Should You Talk About Vaccination Status with Your Coworkers?

For some, receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is a badge of honor — something they will literally wear on their sleeves. For others, however, a Covid-19 vaccine is something they won’t get unless they have to — for example, if vaccination is required by their employers, or to travel.

A recent survey by Glassdoor found that 70 percent of U.S. employees currently working from home because of the pandemic think that workers should be required to get the Covid-19 vaccine to return to the office. And while some workplaces are moving toward making them a requirement, it’s too soon to tell how many ultimately will. In the meantime, workers will have to navigate the murky waters of whether or not to offer up their vaccination status to colleagues.

Covid-19 vaccination can be a tricky subject to navigate and one packed with potential pitfalls. Sharing any health information at the office “can polarize relationships and the career-savvy professional will understand that others may not value his or her perspective,” says Maureen Farmer, CEO, and founder of Westgate Executive Branding & Career Consulting. Plus,

“It can become political, and navigating politics is a skill not everyone has,” Farmer explains. 

While you might be tempted to share that you got a shot — or why you’re avoiding a jab — with your coworkers, experts urge caution before divulging your vaccination status with colleagues. Before you offer up your vaccination status at work, there are several things you should consider, experts say. Here’s what to weigh before bringing up your COVID-19 vaccine status with your coworkers. 

Consider your company’s culture and your coworkers’ expectations.

Every company has its own unique company culture surrounding self-disclosure — including how common it is for employees to discuss personal information. “Some workgroups seem to share lots of personal details, while others do not,” says Carolyn Goerner, clinical professor of management and entrepreneurship at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.

Before you share, think: Is your workplace one in which colleagues often divulge these details? Does your company actively promote such discussions, or does it discourage such discourse?

“It isn’t realistic to expect culturally-bound behaviors to change overnight — and it is often the case that people react negatively to swift and unexpected violations of their expectations of how their co-workers will behave,” says Goerner. Evaluate your company’s culture before sharing, and consider what, if any, consequences there may be for sharing within its unique environment.

Consider why you want to share your vaccination status.

Getting vaccinated can be a personal decision, says career coach Hallie Crawford. Some people couldn’t wait to receive their Covid-19 vaccines, while others have fears and concerns that have kept them from getting inoculated so far. Crawford encourages you to think critically about why you want to share your vaccination status with coworkers — and what could happen if you do.

And Farmer agrees: “I would question an employee’s motivation to share their vaccination status at work. Most professionals do not share personal health-related information randomly at work unless it’s with a trusted colleague or friend. What are the benefits of sharing? What are the risks of sharing this very personal information with others who may not have a vested interest in us?”

Before you divulge your vaccination status, “Ask yourself if you want to share information or if you want to push your personal views on your coworkers,” Crawford advises. She points out that the latter reason can turn a casual conversation into a heated argument that can feel like a personal attack: “Keep in mind that some people are unable to be vaccinated due to underlying health issues or allergies that you may be unaware of,” Crawford says, “while others may have lost a loved one to Covid-19,” and because of that, could “feel strongly about being vaccinated.” 

Of course, sharing your vaccination status can also be a way of easing coworkers’ minds about returning to the office. “Many professionals are feeling uneasy about going back to the office so that you may consider sharing your vaccination status with your immediate team and coworkers you will be in close contact with to discuss how you might interact with each other when you are back in the office,” she says, adding you should try to “be respectful of everyone’s decisions.”

Realize that you may be asked — and be prepared with a response.

Even if you haven’t given much thought to sharing your vaccination status with coworkers, they may have — and may ask you whether you’ve been vaccinated. “This can quickly turn into a heated topic, so if you decide to share your vaccination status, do so with caution, Crawford says.

But having an answer prepared can help minimize any potential conflicts. For example, Goerner says that “simply matter-of-factly sharing the

information,” the “same way you’d tell someone you got a flu shot,” can be one way to keep the conversation from getting contentious.

