Free seminar helps address significant hiring bias against the transgender community
WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights organization, announced today it will hold the inaugural event of its Back to Work project in Boston on February 26-27, 2011. The Back to Work project empowers transgender people who are unemployed or underemployed to find jobs that match their expertise and experience by providing them with essential skills needed to make the most of the job market. The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC), the Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth (BAGLY), AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts (AAC) and MassEquality are cosponsors of the event, which will be hosted by AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts.
Allyson Robinson, HRC's associate director of diversity, said the Back to Work seminars address a critical need. "Because of the widespread prejudice we face, transgender youth and adults experience unemployment at twice the rate of their fellow citizens and one in five have been homeless," said Robinson. "Transgender people make great employees, but they need superior, specialized job hunting skills to help overcome the bias against us in hiring."
Attendance at the Back to Work seminar is free and open to any unemployed or underemployed transgender person. In addition, the first 30 registrants for the seminar will receive, also free of cost, a suite of individualized, open-ended services after the seminar from a credentialed, experienced career coach to help them navigate their own job search.
"Not only do we need to pass the Transgender Equal Rights Bill for employment non-discrimination protections here in Massachusetts, but also we need to get our transgender youth and adults back to work and give them the tools to do so," said Gunner Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition.
Participants in the two-day seminar will be trained in refining their career focus, preparing a résumé, researching the job market, building a professional network and interviewing techniques. The Foundation for New Directions (FND), a non-profit, transgender-owned career coaching organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, will provide the training.
Sharon Skipper, CEO of FND, said: "We are the only national firm that offers professional job search assistance specifically to transgender individuals. With 25 years experience in helping those in the LGBT community to successfully start second careers in rewarding positions, we're confident the techniques we teach provide a real competitive advantage to our clients. A successful job search requires confidence, research, marketability and presentation and we cover all of that and much more."
Registration for the Back to Work seminar in Boston will take place via the program's website, www.hrc.org/backtowork.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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