Transforming Recruitment: Including the LGBTQ+ Community in the Process

Gloria Sotomayor

By Gloria Sotomayor in collaboration with Athali Serrano, GS TalentSearch

In the framework of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, it is important to reflect on diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our society. One of the spaces where this inclusion is crucial, but often overlooked, is in job recruitment processes.

The inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community in the workplace is not only a matter of human rights, but also brings a wealth of perspectives and experiences that can drive innovation and growth in organizations. However, despite advances in equal rights, many members of the LGBTQ+ community still face discrimination and exclusion not only in the workplace, but also in recruitment processes.

The Evolution of Recruitment Processes and LGBTQ+ Inclusion

The history of recruitment processes has undergone a significant transformation since the 1990s, adapting to new technologies (internet, platforms like LinkedIn, etc.) and the growing demand for inclusion and diversity in the workplace.

In parallel, the LGBTQ+ movement has fought for visibility and recognition of sexual and gender diversity. From the initial acronym LGB to the inclusion of other identities in LGTBIQ+, the community has expanded its representation and promoted inclusion in all areas of society, including the workplace.

The intersection between the evolution of recruitment processes and the LGBTQ+ movement lies in the growing awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Companies that adopt inclusive policies not only support the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, but also benefit from a greater diversity of talent and perspectives.

The Working LGBTQ+ Community in the World

In the global work environment, it is common to find derogatory attitudes and comments towards the LGBTQ+ community. Despite experiencing discrimination, many choose not to report for fear of not being hired.

According to a study conducted by Statista (2022), more than 30% of LGBTQ+ workers worldwide consider it essential to report the lack of inclusion and promote alliances among workers to foster integration in the workplace. In addition, a report presented to the UN Human Rights Council in 2022 highlights that discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity deprive countless people around the world not only of their right to physical and mental health, but also of being able to have a job based on their competencies and not on their sexual preference and this begins in the recruitment & selection processes of companies.

In Mexico, it is estimated that 5.0 million people self-identify with a sexual orientation and gender identity LGBTI+, which is equivalent to 5.1% of the population aged 15 and over in the country. Approximately 28.1% of the LGBTI+ population in Mexico has received unequal treatment at work. These data underline the importance of the inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community in recruitment processes and in the workplace in general (ENDISEG, 2021).

Barriers in Recruitment Processes

The specific challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community in recruitment processes are varied and complex, reflecting the social, legal, and cultural barriers that still persist. Some of these challenges include:

  1. Discrimination and Stigma: They often encounter prejudices (backgrounds, personal experiences, social stereotypes, and cultural context) and discrimination from the recruiter, which can lead to an unfair evaluation of their skills and experience.
  2. Lack of Representation: The absence of openly LGBTQ+ role models and leaders in organizations can discourage job applicants from this community from applying to an internal recruitment process or from being open about their identity.
  3. Gender Stereotypes: These can influence hiring and promotion decisions, especially if certain positions or jobs are traditionally associated with a specific gender.
  4. Little Respect for Gender Identity: The lack of respect for gender identity from the beginning of a recruitment process, including the use of correct pronouns and respect for work seniority after a legal identity change is a practice that continues worldwide.
  5. Discrimination and abuses at all stages of the employment cycle: This includes hiring, promotion, training, compensation, and dismissal, and in the application of benefits at all times.


Some other challenges that the LGBTQ+ community has had to face in the workplace are:

  • Unsafe Work Environments, giving rise to LGBTQ+ employees feeling obliged to hide their identity, which can affect their well-being and productivity in the company.
  • Members of the LGBTQ+ community face higher rates of sexual harassment and discrimination on grounds of gender and orientation.
  • Many companies still have insufficient inclusion policies, which prevents clear and effective policies to promote inclusion and protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Having limited support resources and specific training to address the needs of the LGBTQ+ community in the workplace can result in a lack of understanding and support from employers and coworkers.

Promoting Improvements in Recruitment Processes for the LGBTQ+ Community

Despite the fact that there is still much to be done, there are several examples of good practices in the inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community in the workplace. These should be implemented in all HR processes, specifically in recruitment & selection.

These not only promote a more inclusive and respectful work environment, but can also improve employee morale and productivity:

  1. Inclusion Policies: Implement clear policies that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and that promote equal opportunities in recruitment processes.
  2. Training and Awareness: Offer programs, on sexual/gender diversity and relevant aspects of the LGBTQ+ community, to those in charge of recruitment & selection processes to avoid bias when doing their job.
  3. Use of Personal Pronouns: Encourage the use of preferred personal pronouns from the recruitment and selection process, during meetings and even in email signatures to respect the identity of everyone.
  4. Inclusive Benefits: Ensure that employment benefits, such as health insurance and leave, are inclusive and accessible to all people, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
  5. Employee Support Groups: Create and implement as part of the benefits package, support groups for LGBTQ+ employees that provide a safe space for mutual support and advocacy of their rights within the company.


There are several companies worldwide that have demonstrated a commitment to the inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community in all their processes (including recruitment & selection). For example, Google has worked to create belonging spaces for LGBTQ+ communities and has had a long history of supporting the LGBTQ+ community in its workplace. Other companies like Walmart Mexico, Natura, Gilead, and Levi’s have also demonstrated a commitment to inclusion and sexual diversity in the workplace. In addition, Bayer México has been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign for meeting international criteria for inclusion and diversity, obtaining the highest score in the 2024 index.

Some Benefits of Including the LGBTQ+ Community in Recruitment Processes

  • It brings a wealth of perspectives and experiences that can drive innovation and growth in organizations.
  • By fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment, companies can attract a wider spectrum of talent, which can result in more creative and effective teams.
  • In addition, companies that demonstrate a commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion can improve their reputation and appeal to customers and partners who value diversity and inclusion.
  • Finally, the inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community in recruitment processes can contribute to a more respectful and welcoming work environment, which can improve employee satisfaction and retention.


We need diversity to better understand and leverage the potential and power of people. The advantages of diversity and inclusion in companies can help create solid talent acquisition strategies for continued success. Creating a diverse workforce remains one of the biggest challenges in the institutional world and achieving relevance of inclusion in the workplace can be complex.

Therefore, we should not only reflect this month on how we can make our workplaces more inclusive and welcoming for everyone. But throughout the year, we must continue to promote the inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community in recruitment & selection processes and thus we can take an important step towards creating a more just and equitable society.

About the author

Gloria Sotomayor


Has a degree in Clinical Psychology and have received training from various institutions in topics related to human development, competency-based interviewing techniques, consulting skills, process analysis and selection and recruitment techniques. And recently completed a Synergology Training. Has more than 25 years of professional experience in recruitment and selection of middle management, managers and executives for national and international companies, as well as experience in new business development and HR related project management.
Has worked in both international (KPMG) and national firms (Transearch Mexico, Creo Services & North Hunters).
During 2010 to 2020, developed her own headhunting & executive search practice at GS TalentSearch.
Currently returned to GS TalentSearch to continue develop the business by her own.

Extensive experience in managing projects related to search processes: mapping, pre-selection, in-depth telephone interviewing, professional resume development, job reference research. Experienced in all sectors (Multi-industries).

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