ people agree that LGBTQ people should not
have to hide who they are at work, the messages that they send their LGBTQ
colleagues betray these good intentions and create the double standard LGBTQ
workers are held to in the workplace

73%

59

36

%

%

non-LGBTQ think
itas unprofessional
to talk about sexual
orientation and
gender identity in
the workplace

non-LGBTQ feel
uncomfortable
talking dating with
an LGBTQ colleague

aoao A1/4 LGBTQ employers report that coworkers who they are out to seem
uncomfortable once they say something related to their sexual orientation or
gender identity (e.g. mentioning a partner, spouse, personal history, etc.)
aoao 36% of non-LGBTQ workers say they would feel uncomfortable hearing an LGBTQ
colleague talk about dating, and 59% of non-LGBTQ workers think that it is
unprofessional to talk about sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace
aa The Double Standard Emerges: non-LGBTQ workers donat recognize that we

all have a sexual orientation and a gender identity, but it is only when an LGBTQ
personas is discussed that they think it is inappropriate for the workplace
aa Some encouraging signs of change: in 2012 43% of non-LGBTQ

workers agreed that they would be uncomfortable hearing about an
LGBTQ workeras dating, and 75% thought it was unprofessional to
discuss sexual orientation or gender identity in the workplace
14

Signs of Change:
numbers dropped
from 2012...
36%

Uncomfortable

43%
75%

Unprofessional
59%

2018
2012

LGBTQ workers get the message that their input is making
colleaguesA uncomfortable.
aa 54% of non-LGBTQ workers said that they would be very
comfortable working with an LGBTQ coworker; of those who
wouldnat be very comfortable, a majority said it was because they
adidnat want to hear about their coworkeras sex lifea

i?1/2i?1/2i?1/2
17%

%

54

The percentage
of non-LGBTQ
workers that said
they would be
very comfortable
working with
an LGBTQ
coworker...

...of those who
wouldnat be very
comfortable, a
majority said it was
because they adidnat
want to hear about
their coworkeras
sex lifea

Felt exhausted
hiding their
sexual orientation

Lie about personal life

The number of
LGBTQ employers
that report coworkers
who they are out to
seemed uncomfortable
once they said something related to their
sexual orientation or
gender idenity

Sexual Orientation for
LGBTQ People is still Sexualized

Distracted from work

%

Working in an
unwelcoming
environment that
is not always
accepting of
LGBTQ people
leads to...

Working in an unwelcoming environment that is
not always accepting of LGBTQ people leads to:
aa 25% of LGBTQ workers feeling distracted
from work
aa 28% lying about their personal life
(down from 42% in 2008)
aa 17% felt exhausted from spending time
and energy hiding their sexual orientation
(13% from hiding their gender identity)
aa 31% felt unhappy or depressed at work

Depressed / Unhappy

1
4

25% 28% 31%

15

Egregious Behavior in the Workplace
LGBTQ Workers are Singled Out at Work

18 %

of LGBTQ workers reported that someone
at work has made sexually inappropriate
comments to them because their
coworker thought their sexual orientation
or gender identity made it okay

16

53 %

of LGBTQ workers report hearing
jokes about lesbian or gay people
(and 41% transgender-specific and
37% bisexual-specific jokes) at
least one in a while, while only...

37%

of their non-LGBTQ
counterparts
report hearing
the same jokes

Little Faith in Accountability Systems

The top reason LGBTQ workers donat tell a
supervisor or HR about negative comments about
LGBTQ people is because they donat think anything
would be done about it and because they don't
want to hurt their relationships with coworkers

HUMAN
RESOURCES

20

%

45

%

of LGBTQ workers felt that they were
passed over for job opportunities
because they were LGBTQ

of LGBTQ workers agree with the statement
that enforcement of the non-discrimination
policy is dependent on their supervisoras
own feelings towards LGBTQ people

13

%

felt that they would be fired because their
workplace was unwelcoming of LGBTQ people

17

Frozen Out of Social Networks

1/5

of LGBTQ workers avoided
a special event at work
such as lunch, happy
hour, or a holiday party

18

1/4

of LGBTQ workers
avoided certain
people at work

Consequences of Unwelcoming Environments

1in5

employees have stayed home from work
because the workplace wasnat always
accepting of LGBTQ people

1in5

searched for a different job

1in10

LGBTQ workers have left a job
because the environment was not very
accepting of LGBTQ people

19

Allies Stepping Up

Record Year
for Transgender
Visibility in
the Arts

When workers do hear jokes or negative
comments about LGBTQ people, LGBTQ and
non-LGBTQ workers are less likely to just ignore
the comments compared to six years ago.