“Ideally, avoid the appearance of ‘I think I’m better than you because I’m vaccinated,’ which can cause excessive conflict,” she says. Treat it as a factual question rather than a value-laden one.”

Farmer says you may also want to acknowledge in your response that it can be a sensitive topic — whether or not you choose to divulge your vaccination status. If you opt to share, she suggests saying, “I realize this can be a sensitive topic. I want you to know I’ve received the COVID19 vaccination because I want my colleagues to feel safe working with me.” And if you prefer to keep your vaccination status to yourself, you might say, “I appreciate you asking me about my vaccination status. Unfortunately, I’m not comfortable discussing it. I hope you understand.”

It may be a requirement to share your vaccination status at your office.

You may think that your manager or organization can’t ask about your vaccination status. But the fact is, they can: HIPPA laws apply only to medical professionals, which means that your higher-ups can request — or even require — that you provide your vaccination status to them.

“As restrictions continue to ease and as more people are fully vaccinated, employers will start to ask more about vaccination statuses and may require that you submit your vaccine status to the human resources department” says Crawford. It may be a choice on your company’s part, or it maybe under an obligation to ask your vaccination status based on state directives says, Farmer.

If your employer asks you, you will have to provide your vaccination status — or face potential consequences, from disciplinary action, such as suspension, to potential termination.

A recent survey of 957 U.S. businesses found that 65 percent plan to offer employees incentives to get vaccinated, and 63 percent will require proof of vaccination. For those employees who declined to get a shot or share their vaccination status, 42 percent of businesses said those workers would not be allowed to return to the physical work environment, such as the office — and 35% percent said some disciplinary actions are on the table, including possible termination.

“Employees have a fiduciary duty to their employers,” Farmer says, “and following appropriate policies is expected.” What’s more, “contravention of employer policies may be grounds for dismissal, so it’s important that employees are well informed of their obligations,” she adds.

To help ease the process, managers should share their reasons for requesting vaccination status from their employees, says Goerner. “People are generally more responsive to requests if they understand the bona fide business reason behind the question,” she explains. “If that information is necessary to establish company safety procedures, work schedules, and so on, then say so.”

She adds that “If it appears that managers are asking out of curiosity — or to extend personal judgment — the request will be met with more suspicion and hesitation” and less cooperation.

Of course, your employer may also eventually require vaccination as a condition of working there. The same recent survey found that nearly half — about 44 percent — of the employer’s polled plan required that all employees get vaccinated before returning to the office. Another 31 percent will encourage vaccinations, and 14 percent will require some, though not all, employees to get vaccinated.

If you have a health condition that prevents you from getting vaccinated or are otherwise exempt from vaccination, these conditions may not apply to you. “Employers will surely be thinking about special considerations for those who for health or religious reasons do not get vaccinated,” Crawford says. But even so, you should be prepared to discuss your vaccination status with your employer and understand that you may have to provide proof of why you should be exempted. 

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How To Get What You Need From Your Remote Internship

Kudos, you’ve scored a summer internship! Fully embrace this opportunity; it’s an ideal way to cue your orientation into the professional world. 

Robin White, Founder and Managing Partner of Guided Leadership Solutions, explains: “Internships allow you to learn what you can’t in school. School teaches fundamentals – they are important, but internships teach real-life scenarios that don’t come up in the classroom setting. Every company is different; every job is different. By working internships, emerging professionals have an opportunity to see different perspectives and learn new things. In an internship, you have a golden opportunity to get a feel for what you like and what you don’t like so you can evaluate if you are on the right path.” 

Your internship stands to offer a whole new level of education. It grows you up professionally and gives you direction on how your next chapter might read. But after a year of remote education, you may find yourself a bit disheartened to find that your internship will also be conducted remotely. While this may not seem as socially dynamic or as fun as dressing up every day and commuting into an actual workplace, a remote internship is still an outstanding opportunity. 

