Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA) Students

Things to Consider

  • As you think about your career, consider what value your diverse background brings to a position and organization. Remember many employers appreciate the unique insight LGBTQIA students can bring to their position.
  • Check organization rankings regarding general commitment to diversity at DiversityInc.
  • Read organizations’ diversity statements and human resources policies on their web sites. Check to see if organizations offer domestic partnership benefits, or other LGBTQIA-friendly policies. Look to see if organizations have LGBTQIA “affinity” or “resource” groups for LGBTQIA employees and/or have LGBTQIA-friendly benefits and workplace cultures. 

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Career Resources

There are many valuable career resources for LGBTQIA individuals. Here are some of our favorites:

Created by the UMN Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life. 

Your Journey: A Career Guide for Trans and Nonbinary Students The guide is designed to support you in applying for jobs by showing you how to leverage available resources and make decisions that work for you and your career.

Diversity Working Diversity working is a job search engine that offers 550,000 active and non-replicated diversity jobs

Out for Work OFW’s programs, resources and services provide assistance to students in the cultivation and enhancement of skills to explore career options, master search techniques and strategies, and research employment opportunities.

Connect with Professionals and Peers

Meeting with LGBTQIA professionals, or others who work in your career area of interest, can be a great way to get career advice and find leads on positions.  Below are a few ways you can find people who might be able to help.

  • Your network. Ask family, friends, advisors, career counselors, community leaders, or instructors if they know any LGBTQIA professionals who you can speak with for advice on your career plans.
  • On-campus resources. There are many on-campus resources and student groups. This is a great way to network with your peers and many groups bring in professionals in the field to speak with students.
  • Professional associations. Professional associations are groups of people who work in a similar industry that meet to conduct professional development and to network.  Attending association meetings can be a way to find professionals eager to help you navigate the world of work. View a national listing of organizations created by the Human Rights Campaign at LGBTQ Professional and Student Associations.
  • Quorum. Quorum, the Twin Cities LGBT + Allies Chamber of Commerce's member directory allows you to find professionals by industry area.
  • LinkedIn. Create an account on the online professional networking site LinkedIn and join groups such as the LGBT Professional Network - Global.  
  • Fairs and events. Attend career fairs, organization information sessions/networking events, and employer panels to expand your professional network.  View campus events on Handshake.

Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of contacting a professional? You’re not alone!  Calling a stranger and asking for advice makes most students a little nervous.  To get some tips to help you through this process, simply call your career center and ask for an appointment with a career staff member.  We will coach you on what to say when you call a professional, what kinds of questions to ask and how to make the best impression.

Your Legal Rights

As LGBTQIA student, you may have concerns about experiencing discrimination within your job search or career and how to handle this should it arise. 

Minnesota. Minnesota law prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, public service, education, credit, and business based on “sexual orientation,” which is defined to include transgender individuals. 

Other states. Although federal law does not protect employees from discrimination based on real or perceived gender identity or sexual orientation, many cities, counties and states do have such protections.  To see if a state in which you are considering working has discrimination protections, see:

Dealing with discrimination. If you experience discrimination once you are in a job, check out Dealing with Discrimination: Tips for Employees.