Professional development initiatives aimed at LGBTQ employees encourage workers to develop their professional careers within that same business and can be a critical tool for retaining talented employees. Targeted and thoughtful employee efficacy and development programs can help LGBTQ employees with "identity management" -- improving efficacy while fully acknowledging their LGBTQ status. These programs can be especially useful for businesses that have no visible senior-level LGBTQ employees or executives.
Programs may take the form of LGBTQ mentorship programs that pair a senior employee with a more junior employee. The mentor and mentee may attend events and conferences or simply have regular meetings to talk about opportunities and obstacles in the workplace.
Employee resource groups (ERG) can facilitate mentorship programs, and also are helpful in providing a network from which LGBTQ employees of all levels can quickly make professional acquaintances and, in some cases, take on leadership positions within the ERG itself. Similarly, LGBTQ conferences and professional associations help employees share experiences and best practices among their peers in their respective industries or practice areas.
Programs may also take the form of a development curriculum for employees identified as "high-potential" and can be a unique opportunity to develop more seasoned or senior-level employees.
Below is a list of professional development initiatives that include a focus on LGBTQ employees:
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