Resources for LGBTQ+ Students
The Office of Career and Professional Development (CPD) at Washington and Lee University has not vetted any of the internship and volunteer opportunity listings on this page and makes no representations or guarantees regarding any of the listed opportunities. It is the responsibility of students and alumni to do their own due diligence when applying for and accepting any of these opportunities.
CPD strives to make our services welcoming and accessible to people of all backgrounds. If you identify an area of our work that you believe misses a critical perspective or employs language that needs improvement, please contact email@example.com. We welcome your feedback.
- Understand your protections against discrimination: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, or sex which includes sexual/romantic orientation and gender identity/expression. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination based on disability. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy. Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act prohibits discrimination based on genetic information.
- Know your rights: Understand the questions employers can and cannot ask you as you proceed through the hiring process. Review a sample of allowable and prohibited questions here. Focus the conversation on your skills and abilities and what you bring to the workplace. Be aware of individual state employment laws regarding discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. See Human Rights Campaign's guide here.
- Look for companies with a diverse population: Pay attention especially to their higher ranks. Research their stance on the LGBTQ+ community to make sure you have the opportunity to succeed in the company based on your skills and talents. Look specifically at their non-discrimination or equal employment policies.
- Consider what role you would like your identity to play in your career: This includes thinking about joining an advocacy group or participating in smaller support groups at a company. These factors can affect your decision when choosing the right workplace.
- Market your strengths and unique experiences gained from your LGBTQ+ identity: This can include your ability to overcome challenges in discrimination or open-mindedness for diversity. Ask detailed questions about the company's policies such as insurance and equal employment related to the LGBTQ+ community. It is also helpful to discuss experiences and network with employees who have worked there.
Should I come out on my resume/in an interview?
- Yes? No? Depends on you.
- Determine what you are comfortable sharing with an employer.
- Remember that employers often check social media -- you may inadvertently come out to them without your knowledge.
- Putting your affiliation with LGBTQ+ on your resume affirms your values and allows you to connect with organizations that share your values. However, doing so may inadvertently screen out employers that are unsupportive of your values.
Should employment in or activity with LGBTQ+ organizations be on my resume?
- This is completely up to you and depends on the type of job and industry you are applying to. If you are interested in joining an equal rights advocacy group, then definitely include it! Otherwise, if you don't want to share with the employer, consider creating a functional resume which groups the responsibilities you have had and tasks under separate skill groups and not by organization.
When should I use my preferred name?
- You can use your preferred name on a resume by putting it in quotation marks along with your legal name (e.g., Robert "Bobby" Doe). While it might be easier and more comfortable to use your chosen name during the interview process because that is your preference at work, use your legal name when it is requested for background checks and insurance forms. Failure to do so may be deemed as lying and considered grounds for dismissal.
How should I disclose my pronouns?
- Not every employer will provide an opportunity to disclose the pronouns that you wish to use. If it is important to you to disclose these (i.e., you are worried others would assume the wrong pronouns), you can include them on your resume, cover letter, and/or your email signature along with your name. For more information, read "Should I Put My Pronouns on My Resume?"
- Additionally, while correcting someone about your pronouns in person can be uncomfortable, try practicing with trusted friends or CPD advisors to be prepared for that interaction. For example, "I noticed you referred to me as 'she' earlier. I wanted to let you know that I use 'they' pronouns. Thank you!" For additional information, visit here.
How should I dress for the interview?
- Research the company beforehand to decide the level of formality. Dress well for the gender with which you identify. This decision can vary depending on the situation and the employer; feel free to contact our Career Advisors if you have questions.
How do I find information on the employer's nondiscrimination policy?
- In addition to networking with employees and alumni who have worked there, search the company's website under sections such as "About Us" or "Mission Statement." You can also contact the company directly for more information on equal employment policies.
- Coming Out at Work - Human Rights Campaign resource
- Diversity Inc.'s 2020 Top Companies for Diversity and Inclusion - List of diverse companies, using a variety of metrics
- Human Rights Campaign's 2022 Corporate Equality Index - National benchmarking tool on corporate policies, practices and benefits pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees
- Human Rights Campaign's Workplace resources
- Idealist.org - Find LGBTQ+ related public interest internships, jobs and organizations by location
- National Gay and Lesbian Task Force - Advances full freedom, justice and equality for LGBTQ people
- National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce - Expanding economic advancement and business voice for LGBT community
- National Organization for Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals - Networking center and career resources
- Out and Equal - Premier organization working exclusively on LGBTQ workplace equality. Through our worldwide programs, Fortune 500 partnerships and our annual Workplace Summit conference, we help LGBTQ people thrive and support organizations creating a culture of belonging for all
- Out Leadership - Create leadership summits, talent accelerators and strategic insights that lead the conversation on Return on Equality
- oSTEM - National society promoting LGBTQ+ leaders in the STEM industry
- Out for Undergrad - Conference for LGBTQ+ community in areas such as business, tech, and engineering; deadlines are early summer around July
- Out For Work - Professional networking site with job search engine and numerous career resources
- Out Professionals - Networking site for professionals which includes job search bank
- Pride at Work - Organization that represents LGBTQ+ union members and their allies and organizes mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBTQ Community to further social and economic justice
- The Queer Career Blog - - An NYC based, Career Coaching platform for LGBT professionals
- Zippia - Provides resources on how to find inclusive companies, best jobs and companies for LGBTQ+ candidates, interviewing advice, and more
- Equal Employment Opportunities Commission - on LGBTQ+ discrimination protections, which describes laws enforced by the commission as well as what to do if you feel like you have been discriminated against
- Human Rights Campaign - Organization advocating for LBGTQ rights; see resources on webpage
- Lambda Legal - National organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people
- National Center for Transgender Equality - Know Your (Federal Employment) Rights
- Workplace Discrimination Fact Sheet - Out and Equal resource of the state of LGBTQ workplace equality in the United States
- Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists
- Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
- Gaylesta: The Psychotherapist Association for Gender & Sexual Diversity
- National Consortium of Directors of LGBT Resources in Higher Education
- National Gay Pilots Association
- National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association
- National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals
- Publishing Triangle
- Best Companies to Work for
- Identity and Transition Guidelines
- Know Your Rights (Federal)
- Know Your Rights (General)
- National Center for Transgender Equality
- Make an appointment with a Career Advisor on Handshake to discuss your career plans
- Enroll in CPD Canvas course and join industry groups of interest to receive notifications about jobs and internships and career-related events
- Review list of LGBTQ+ Alumni Connections in Career Resources to find LGBTQ+ alumni willing to serve as volunteer career advisors
- The Class of 1994 Office of Inclusion and Engagement - Creating and maintaining a safe and supportive atmosphere as students integrate into the educational, cultural and social environment of the University
- Colonnade Connections and LinkedIn - Network with alumni
- Jake Reeves (he/him/his), Asst. Director of Inclusion and Engagement - LGBTQ+ Support
- Finding our Truth - Contact: Rallie Snowden
- Queer Liberation Alliance - An LGBTQ and Allies student group designed to promote a friendly and supportive environment on campus through educational and social activities.
- LGBTQ Peer Counselors
- Out Faculty and Staff