‘Out at Work’

University of Utah Pride Week

From March 29 to April 2, the University of Utah will be hosting Pride Week, a celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual/aromantic and more (LGBTQIA+) community. The theme of Pride Week this year is “Queer at the Intersections,” so each event will explore how our identities and experiences impact how we navigate the world.

What is “Out at Work”?

Out at Work” is an event that focuses on the experiences of being LGBTQIA+ in the workplace. The event will be held on Tuesday, March 30, from 12–2 p.m. via Zoom. The first hour will consist of a panel of LGBTQIA+ professionals who will share their experiences and answer questions. The second hour will allow you to choose a breakout session where you can discuss one of the following topics:

  • Understanding Benefits in the Workplace
  • Healing from Workplace Trauma
  • Preparing for Success After Graduation
  • Building an Inclusive Work Environment

Why does it matter?

While more legislation is being passed protecting LGBTQIA+ rights in the workplace, many LGBTQIA+ employees still do not feel comfortable being their authentic selves at work due to hostile work environments. All of the following statistics come from the Human Rights Campaign’s “A Workplace Divided: Understanding the Climate for LGBTQ Workers Nationwide“:

  • Only 46% of LGBTQIA+ employees are out at their workplaces
    • 38% of those who are closeted reported that they have not come out due to a fear of being stereotyped
  • 1 in 5 LGBTQIA+ employees were told to dress more masculine or feminine compared to 1 in 24 for non-LGBTQIA+ employees
  • Nearly 1/3 of all LGBTQIA+ employees feel depressed or unhappy at work
  • Over half of all LGBTQIA+ employees have reported hearing homophobic jokes in the workplace

Events like “Out at Work” help bring these issues to light while creating space to brainstorm action steps to move forward in creating more inclusive environments.

Benefits of attending if you’re part of the LGBTQIA+ community

Being LGBTQIA+ is often an invisible identity, which makes it more challenging to find community and mentors who share your identities. Events like Out at Work give you the opportunity to network with those with similar experiences.

Benefits of attending if you’re an ally

You’ll gain a better understanding of the challenges and barriers that your LGBTQIA+ colleagues and peers face with regards to employment, as well as how to better support and advocate for them.