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LGBT Career Survey Report

The Bottom Line

What are people’s attitudes toward and experiences working in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) nonprofit organizations? The LGBT Career Survey Report examines findings from a 2008 survey of nearly 2,000 individuals. The goal of the survey: to promote better understanding of what people who work in the LGBT movement think about their organizations’ hiring and employment practices. Topics assessed include organizations’ ability to attract top job candidates, develop and promote from within, retain talented staff, and discipline or move out poor performers.

Abstract

The LGBT Career Survey Report presents the findings of the first known survey seeking to understand how people who work for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) movement think about their work, employers, careers and professional development.

In fielding the survey, MAP sought to understand LGBT people’s attitudes towards working in LGBT nonprofit organizations; to get a better sense of the actual experience of working in an LGBT nonprofit from those who currently or formerly worked in the movement; and to take an initial step toward understanding what the movement needs to do to better attract, retain and develop a high-performing workforce.

The following are among the findings from the nearly 2,000-participant survey (included as an appendix at the back of the report):

  • LGBT organizations appear to perform better at managing and developing people than other types of nonprofit organizations, businesses and the government.
  • Staff members’ perceptions of how well their LGBT organizations perform on issues of diversity and inclusion vary by race. White staff members are more likely to think diversity issues are being handled well, while people of color (POC) have less favorable views. Both white and POC employees say their organizations attend better to diversity in hiring and in planning/prioritizing program work than in developing/promoting staff from within or managing on a day-to-day basis.
  • Across the board, workers perceive the pay in LGBT nonprofit organizations to be inadequate. Current LGBT nonprofit staff members say pay will be a key factor in their decisions about whether to remain in the movement.
  • Organizations would do well to focus on improving their overall leadership and management capabilities. Many current and former LGBT movement staff reported frustration with current management practices.

Author

  • Movement Advancement Project