Many nations have established different criteria of determining the manner in which the scores of varied companies 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.
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Scores realized upon the administration of gender and sexual orientation scales in some organizations 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. From this perspective, the research paper focuses on comparing experiences of lesbian and gay workers in public versus private sector, and then analyzes the policies of different organizations regarding gay and lesbian workers, both in public and private sectors.
In public and private sector, LGBTs have encountered varied experiences. These experiences range from discrimination, inequitable compensation, unequal employment benefits and sexual harassment among others. Much of these experiences arise from ignorance and misunderstanding.
While different organizations have made incredible strides in the 21st century through adoption of varying policies to ensure that LGBTs are sealed from discrimination, such individuals remain widely unprotected in the private sector. For instance, managers or administrators may possess little information regarding the LGBTs preferences, historical experiences, facts and perspectives of taking particular sexual orientation.
The repercussion is unfair and ineffective rules, policies and actions getting instituted by an organization without taking the consideration of concerns of the LGBTs. Rights of LGBTs remain contentious among certain faith groups such s Catholics and evangelistic groups. Such groups widely believe that ensuring the LGBTs have equal access to equal employment opportunities would give rise to slewing gay marriages within their neighborhoods, which result into an inevitable apocalypse.
Discrimination based on sexual orientation is a big challenge to modern organizations because the number of the transgendered, gays, lesbians and bisexual is on the rise. In this context, William institute estimates that, in the United States, “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”2. 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”3. The statistics gives a concrete inference that different states may need to embrace diverse policies in an attempt to address LGBTs discriminations in the labor and employment, both in public and private sector.
In Tilcsik’s research, 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”4.
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. Therefore, the study makes it clear that both public and private organizations need to enact suitable policies to help reduce the negative impacts.
The major policies that are deemed crucial for curtailing incidences of discrimination in public and private sector organization are those seeking to reduce discrimination to near zero percent. 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 sector in both public and private sector organizations5.
Government advocates for equal rights for all people. Since, public organizations are highly inspired by the culture of the government in developing their policies; instances of discrimination experiences are lesser in public sector than in the private sector. Managers in private sector are widely guided by the human resource models that essentially require the managers to engineer and implement policies placed on them by executive directors and the employee rights.
This makes it difficult for managers to come up with policies that ensure fairness and effectiveness for all; and yet ensure that the organization attains its noble role: remain profitable. The situation is even bad in case organizational culture fails to favor the concerns of the LGBTs.
In conclusion, it is necessary to carry out an intensive research on the differences between experience of lesbian and gay workers in public versus private sector coupled with scrutinizing policies put in place by organization in both sectors to ensure that such experiences become beneficial to an organization. In this manner, it becomes probable to postulate possible interventions to deal with the rising problems in an endeavor to make private organizations succeed in future as organizations in private sector, especially in this era of globalization.
Hunter, Chris. 2012. Commissioners of Anti-discrimination Amendment. The Salina Journal 1, no. 2: 415.
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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 Williams Institute, Estimates of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered employees (New York: Williams institute, 2011), 45.
3 (Steve Williams 2011, 44)
4 Anthony Tilcsik. “Pride and prejudice: employment discrimination against open gay men in United States”. American journal of sociology 117.3(2011): 586.
5 Steve Williams, Trans workplace non-discrimination bill (New Jersey, NJ: Pearson Publishers, 2011), 34.