Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Working Out

Next week the Caucus will vote to endorse candidates running for Houston City Council. The issue of employment discrimination always dominates our screening of candidates running for city office, and for good reason. Being the only major American city that does not guarantee GLBT people equal treatment in the workplace and equal, unbiased treatment when applying for jobs, Houston is sadly unique in this country.

With this in mind, I'd like to focus today's entry on two new reports that examine GLBT treatment in the workplace. The first study, HRC's "State of the Workplace for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Americans," shows a number of positive developments.

From HRC Back Story:
This year's report found an increase in the number of Fortune 500 employers that offer domestic partner benefits since last year - up from 250 to 267. This is also good news: almost 90% of Fortune 500 companies have anti-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation. And just how is the state of the workplace for the "T" constituency of our community? It seems that things are looking positive. Today, 25% percent of Fortune 500-ranked companies prohibit discrimination against transgender employees and applicants, compared to just 1 percent at the beginning of 2000.
The second report comes from the Williams Institute. Their report collects raw data from many different studies undertaken over the last two three decades. The Williams Institute does great work, and you can read their complete report here.

Here is a chart summarizing statistics about discrimination from the many studies they compared:

Lots of progress is being made, but, as the Williams Institute report illustrates, without government mandated nondiscrimination GLBT workers are too often treated unfairly. Some studies have found that nearly 70% of GLBT workers have gone through some form of discrimination in their careers. Studies show that transgendered people suffer even worse. There is an earning gap between GLBT professionals and straight professionals, but, of course, we all know these things. What are we going to do about it?

This year, for the first time, we have the chance to gain a majority on City Council. Come to our meeting, and help us pick the candidates that we'll back all the way to city hall.

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