By Amanda Beardall, CPDC Undergraduate Career Coach
University of Utah Pride Week
From March 29th to April 2nd, the University of Utah will be hosting Pride Week, a celebration of the LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual/Aromantic, and more) community. The theme of Pride Week this year is “Queer at the Intersections”, so each event will explore how our identities and experiences impact how we navigate the world.
What is Out at Work?
Out at Work is an upcoming event that focuses on the experiences of being LGBTQIA+ in the workplace. The event will be held on Tuesday, March 30th from 12:00 – 2:00 PM over Zoom. The first hour will consist of a panel of LGBTQIA+ professionals who will share their experiences and answer questions. The second hour will allow you to choose a breakout session where you can discuss one of the following topics:
- Understanding Benefits in the Workplace
- Healing from Workplace Trauma
- Preparing for Success After Graduation
- Building an Inclusive Work Environment
Why Does it Matter?
While more legislation is being passed protecting LGBTQIA+ rights in the workplace, many LGBTQIA+ employees still do not feel comfortable being their authentic selves at work due to hostile work environments. All of the following statistics come from the Human Rights Campaign’s “A Workplace Divided: Understanding the Climate for LGBTQ Workers Nationwide”:
- Only 46% of LGBTQIA+ employees are out at their workplaces
- 38% of those who were closeted reported that they have not come out due to a fear of being stereotyped
- 1 in 5 LGBTQIA+ employees were told to dress more masculine or feminine compared to 1 in 24 for non-LGBTQIA+ employees
- Nearly 1/3 of all LGBTQIA+ employees feel depressed or unhappy at work
- Over half of all LGBTQIA+ employees have reported hearing homophobic jokes in the workplace
Events like Out at Work help bring these issues to light, while creating space to brainstorm action steps to move forward in creating more inclusive environments.
Benefits of Attending If You’re Part of the LGBTQIA+ Community
Being LGBTQIA+ is often an invisible identity, which makes it more challenging to find community and mentors who share your identities. Events like Out at Work give you the opportunity to network with those with similar experiences.
Benefits of Attending if You’re an Ally
You’ll gain a better understanding of the challenges and barriers that your LGBTQIA+ colleagues and peers face with regards to employment, as well as how to better support and advocate for them.