Many nations have established different criteria of determining the scores of different companies on the manner in which they treat their workforce based on sexual orientation and gender characteristics. Among the many scales deployed is the ‘corporate equality index’. This scale “rates organizations on a scale running from 0 to 100 percent based on their treatment of gay, lesbian and transgender employees”1. Many organizations such as shell oil, Google Company, and the American Airlines among others score perfectly.
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However, as the paper reveals, scores realized upon the administration of gender and sexual orientation scales in some other companies reveal that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered labor issues are pronounced in terms of workforce segregation and stereotyping in the realm of labor and employment.
In the age of globalization, many scholars contend that it is crucial to appreciate the contributions of every employee irrespective of his or her gender or sexual affiliation if organizations have to succeed. This argument arises from the belief that failure to harness appropriately people’s diversity is detrimental to organizational success.
In fact, labor and employment human rights activists treat non-inclusion of aspects of gender and sexual affiliation as part of workforce diversity as an attempt to foster discrimination in the labor and employment sector2.
It is for this reason that many nations enact non-discrimination acts to safeguard this category of people. For instance, in the United States of America, “the employment and non-discrimination act (EDA) is proposed in the congress in the endeavor to prohibit discrimination in hiring on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identify by civilian, nonreligious employers with at least 15 employees”3.
The relevance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered labor and employment issues is conspicuous in contributing to organizational success by considering the evidence of discrimination from the perspectives of sexual and gender orientation of the employees in the labor sector.
Different nations depict conflicting levels of discrimination of employees based on their gender and or sexual affiliation. As Williams claims, countries that have implemented discrimination policies have the complaints of “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and the transgendered equivalent to the number of complaints filed based on sex though fewer than the number of complaints filed based on race”4.
This infers that the trend of discrimination and stereotyping in labor and employment sector has shifted from the traditional approach, which primarily rested on ethicality or race, to lifestyle aspects such as lesbianism and gay among others. Arguably, this means that gay, lesbianism and transgendered issues in labor and employment sector are dominant even in the organizations though rare in the twentieth century whose employment and labor patterns dwell on race.
This dominance is a big challenge to modern organizations especially bearing in mind that the number of the transgendered, gays, lesbians and bisexual is on the rise. In this context, William institute estimates that, in the US, “the number of LGBT employees is 7 million in private sector, 1 million state and local employees, and 200,000 employees of the federal government”5. In fact, 30% of all local and state lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered employees dwell in New York and California.
On the other hand, “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people make up only one half of one percent of state and local employees in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming combined”6. This gives a concrete inference that different states may need to embrace diverse policies in an attempt to address gender and sexual orientation-related discriminations in the labor and employment sector.
Consequently, non-homogeneity in such discriminations introduces immense challenges at global fronts especially by noting that such discriminations are acerbated by certain religious beliefs and affiliations. In this context, the possibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered lifestyles introducing culture wars in labor and employment sector is evident.
Tilcsik’s research evidences the magnitude of negative impacts that sexual orientation discrimination in labor and employment sector may have. In his study, two differing resumes were sent to about 1700 potential candidates of a new job opening. Despite the two “resumes being largely similar in terms of qualifications of the applicants, one resume for every opening mentioned that the applicant had been part of a gay organization in college”7.
The results of this study indicated that the applicants who did not have gay signal had higher chances of being invited for an interview (11.5 percent). On the other hand, applicants with gay signals had a chance of 7.2 percent of being invited for the same interview. The results show that sexual orientation is a key element of consideration while acerbating discrimination in labor and employment sector.
In conclusion, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered issues constitute some of the major issues in labor and employment sector in many nations. The short paper has argued that discrimination of potential candidates while selecting them to fill new job opening in the labor and employment sector may also rest on the same ideologies.
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For this reason, it is necessary to carry out an intensive research to enrich the existing literature on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered labor and employment issues and where possible postulate possible interventions to deal with the arising problems in the endeavor to make future organizations succeed in this era of globalization.
Hunter, Chris. 2012. Commissioners of anti-discrimination amendment. The Salina journal 1, no. 2: 415.
Tilcsik, Anthony. 2011. Pride and prejudice: employment discrimination against open gay men in the United States. American journal of sociology 117 no. 3): 586.
Williams Institute. 2011. Estimates of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered employees. New York: Williams institute.
Williams, Steve. 2011. Trans workplace non-discrimination bill. New Jersey, NJ: Pearson Publishers.
1 Chris Hunter, “Commissioners of anti-discrimination amendment”. The Salina journal 1.2(2012): 415.
2 Steve Williams, Trans workplace non-discrimination bill (New Jersey, NJ: Pearson Publishers, 2011), 34.
3 (Steve Williams 2011, 35)
4 (Steve Williams 2011, 41)
5 Williams Institute, Estimates of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered employees (New York: Williams institute, 2011), 45.
6 (Steve Williams 2011, 44)
7 Anthony Tilcsik. “Pride and prejudice: employment discrimination against open gay men in United States”. American journal of sociology 117.3(2011): 586.