chapter  7
17 Pages

The Benefits of Sexual Orientation Diversity in Sport Organizations

WithGeorge B. Cunningham, E. Nicole Melton

Historically, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons have faced considerable prejudice and discrimination in the workplace. In the United States, there are no federal laws outlawing managers from basing personnel decisions on one’s sexual orientation, and fewer than half of all states have such policies (Human Rights Campaign, 2009). Thus, sexual minorities frequently do not receive legal protections from discrimination related to hiring, training, promotions, and termination. Perhaps not surprisingly, research also suggests people who are LGBT frequently face treatment discrimination in the workplace. Consider, for instance, that employees who

are LGBT frequently report sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination (Badgett, Lau, Sears, & Ho, 2007; Ragins, 2004), earn up to 30% less than their heterosexual counterparts (Blanford, 2003) and are encouraged (both explicitly and implicitly) not to disclose their sexual orientation in the workplace (Ragins, Singh, & Cornwell, 2007). These experiences negatively affect sexual minorities’ work experiences (Button, 2001; Ragins & Cornwell, 2001) as well as their mental and physical health (Smith & Ingram, 2004; Waldo, 1999).