Plus, working remotely this summer gives you unique and relevant experience during a transitional time. You are solidifying your place in history as a contributing member of the pandemic workforce. This has been a hard time for the global workforce, and they have come through using their grit, resilience, agility, creativity, and optimism. These are the same soft skills that have been powering your academic work during this global health crisis, and they are in demand in the workplace.   

Although your internship might look a little different than you may have anticipated, you are well-positioned to rock this opportunity. Here’s what to consider as you get started with your remote internship so that you can get what you need from the opportunity. 

Observe how your internship can serve you.  

Internships are an important way to bridge academic understanding with professional experience. Internships are valuable because they give you a hands-on sense of what you want to do professionally and relevant work samples to use when it’s time to job search. These opportunities also expand your network and give you a taste of professional life and workplace culture. 

Internships help when it comes time to interview for your first job, both by giving you a feel for what it’s like to work in a professional environment and providing you with the fundamental opportunities and materials you need to demonstrate that you have that experience.  

White points out: “I’ve recruited for hundreds of positions in my career. In my years of recruiting, many of those positions were entry-level. The candidates who had Internships were hands down better prepared for the job (even if the internship wasn’t relevant to the job I was hiring for). They had the experience of interacting with a professional team. They had exposure to relevant work environments.” 

Remember that the professional landscape in flux.  

It can seem challenging, though, to feel like you’re getting the full experience when your internship is remote. Although, at the same time, you may not get the chance to work face-to-face with your colleagues and managers, your remote internship positions you to experience what so much of the workforce has gone through during the pandemic. Professional cultures have changed, and your remote internship positions you to get versed in that new paradigm.  

Glassdoor’s chief economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain points out: “An important lesson from history is that every crisis presents risks and opportunities. In 2020, COVID-19 devastated large parts of the economy, put millions out of work, and created the direst health crisis of the 21st Century. But it also overturned outdated beliefs about remote work, sparked companies to build programs that foster emotional and cultural bonds between teams, and has put even the most vigorous company cultures through the crucible during historically trying times.” 

Life and work look different as we begin to contemplate the post-covid workplace. As a remote intern, you have your fingers directly on that pulse, which positions you well for your future.  Use the experience to learn everything you can. You may have to off-road it a bit as you find your footing in the new frontier, the post-covid workplace, but as Dr. Chamberlain points out, there is an opportunity here. Targeting that and learning to discuss it can be a tremendous asset when it’s time to hit the interview circuit.    

White points out: “In a remote internship, it is harder to build relationships and get a feel for office culture. But, with the right mindset, you’ll still get something out of it if you put in the effort. Go in with some goals that you hope to accomplish during the internship and make sure you have regular communication with your manager to evaluate your progress and opportunities to meet those goals.”  

Be open to an experimental workplace. 

Many companies are still planning what their post-pandemic reality will look like-will all staff be back in the office full-time, part-time?  Will vaccines be required? How will this be monitored, and by whom? There is much to iron out.   

Dr. Chamberlain predicts that cultural experimentation will continue at many companies until they find a suitable formula for their teams.  Dr. Chamberlain advises: “Prepare for an unprecedented wave of experimentation and innovation around hybrid remote-in-office roles — part remote and part in-office — in 2021 and beyond.”

In the past, companies may have been better positioned to develop a rich program routinely deployed to govern the intern experience. Now, however, internship programs may be part of an employee experience program that is still emerging. 

While your remote internship may not be exactly what you pictured, it’s still a great opportunity that puts you in the heart of observing the workplace of the future as it’s taking shape. So embrace this opportunity for all that it makes possible. Use it to build your resume and network and to understand what you need and want professionally.  

White points out: “Any internship opportunity is positive. Work experience, especially relevant work experience, is a huge factor in finding future opportunities. Getting exposure in different roles, different sized companies, and different experiences helps broaden your horizons and learning opportunities . . . regardless of location (virtual or in-person). It’s definitely more challenging in a remote internship, but if you make an effort, you’ll have just as much impact.” 

Try to make the most of your opportunity. 

