Most employers shy away from asking their candidates about their sexual orientation—after all, the less you know about your employees’ sexual lives, the better—but at a time when LGBT Americans are more visible than ever before and courts are increasingly inclined to extend civil rights protections to them, diversity-conscious employers who want to avoid discriminating against this vulnerable group could benefit from that knowledge. To that end, the investment bank Goldman Sachs has added a voluntary query about sexual orientation to the demographic questions asked on its job application, Lucinda Shen reports at Fortune:
After the typical questions about a job applicant’s gender and race, Goldman Sachs asks candidates to indicate their sexual orientation via a drop-down menu including the choices bisexual, gay man, gay woman, heterosexual, lesbian, other, and “prefer not to say.” Following that, the application also queries: “Please indicate if you identify as Transgender.” Goldman’s questions—neither of which typically pop up in polite conversation—may seem shocking at first. But it has a reason for asking.
” We ask for this data because we want to keep ourselves accountable,” says Anilu Vazquez-Ubarri, Goldman’s chief diversity officer and global head of talent. In other words, she says, the bank wants to make sure it is not unfairly discriminating against LGBT applicants. …
Goldman, whose benefits package covers sex reassignment surgery, decided to start measuring its own LGBT inclusivity roughly a year ago. Its method is similar to that of the [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission]: First, it asks candidates to self-identify. Then, it removes the data from the resume and interview process. Finally, after the hires have been made, Goldman checks if the proportion of LGBT applicants is reflected in the eventual group hired.