Workers Willing to Let Negative
Comments Go Unaddressed
LGBTQ Worker
Non-LGBTQ Worker

49%
37%

43%
35%

UNITED AGAINST HATE

2018 2012

20

2018 2012

Wave of
Anti-LGBTQ
Introduced
Across States

Remedies: Using this Report to Start a Conversation

What is the most surprising finding? What is the least?

Which teams at your organization do you think most need to hear these results?

Would your organization (or Employee Resource Group or Diversity & Inclusion teams) consider
adopting a climate survey to assess your workplace for LGBTQ experiences?

How does your organization deal with unconscious or subtle bias in the workplace?

21

Whatas Next: Making Inclusion More Visible at Every Level

For Senior Leaders
aa Evaluate personal comfort level speaking specifically
and directly to LGBTQ inclusion
aa Reflect upon obligation to organization when it
comes to recognizing LGBTQ inclusion
aa Assess tools leadership has to communicate about corporate inclusion
values a address knowledge gaps in the evolving vocabulary of LGBTQ
inclusion and utilize partners to bolster comfort

For Mid-level Managers
aa Lead conversations about unconscious bias proactively
aa Equip teams with a vocabulary around spotting unconscious
bias and talking to each other and you as their manager
around experiences of unconscious bias
aa Be intentional with team-building activities to ensure inclusion (i.e. ensure
that they are not over-reliant on one point of bonding such as parenting,
happy hours, etc.)

For Individuals
aa Ask yourself what informed your earliest impressions and beliefs
about LGBTQ identity and how you express that at work
aa Define respect for yourself and others and how
you demonstrate that in workplace
aa Practice mirroring a if your colleague asks about
your weekend, ask about theirs

22

Acknowledgements

Report Authors
Deena Fidas and Liz Cooper
HRC Foundationas
Workplace Equality Program
HRC Foundationas Workplace Equality Program is a
nationally recognized source of expert information and
advice on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer
workplace issues. It provides decision makers with
cutting-edge research, expert counsel, online resources,
best practices information and on-site training and
education. Program staff serve as trusted consultants to
diversity professionals and other executives seeking to
position their business as welcoming workplaces that respect all employees, regardless of sexual orientation and
gender identity or expression. The Workplace Equality
Program also makes available the expertise of the HRC
Business Council for invaluable peer-to-peer advice.

Deena Fidas, Director
Deena Fidas is the Director of the Workplace Equality
Program at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. She leads the team in producing the annual
Corporate Equality Index (CEI) survey and report of
over 1,200 major employersa policies, benefits and
practices for LGBTQ workers. Fidas consults directly
with hundreds of Fortune 500 and other major businesses on the implementation of equitable policies
and benefits for diverse employee populations.
In addition, she leads the organizationas public policy
efforts with the business community, including historic
mobilizations of businesses for marriage equality, federal
LGBTQ protections and state-level engagement.
Most recently, Fidas expanded the work of the
program to include global LGBTQ workforce best
practices and launched CEI-style programs in Latin
America where she designs trainings, manages
in-country partnerships and develops bi-lingual
business resources to drive change. She also leads
the HRC Foundationas decade of research on the
experiences of LGBTQ workers nationwide.
A contributor to national discussions on LGBTQ
workplace inclusion, Fidas has been a featured guest on
various programs including the Diane Rehm Show, On
Point, CNN Money, Marketplace, Quest Means Business
and dozens of print media including Associated Press,
The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune Mexicoas

Reforma and other news outlets. Prior to joining the
Human Rights Campaign in 2007, she worked in fundraising for the American Civil Liberties Union and Hillary
Clinton for President, among other clients. Fidas holds a
masteras degree in sociology from American University
in Washington, D.C., where she also worked as a researcher for the universityas Women & Politics Institute.

