Strategy Development to Support LGB Individuality in the Workplace


  • Alyssa J. Soderlund Wichita State University


employment support, LGB


Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals are challenged daily regarding the lack of emotional support
from employers in acknowledging cultural differences. The LGB population is at high risk for heterosexist
discrimination despite new employment laws that protect individuals from termination based on sexual
orientation. Previously completed research indicated that LGB employees who felt supported emotionally
in the workplace showed a higher rate of future employee recruitment, increased productivity, quick
adjustment periods for new employees, decreased stress, and were committed to their agency. The
purpose of this research study was to develop strategies to help the LGB population feel supported in the
workplace. The strategies were identified from anonymous surveys completed by employees in the
developmental disability support field. The study participants are members of the Advancing Strong
Leadership program for North Carolina Developmental Disability (DD) Professionals. Participants shared
their personal perceptions of how supportive their agency is for the LGB population. The results showed
that 86.36% of the survey participants felt a change could be made to their agency to help increase
support and acceptance for LGB employees. There were 16.6% of the employees that identified as LGB from public and non-profit agencies. The results suggest strategies for improving agency climate for LGB workers.


Author Biography

  • Alyssa J. Soderlund, Wichita State University

    Alyssa Soderlund received her MSW and BSW from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Her research
    interests include LGB, developmental disabilities, aging individuals, PTSD, and Trauma Focused-CBT.
    Alyssa is the Social Services Coordinator at a residential agency that supports adults with
    disabilities and mental illness.