Resources for LGBTQ+ Students
The CDO is committed to helping all members of the Vassar community navigate every stage of their career development. We encourage LGBTQ+ students and alumnae/i who have questions pertaining to career development to make an appointment with our office. Our career counselors can help evaluate employers’ inclusivity, provide advice on being out as an applicant and in the workplace, edit resumes and cover letters, and prepare you for interviews. We advise LGBTQ+ students to work closely with the LGBTQ Center and the CDO as they begin to seek internships and employment.
We encourage all LGBTQ+ Vassar alumnae/i to join the LGBTQ Alumnae/i of Vassar College group on LinkedIn to stay virtually up-to-date on professional networking, activities, and other opportunities in your area.
In metropolitan areas of the country, such as New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, LGBTQ+ alumnae/i organizations from different colleges and universities often co-mingle around networking, philanthropic, and social events, most notably during Pride season. Look for LGBTQ+ Seven Sisters events in your city to help expand your professional network.
Many large corporations like Accenture, Google, and Thomson Reuters and law firms such as Baker McKenzie and Kirkland & Ellis have internal LGBTQ+ networks for their employees. These internal networks can be formal or informal and are meant to provide a sense of community to affiliated employees. From philanthropic and social events to activism and community organizing, internal LGBTQ+ employee networks are an excellent way to get to know others beyond your team and/or department.
Campus Resource for LGBTQ+ Students
The Vassar College LGBTQ Center enhances the campus life experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer students and their allies by providing social, cultural and academic programming; fostering strong leaders; highlighting Vassar’s unique history; and engaging the entire campus in discussions of social justice and inclusion.
Employment Resources for LGBTQ+ Individuals
Employment rights for LGBTQ+ individuals vary from state to state. It is important for LGBTQ+ individuals to become aware of their state’s employment protections for LGTBQ+ individuals. The resources below either explain the extent of the protections or provide processes and resources for challenging discriminations when they occur.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is one of the U.S.’s oldest constitutional law organizations that help individuals and groups defend and preserve their rights under American law both at the federal and state level. The ACLU’s On The Job provides an overview of employment discrimination and features current cases.
The Family Equality Council’s mission is to advance legal and lived equality for LGBTQ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change. Their map of State Non-Discrimination Laws is an easy-to-read overview of such laws as they relate to employment, housing, public accommodations, credit, and state employment.
GLAD is New England's leading legal rights organization that works to ensure that LGBTQ+ people, and those living with HIV, can get a job and do a job free of bias and harassment. Their GLAD Employment Page allows website visitors to review employment non-discrimination protections for the six states that make up New England: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusettes, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for LGBTQ+ Americans. The Coming Out At Work is an extensive and thoughtful overview of the challenges and/or considerations that LGBTQ+ individuals should be informed about before they disclose their queer identity at work. HRC's Corporate Equality Index Report, released each fall, provides an in-depth analysis and rating of large U.S. employers and their policies and practices pertinent to LGBTQ+ employees.
Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work. Lambda Legal’s HIV Discrimination in the Workplace provides a list of frequently asked questions related to employment and discrimination based on one’s HIV status.
Out At Work is dedicated to defining what workplace discrimination is and the steps one can take should they want to seek action against such discrimination.
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates is the world’s premier nonprofit organization dedicated to achieving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer workplace equality. They partner with Fortune 1000 companies and government agencies to provide executive leadership development, comprehensive training and consultation, and professional networking opportunities that build inclusive and welcoming work environments. The website has the Out & Equal Job Board that links job-seekers to openings at LGBTQ-inclusive employers.
