On October 2nd, over 40 employers came together to kick off the month with the LGBT Career Fair. The fair was held at the LGBT Center in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood.
Jobseekers were recommended to come to the event with tailored resumes and professional attire to heighten their chances at employment, and dressed to impress as they came. Some of the employers present were Apple, San Francisco Police Department, Walgreens, Bank of America and Comcast.
Applicants were able to jump from table to table to gather information printouts and pamphlets, and speak with representatives and company volunteers to get the inside scoop about what employers were seeking.
As one might be able to tell from the list of visiting employers (which were available via the e-invite, for anyone curious) the participating companies ranged from the tech field, to retail, to finance, to law enforcement. Even better than that, hundreds of applicants showed up to take advantage of the huge opportunity—even ones who already had decent jobs.
Not news to anyone, members of the LGBT community are often discriminated against within the workplace. According to manager of employment services Clair Farley, people who are transgender or transsexual are three times as likely to be legally unemployed and double that amount for trans people of color.
However, at the 30th Annual LGBT career fair, people were “knocking down the doors” to be at the event because employers in San Francisco have begun to recognize the importance of diversity recruitment in the workplace.
“It’s fabulous to see people nationally interested in this,” Clair told 429Magazine, after mentioning the bi-coastal partnership with the New York City LGBT Center this year. “It’s nice to help people feel competitive in the field and people feel empowered to be in a workplace where they can be themselves. So, there are lots of personalities.”
One of the biggest goals of the Center is to help candidates find jobs that match their character traits, so that the most positive relationship is established from the jump.
“If a person is energetic, we want to make sure we put them in an environment where they can thrive,” added Farley, who has been manager of employment services for six and a half years.
In an event highlight, trans people were informed that it is now required by California law for employers to provide health insurance for them, whereas before they were legally excluded. Big-name companies such as Keiser and BlueCross/BlueShield have already jumped on board with their support for members for the trans community. This year, 500 applicants and jobseekers attended the career fair—an amount that doubled since last year.
A number of local volunteers also showed up to help out at the event. Several of the volunteers were fashion and makeup stylists who were able to provide consultations and keynotes about how to dress and prepare for an application and interview process. Farley put it best when she told 429Magazine about style and comfort.
“Style makes you confident about who you are,” Farley said. “If you don’t feel comfortable with what you’re wearing, then more than likely you’re not going to be comfortable in the interview.”