SAN FRANCISCO — Out & Equal Workplace Advocates unveiled its new LGBTCareerLink website, a career development tool connecting diversity-minded employers with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) job seekers. Many industry-leading companies who are committed to identifying, hiring and retaining LGBT talent have already signed onto the new service, posting job openings around the country, and developing employer profiles demonstrating how they support LGBT people in the workplace. Out & Equal is proud to recognize early participants, BP, Brown-Forman, The Clorox Company, Comcast, Ernst & Young, Hewlett-Packard, PG&E, PNC, T-Mobile, UnitedHealth Group and WellPoint. Given its initial success, LGBTCareerLink is poised to become the leading source for LGBT talent recruitment.

When Torrance, an Out & Equal constituent, decided to come out at work, he thought it would bring him closer to coworkers and lift the workplace stress that many closeted lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees experience. Yet shortly after coming out, Torrance was fired simply for being gay. LGBTCareerLink was developed to help individuals, like Torrance, find career opportunities with employers that not only acknowledge and value diversity, but put it into practice.

"People should be judged by the work they do, and never by their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. By connecting LGBT people with diversity-minded employers, Out & Equal's LGBTCareerLink will help individuals become more successful and productive by bringing their whole selves to the workplace," said Out & Equal Founding Executive Director Selisse Berry.

On the new LGBTCareerLink, job seekers can register for free, develop virtual resumes and employment applications, and apply directly to thousands of new jobs added every week. Users may also upload their resumes to a searchable database available to recruiting companies, in addition to establishing job search agents that notify job seekers when new positions open up with LGBTCareerLink's partner companies. Employers have the only available direct access to the LGBT workforce and can post one or one thousand job postings through a variety of subscription and partnership packages. The platform also provides access to a dashboard of analytical tools to track and measure the impact of LGBTCareerLink as a LGBT talent recruitment resource.

Despite suffering through the embarrassment of being fired, simply for bringing his authentic self to work, Torrance found a new employer through LGBTCareerLink that invites and celebrates his diversity. Torrance's story is ultimately one of success, yet reflects the harsh reality faced by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community: regardless of educational level, past experience, or overwhelming success, LGBT people are often discriminated against in the workplace, and no federal level employment protections exist to shield them from discrimination.

Through LGBTCareerLink, Out & Equal hopes to advance equality for LGBT people in the workplace by linking employees and employers who mutually value authenticity.

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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