Building on the Supreme Court’s historic decision to protect LGBTQ+ workers in the federal workplace and President Biden’s recent Executive Order expanding on those protections, those of us in the tech industry and the larger tech community are more committed than ever to continuing to fight for equity in the workplace. From advocating for passage of the Equality Act to implementing much-needed reforms in the workplace, our industry can and should continue to support LGBTQ+ employees and partners across the country and the globe by fighting back against any efforts to allow discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity at work.
ITI is engaged in a variety of efforts to help ensure that every qualified individual has equal access to job opportunities. We are currently responding to a Request for Information (RFI) from OMB seeking strategies to implement President Biden’s racial equity Executive Order, which adds LGBTQ+ individuals to the list of marginalized & underserved communities that should be included in policies to advance equality. ITI commended this action as a much-needed step toward ensuring the consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals. Now, through the OMB RFI, ITI is gathering feedback from our members that will help government officials implement this Executive Order by reducing barriers to federal contracting opportunities and promoting equal access to critical government services for underserved communities.
Beyond supporting the administration’s immediate policies, ITI knows that more must be done to address historic injustices. ITI is a long-time advocate for the Equality Act, which is another critical effort to fight discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The measure would mend the 1964 Civil Rights Act by expanding the current protections to be more inclusive. The Act, which is currently under consideration in the U.S. Senate, would specifically provide a clear federal standard that protects all employees and job-seekers, better enabling individuals to succeed based on their background and qualifications to perform a job in addition to other areas beyond the workplace, such as housing, public accommodations, and federally-funded programs. Our industry recognizes the value of equal opportunity, largely it enables companies to attract and retain the most talented employees. Ensuring that every qualified individual has equal access to job opportunities is critical to the success of not only our companies but also the strength of our communities.
The past year has been filled with historic events including a global pandemic, a presidential election, and a national reckoning with equity. Our industry was drastically impacted and changed the way we worked in many ways, but one thing that has remained steadfast is our belief that fighting for equity and inclusion for the 8.1 million LGBTQ+ employees and job-seekers in the U.S. is good for business, good for our community, and good for humanity.