You may have to adjust your strategies a bit to get the most out of your experience.  White recommends a proactive approach: “I’ve been mentoring college Juniors and Seniors for 6+ years. The advice I always give to those who have found internships is to reach out and build your network throughout the company, not just in the department/team your internship is in. Send an email or message to other people throughout the organization. Let them know you are an intern and are looking at learning about the whole organization, and would they be willing to take some time to meet with you to tell you more about their role and how it fits into the greater picture.” 

While there are some ways that a remote arrangement makes it harder to interact with others, in some ways, it simplifies things. Taking risks and reaching out electronically can feel a bit less intimidating than stopping by someone’s office. Take advantage of that. White explains: “People love to share their experiences…take advantage of that!! The most successful professionals are those who understand the
organization outside of their silo, so here is a chance to build your knowledge.” 

Target opportunity. 

Internships are important, and they stand to serve you well. Continue to pursue these opportunities; this goes for students and those who are not enrolled in classes. Internships enrich opportunities for all budding professionals. 

White advises: “Reach out to your school’s career services (or equivalent) and also ask your academic advisor if there is course credit available for internship opportunities. If you aren’t in school but have an interest in learning and gaining experience in a new field, those services are usually available to non-students. If not, the job boards probably are. You can also reach out to target companies and offer to be an intern. Just because they didn’t think to hire one doesn’t mean they aren’t open to the idea.”

The pandemic restricted our access to so much over the past 16 months, but it also gave us the chance to hone new capabilities, including our soft skills. Use these tips to further your work as a student and professional. While it may feel disappointing that many opportunities have been altered and restricted, this experience has also taught us a lot. Lean into that during your remote internship and in your post-pandemic work.  

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Top CEOs 2021: Celebrating Diverse Leaders

The world has changed in many ways over the past year. Beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been heightened awareness, outrage, and reckoning around racial/ethnic equity in the United States and many meaningful conversations about what comes next. People have asked one another around boardrooms, dinner tables and everywhere in between have focused on how to best reduce systemic inequities, tackle bias and ensure America is a place where everyone can thrive both personally and professionally.

Glassdoor is committed to bringing more equity to workplaces everywhere by prioritizing transparency. By doing so, we hope to help create a more equitable society as well.

As Glassdoor recognizes the Top CEOs in 2021, it’s clear there is more progress to be made in terms of diversity in the C-suite. The lack of CEOs on our list from underrepresented groups demonstrates a wider problem across corporate America: leadership demographics in the C-suite still do not come close to reflecting the population at large.

For perspective, data from the University of California at Santa Cruz found that while Black Americans account for over 13% of the U.S. population (according to the latest U.S. Census figures), only 4 CEOs in the Fortune 500 — less than 1% — are Black. It’s a similar trend for other groups as well. While 6% of the U.S. population is Asian, only 2.4% of CEOs are East or South Asian. Similarly, 3.4% of Fortune 500 leaders are Latinx despite making up 18.5% of the overall population. 

Exceptional leadership does not, and should not, look a certain way. Glassdoor is therefore highlighting the unique stories of several CEOs on the U.S. large list from diverse backgrounds who are already blazing trails and inspiring the next generation of great leaders.

Read on to learn more about a selection of dynamic leaders from underrepresented groups who are among our Top 100 CEOs for 2021, and join us in celebrating them!

Editorial Note: In selecting Top CEOs to highlight from underrepresented groups for this spotlight piece, Glassdoor conducted external research, relying on multiple sources to help understand each leader’s race/ethnicity and/or origin and background. We also proactively reached out to CEOs and/or their teams to ensure we included as many relevant honorees as possible. If you believe a winner among the Top 100 CEOs in 2021 should be reflected here, please contact

Shantanu Narayen, Adobe

Top CEOs 2021 Ranking: #2

CEO Approval Rating: 99%

Shantanu Narayen has been at the helm of Adobe as its CEO since 2007. The nautical analogy is particularly relevant here–Mr. Narayen once represented India in a sailing regatta. He serves as an independent director on Pfizer’s board of directors and is also a board member for KKR and a member of the advisory board at the UC Berkeley, Haas Business School. Mr. Narayen was born and raised in India before immigrating to the United States to pursue a Master’s degree. 