Employment Resources for Transgender Individuals
Our friends at the University of Vermont compiled some frequently asked questions that college-aged transgender students often ask before going onto the job market. This is a good introduction to topics that transgender individuals may need to consider. We recommend starting with this resource before exploring the others below. You may also want to read
“How to Manage a Job Search as a Transgender Candidate: Tips for the challenges transgender job seekers face when searching for work” from the U.S. News & World Report.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is one of the U.S.’s oldest constitutional law organizations that help individuals and groups defend and preserve their rights under American law both at the federal and state level. The ACLU’s Transgender Rights page is useful for locating information on IDs, Discrimination, and Health Care in relation to trans identities.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for LGBTQ Americans. The HRC’s Coming Out in the Workplace as Transgender is an extensive and thoughtful overview of the challenges and/or considerations that transgender individuals should be informed about before they disclose their trans identity at work.
Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work. Their Workplace Rights & Wrongs is an approachable introduction to transgender individuals employment rights.
The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) has a number of resources to help transgender become educated about their rights across a number of topics:
NCTE's ID Documents Center is an easy resource to navigate for learning how to get a legal name change where you live and update your name and/or gender on state and federal IDs and records. This resource will tell you how “friendly” your state is for such changes to your driver’s license.
NTCE’s Military Records page provides veterans a step-by-step guide for updating your name on your discharge record and changing your gender in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System.
Transgender Employment Program (TEP) at the SF LGBT Center is a unique, collaborative program designed to help create inclusive workplaces and jobs for trans and gender non-conforming people. They operate in the SF Bay Area and have connections with partner programs in other cities.
Transgender Law Center (TLC) changes law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression. TLC’s Employment Page helps trans individuals to become informed about their employment rights. While the site focuses on employment in California, the website as a whole provides useful literature for trans- and cis-gender individuals who are interested in becoming informed about working with trans individuals. Some resources are available in English and Spanish.
Transgender Law and Policy Institute (TLPI) is a non-profit organization dedicated to engaging in effective advocacy for transgender people in our society. The TLPI brings experts and advocates together to work on law and policy initiatives designed to advance transgender equality.
Transgender Rights Page of the American Bar Association is a list of resources and other groups dedicated to serving the intersectional diversity of the transgender community.
Transgender Workplace Diversity is a blog hosted by Jillian Weiss, a transgender attorney and consultant, providing information for human resource professionals, lawyers, transgender employees and allies on workplace-related issues.
LGBTQ+ Professional Organizations
There are numerous professional associations and online resources intended to help LGBTQ+ individuals find identity-affirming internships and jobs. Although the below list links to an organization’s webpage, we encourage you to search for these associations on LinkedIn and Facebook as well. If you are aware of an LGBTQ+ professional association that is not listed below, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to have it added.
LGBTQ+ Academic Associations
National Women’s Studies Association Caucuses: Lesbian Caucus, Queer & Trans People of Color Caucus, and Trans/Gender Caucus
LGBTQ+ Archival and Library Associations
LGBTQ+ Arts (Fine & Performing), Arts Administration, and Arts Education
LGBTQ+ Bar Associations (Law)
The LGBT Bar a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, activists, and affiliated lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender legal organizations. Notable regional chapters are as follows:
BALIF: LGBTQI Bar Association of the Bay Area
LAGBAC: LGBT legal professionals and allies association of Chicago
LeGaL: LGBT Bar Association of New York City
LGBT Bar DC: LGBT Bar Association of D.C.
LGBT Bar LA: LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles
MassLGBTQBar: LGBTQ Bar Association of Massachusetts
LGBTQ+ Business, Commerce, and Entrepreneurship
StartOut (Connects and educates LGBTQ entrepreneurs)
LGBTQ+ Counseling, Psychological, Psychiatric, and Social Work Associations
American Psychological Association LGBTQ+ Divisions
LGBTQ+ Education and Student Affairs
GLSEN: LGBTQ+ Student & Educators Network
NASPA Gender & Sexuality Knowledge Community (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Ed)
LGBTQ+ General and/or Misc. Associations
Out Professionals (General Networking)
Pride@Work (LGBTQ union members, AFL-CIO recognized group)
LGBTQ+ Healthcare, Medicine, Public Health, and Veterinary
LGBTQ+ Journalism and Writing
Lambda Literary (Writers)