Beck Bailey, Deputy Director
Beck Bailey joined HRC in June of 2014. As Deputy
Director, Bailey focuses on helping Americaas largest
employers become more LGBTQ inclusive through employee engagement, training and education. He regularly
supports corporate stakeholders a from executive leadership, to human resource professionals, to employee
network leaders a in building greater LGBTQ-inclusion through public speaking, facilitated workshops,
customized training and in one-on-one consultation.
Bailey also conducts outreach to engage corporations in
deepening their impact by supporting legislative action
to create workplace protections for LGBTQ people.
A lifelong LGBTQ advocate and out transgender man,
Bailey often speaks about his personal journey as a
way to increase awareness and understanding. He
proudly serves on the Advisory Board of Reaching
Out MBA (ROMBA). Beck holds a BS in Management
from Virginia Tech and an MBA from the Isenberg
School of Management at UMass Amherst.

Liz Cooper, Associate Director
Liz Cooper joined HRC in August 2010. As Associate
Director, Liz engages directly with employers to identify
and improve policies and practices affecting LGBTQ
employees. Cooper brings her background in sales
marketing research to develop the Programas resources
on LGBTQ diversity and inclusion best practices
aimed at employers, employees, and consumers. She
has a special focus on engaging new businesses to
participate in the CEI survey, and oversees the annual
Buying for Workplace Equality Guide. In her eight
years at HRC, Cooper has enlisted the support of
dozens of major businesses for pro-equality public
policy across the country. She also uses her advocacy
to elevate the role of allies in the LGBTQ community.
Cooper holds a BA in Political Science from Davidson College in North Carolina and an MA in Writing
from Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C.

Lana Williams, Manager
Lana Williams joined the Workplace team in November
2016. As the Workplace Equality Program Manager, she
is responsible for the oversight and coordination of the
daily activities for the annual Corporate Equality Index
and Buying for Workplace Equality Guide. In this role,
she provides companies with the resources they need to
improve non-discrimination policies, benefits and other
practices that are essential for businesses to retain talent and customers, and remain committed to equality in
the workplace. Williams is also responsible for managing
global business engagement, including the Equidad MX
survey. Williams brings her background in communications and management to support her work in advocating for LGBTQ workplace equality. Williams graduated
from The New School in New York City with a MS in
Nonprofit Management and holds a BA in Communication from Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

Madeline Perrou, Assistant
Madeline Perrou joined the Workplace team in October
2017 as the Workplace Equality Program Assistant.
In this role, she provides support to the entire team
through assisting companies with the Corporate
Equality Index, researching and updating brands for the
annual Buyeras Guide, and completing daily administrative tasks. Perrou has been with the Human Rights
Campaign for several months beginning with her
internship with the Federal Club Program in the summer
of 2016 and a temporary position with Membership
Outreach. She recently graduated from Appalachian
State University in North Carolina with a BS in Political
Science, a concentration in American Politics and a
minor in Gender, Women, and Sexuality studies.

23

Acknowledgements

This research was primarily funded
by a grant from JPMorgan Chase.
HRC Foundation
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation improves the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people by working to
increase understanding and encourage the adoption of LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices.
We build support for LGBTQ people among families
and friends, co-workers and employers, pastors and
parishioners, doctors and teachers, neighbors, and the
general public. Through our programs and projects,
we are enhancing the lived experiences of LGBTQ
people and their families, as we change hearts and
minds across America and around the globe.
The HRC Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.

Mary Beth Maxwell, Senior Vice President
for Programs, Research and Training
A longtime leader in social justice movements, Mary
Beth (M.B.) Maxwell leads the groundbreaking and
innovative efforts of HRCas educational arm, the HRC
Foundation. She oversees the organizationas public
education and programmatic initiatives covering a wide
range of issues affecting LGBTQ people in the United
States and around the globe. Her portfolio includes
the programs focused on the workplace, children and
youth, LGBTQ families, health and aging, HIV and
AIDS, religion and faith, and LGBTQ issues abroad.
Maxwell previously served in the Obama Administration as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for
Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) where
she was a key figure in shaping the Administrationas
policy agenda for working families, including raising the
minimum wage, expanding paid leave, ensuring labor
standards for home care workers, and advocating for
collective bargaining rights and workersa voice in the
workplace. She played a lead role in the Administrationas many accomplishments for LGBTQ workers.