Satya Nadella, Microsoft 

Top CEOs 2021 Ranking: #6

CEO Approval Rating: 97%

As one of the most well-known CEOs on this year’s list, Satya Nadella is no stranger to the spotlight. Mr. Nadella grew up in India and immigrated to the United States to continue his education at the University of Wisconsin and University of Chicago before starting his career at Sun Microsystems and later working his way up through the ranks at Microsoft. In addition to his wide reaching responsibilities at Microsoft, Mr. Nadella is a part owner of Seattle’s Major League Soccer team, Seattle Sounders FC.

Horacio Rozanski, Booz Allen Hamilton 

Top CEOs 2021 Ranking: #10

CEO Approval Rating: 97%

Born and raised in Argentina, Horacio Rozanski began his career at Booz Allen as an intern in Buenos Aires 30 years ago. Since becoming CEO, he has committed to advancing diversity and inclusion at the firm. Under his leadership, Booz Allen went from zero to five women on its 12-person board, and today, eight of the company’s nine top leaders are women or people of color, including Mr. Rozanski himself. Mr. Rozanski is chairman of the board of directors for Children’s National Medical Center and a member of the board of directors at Marriott International and CARE. He received the Horatio Alger Award in 2020.

Aneel Bhusri, Workday

Top CEOs 2021 Ranking: #21

CEO Approval Rating: 96%

Indian American Aneel Bhusri is co-founder, co-CEO and chairman of the board of directors at Workday. Mr. Bhusri is an advisory partner at Greylock, a member of the board of trustees at Stanford University and a former board member for Intel. He also serves on the board of directors of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Mr. Bhusri has been on the Forbes Midas List six times since 2008. In 2018, he joined the Giving Pledge, a commitment by the world’s wealthiest people to dedicate most of their wealth to philanthropy. He recently donated $1 million to a San Francisco coronavirus relief fund.

Vas Narasimhan, Novartis

Top CEOs 2021 Ranking: #23

CEO Approval Rating: 96%

Indian businessman Vas Narasimhan has spent his life dedicated to public health, having pursued degrees in medicine, worked to combat disease in India and Africa and through his work at the World Health Organization. After a stint at McKinsey, Mr. Narasimhan joined Novartis in 2005 where he has held various roles: head of U.S. vaccines, head of the company’s Sandoz biopharmaceuticals development unit, head of global drug development and chief medical officer. He became CEO in 2018. Mr. Narasimhan is dedicated to self-improvement, regularly working with an executive coach, using meditation apps, exercising daily and following a strict vegetarian diet. 

Manny Maceda, Bain & Company

Top CEOs 2021 Ranking: #27

CEO Approval Rating: 96%

Filipino American businessman Manny Maceda is widely recognized as one of the most influential Asian business leaders in the U.S., honored with a 2021 Gold House award. Under Mr. Maceda’s leadership, Bain is a founding partner of The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), a recently-launched organization aimed at fostering racial inclusion, combatting discrimination, funding anti-hate projects, investing in data and research and celebrating AAPI contributions. Mr. Maceda, worldwide managing partner of Bain, is the first Asian leader in Bain’s history. He was born in the U.S. and raised in the Philippines. 

Jensen Huang, NVIDIA

Top CEOs 2021 Ranking: #31

CEO Approval Rating: 95%

Jensen Huang was born in Taiwan and lived in Thailand as a child, but his family sent him to the U.S as civil unrest grew. He co-founded NVIDIA, and serves as its president, CEO and board member. NVIDIA helped build the gaming market into the largest entertainment sector in the world today. Under Mr. Huang’s leadership, NVIDIA became a pioneer in computer gaming chips before expanding to design chips for data centers and autonomous cars. Mr. Huang is a recipient of the IEEE Founder’s Medal, the Dr. Morris Chang Exemplary Leadership Award and honorary doctorate degrees from Taiwan’s National Chiao Tung University and Oregon State University. In 2019, Harvard Business Review ranked him No. 1 on its list of the world’s 100 best-performing CEOs. In 2017, he was named Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year. 

