Starting a new job is a crush of emotions. The sweaty palms and butterflies of the office walk around, the “hey, let’s go meet everyone.” The need to look cool and calm as the mind races – don’t let them see me sweat… is there something in my teeth?… is my shirt untucked?…
But for LGBTQ+ people, these emotions are doubled when dealing with the pressure and decision to come out at work.
Coming out is seen by many as a singular event, friends and family gathered on a family room sofa, but it’s not a one-time instance in the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals. It’s ongoing and really everyone they meet. At work, the list is long: immediate manager, coworkers, other managers, clients, and more.
For some, “coming out” in this fashion is no big deal. For others, nagging doubts of “how might this play?” are enough to give pause – and sometimes we decide it’s just not worth it.
Research shows that coming out at work is an important step to achieve higher levels of work satisfaction and self-esteem. Also, employers appreciate the commitment to the company shown by people who are open about themselves. But not everyone feels they can do that. Discrimination in many places and industries might put employees at risk of harassment from colleagues, management or even of job loss.
At Cantina, the most valuable resource we have is our people, and a diversity of backgrounds, ideas, options, and life experiences is something we genuinely care about.
With that in mind and to celebrate Pride Week in Boston, we asked five LBGTQ+ individuals to talk about what coming out at work was like for them.
The best work environments are created where people are able to be themselves and know they’re supported by their colleagues. Building an inclusive environment starts with an awareness of common assumptions and challenges people face when they decide to come out.
We are proud to say Cantina is one of those places – and we are hiring! Check out our open positions and come join our fantastic team! And Happy Pride! 🏳️🌈
(This is an updated post originally published in 2019.)