24

Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Maxwell
was the Founding Executive Director of American
Rights at Work, a leading voice for modernizing
and reforming our nationas labor laws. She has also
served in various other senior-level positions at
Jobs with Justice, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and
the United States Student Association. She lives
in Washington, D.C., with her 15-year-old son.

Jay Brown, Deputy Director of
Programs, Research and Training
An experienced non-profit leader with nearly 20 years of
experience, Jay Brown helps drive the innovative work of
the HRC Foundation, the organizationas educational arm.
He works closely with the Senior Vice President of Programs, Research and Training and a team of professionals who manage HRC Foundation programs a aiming to
ensure equality for LGBTQ people at every intersection
of their identities and lives. These programs span a
range of issues, including the workplace; children, youth
and LGBTQ families; health and aging; HIV and AIDS;
religion and faith; and the global LGBTQ movement.
Brown has a long-standing history with the LGBTQ
movement and the organization, including previous roles as HRCas Communications Director and
HRCas Director of Research and Public Education.
Heas held senior communications and marketing
roles at Carnegie Mellon University and Reading Is
Fundamental, and also has experience consulting
for progressive organizations on strategic communication and organizational development needs.
A longtime advocate for transgender equality and out
transgender man, Jay lives in Maryland with his spouse,
Kendra, and their two children.

PerryUndem Research/Communication
Tresa Undem, Partner
Tresa Undem has conducted public opinion research
for 17 years for non-profit organizations, foundations,
universities, and government agencies. She works on
a number of health-related policy issues, including
health reform implementation, delivery system
reform, health IT, costs, and quality. Tresa also works
on LGBT issues, reproductive health, and food/
nutrition. She has briefed numerous state and federal
policymakers on her work, including members of
Congress, White House officials, and Department of
Health and Human Services leadership. Tresa holds
a Masteras Degree from the Annenberg School for
Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.
She is a member of the American Association of
Public Opinion Research, and has been a reviewer,
presenter, and discussant at its national conferences.

Naomi Mulligan Kolb, Managing Director
Naomi Mulligan Kolb has conducted public opinion
research since 2008. Her expertise is managing
complex studies for numerous policy organizations,
foundations, and universities, from research development to implementation and analysis. In addition to
conducting and analyzing public opinion research across
a broad range of issues, Naomi leads the supervision
of survey fielding and focus group recruiting. Naomi
began her public policy research career while studying
in Washington, DC at UCLAas Center for American
Politics and Public Policy. She holds a BA in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Kathleen Perry, Associate Analyst
Kathleen joined PerryUndem in May 2014. In her
role as an associate analyst, she has contributed to
research on a broad range of progressive policy issues,
including health care reform, reproductive rights, and
social justice. Kathleen employs both qualitative and
quantitative research methods to analyze data and
communicate results. She holds a BA in Government
and Politics from the University of Maryland, College
Park and an MA in Global Security and Government Analytics from Johns Hopkins University.

Tony Frye, Creative
Tony Frye has over 25 years of graphic design
experience specializing in publication design, corporate
identity, brand creation and how best to apply design
to advertising, marketing and public relations. Tony
has a broad array of clients including non-profit
organizations and associations such as Human Rights
Campaign, Governors Highway Safety Association,
PATH, The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and
PFLAG; educational institutions such as National
Institute for Literacy, National Science Foundation,
Spelman College, Wellesley College and Xavier
University; and publications such American Community
Banker and Metro Weekly a winning awards for
it's art direction and redesign from 2000-2007.
His design work has been recognized for excellence
by juried exhibitions from PRINT magazine, The
Art Directors and Illustrators Clubs of Metropolitan
Washington. He has also lectured in the field
of design and illustration and currently serves
as an Adjunct Professor at the University of
Baltimore Klein Family School of Communications
Design, specializing in the Publishing Arts.

Additional thanks to John Baez, Vice President
of Marketing, Bob Villaflor, Senior Design Director,
Human Rights Campaign for their creative guidance
and Kelly James, Intern at the Human Rights Campaign
Foundation for her production assistance on this report.

0
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Washington, D.C. 20036
TEL 202-628-4160
TTY
FAX

202-216-1572
866-304-3257

WEBSITE

www.hrc.org/workplace

E-MAIL cei@hrc.org

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