Study: LGBT Info on Resume Means Fewer Responses

In the study, two fake résumés were sent to employers, and the applicant with a history of LGBT activism got fewer responses despite listing more qualifications.

BY Trudy Ring

July 05 2014 6:07 AM ET

ExxonMobil was among the companies to which applications were sent.

Having clues on your résumé that you might be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender — such as a history of LGBT activism — can definitely cost you a job, according to a new study.

Many of us have undoubtedly suspected that this would be the case, but the study, by the Equal Rights Center and Freedom to Work, documents it, Take Part reports. In the study, fake résumés were submitted for 100 different jobs at eight companies that are federal contractors. One showed that the applicant worked with LGBT groups, the other didn’t.

The applicant whose résumé showed LGBT ties got fewer responses than the other, even though the first applicant was better-qualified, according to the report, the results of which were released this week. Overall, “LGBT applicants were 23 percent less likely to get an interview than their less-qualified heterosexual counterparts,” Take Part reports.

The study points up the need for a presidential executive order, such as the one President Obama has announced he will sign, prohibiting companies doing business with the federal government from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender  identity, said Freedom to Work president Tico Almeida. The companies in the study included ExxonMobil, which has for years refused to adopt an LGBT-inclusive antidiscrimination policy, and Almeida has pointed out that a presidential order would force ExxonMobil to embrace such a policy.

But federal contractors employ only about 20 percent of the U.S. workforce, so Almeida and other activists are continuing to press for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would cover all but very small employers. The U.S. Senate has passed the current version of the legislation, but the House of Representatives has yet to act on it. Read here about Freedom to Work’s 218 Project, an effort to get a majority of House members to sign on as cosponsors.

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