You want the job. But how gay-friendly is the company?

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imageContributing blogger John Long is a professional career coach and consultant in Atlanta who founded Two Roads Resources. He blogs at Atlanta Career Coach.

Q: I have a job interview scheduled for a position that I feel would be a great match with my background. How can I find out if this employer has an LGBT-friendly work environment?

A: Size really does matter when it comes to a company’s ability to dedicate resources and attention to diversity. In larger organizations there may be a diversity officer serving as a critical part of the leadership and human resource teams. This is the person responsible for managing the company’s diversity initiatives. I would start by learning more about the diversity officer.

Also, don’t be shy about requesting information concerning the organization’s diversity programs and their stance on key diversity issues.

But sometimes size isn’t everything. There are many small to mid-size employers that are very LGBT-friendly. In these companies, diversity (which includes the treatment of LGBT staff) generally becomes the responsibility of the HR manager. The ownership/leadership of smaller organizations will often dictate the overall diversity barometer.

It is always best to do your homework prior to an interview, so get online and research the company. The Riley Guide and Quintessential Careers offer fantastic resources on conducting general company research.

Also, consider some of the following key sites to gather employer information surrounding topics of concern to the LGBT community:, HRC Corporate Equality Index, HRC Workplace Database, ProGayJobs, and GLV Reports.

If an issue is important to you and you need the information to make an informed decision about whether or not you want to pursue/accept a job, then be prepared to ask.

Have a question you’d like John to answer here? {encode=”[email protected]” title=”Email us.”} Subject: Career Coach.

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