Kenneth C. Frazier, Merck

Top CEOs 2021 Ranking: #42

CEO Approval Rating: 94%

Kenneth C. Frazier is one of the few Black corporate CEOs in America, serving as CEO and chairman of the board of Merck since 2011. ​He joined the company in 1992 and was previously general counsel and president. Mr. Frazier sits on the boards of PhRMA, Weill Cornell Medicine and Exxon Mobil Corporation. He is co-founder and co-chair of OneTen, a coalition of leading organizations committed to upskilling, hiring and promoting one million Black Americans into family-sustaining jobs. As a champion of social justice and economic inclusion, Mr. Frazier is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. In 2018, he was named one the World’s Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine. In 2019, he became the first recipient of the Forbes Lifetime Achievement Award for Healthcare. Mr. Fraizer has called for business leaders to be a “unifying force” to help solve racial inequalities by creating new opportunities and jobs. 

Ali Ghodsi, Databricks

Top CEOs 2021 Ranking: #50

CEO Approval Rating: 94%

Ali Ghodsi was born in the middle of Iran’s revolution. At age 5, his family was given 24 hours to flee the country and they left for Sweden. The Swedish Iranian computer scientist and entrepreneur is co-founder and CEO of data software startup Databricks. Valued at $28 billion in early 2021, Databricks is backed by industry powerhouses including Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Salesforce. Mr. Ghodsi describes Databricks as a “data lake house” that helps companies like Comcast, Credit Suisse and T-Mobile securely store and utilize their data. Mr. Ghodsi serves as an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley and is on the board at UC Berkeley’s RiseLab. 

Kevin Lobo, Stryker

Top CEOs 2021 Ranking: #54

CEO Approval Rating: 94%

Kevin A. Lobo is the CEO and chairman of the board of Stryker. Under Mr. Lobo’s leadership, Stryker supplies more than 100 countries with medical devices. Previously the president of Johnson & Johnson Medical Products, Mr. Lobo now serves on the board of directors for the Parker Hannifin Corporation and the U.S.-India Business Council in addition to his roles at Stryker. He is a physician and speaks fluent French as a result of his upbringing in Montreal. In addition to English, Mr. Lobo also speaks a bit of Konkani and Hindi. 

Sean Yalamanchi, Infovision Inc.

Top CEOs 2021 Ranking: #55

CEO Approval Rating: 93%

Sean Yalamanchi is the co-founder, president and a board member of Infovision. Mr. Yalamanchi is passionate about entrepreneurship and philanthropy. As the head of Infovision, Mr. Yalamanchi is active in the local Dallas tech community and encourages his team to actively recruit graduates from the University of Texas at Dallas, where he regularly leads research with their academic teams.

Eric S. Yuan, Zoom Video Communications

Top CEOs 2021 Ranking: #63

CEO Approval Rating: 93%

Born in China, billionaire Eric Yuan is the founder of Zoom, a video communications tool that went public in 2019 and soared in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under Mr. Yuan’s direction, Zoom was one of the highest-performing tech IPOs of 2019. He has been named one of the Most Powerful People in Enterprise Tech by Business Insider. In 2019, he was added to the Bloomberg 50 as a leader who changed global business. Mr. Yuan is named as an inventor on 11 issued and 20 pending patents.

Jay Chaudhry, Zscaler

Top CEOs 2021 Ranking: #71

CEO Approval Rating: 92%

Indian American entrepreneur and businessman Jay Chaudhry was born in the Indian Himalayas where his remote village did not have electricity or running water. Today, he’s CEO of Zscaler, a cybersecurity firm that he founded in 2008 to protect customers from cyberattacks and data loss in remote environments like the cloud. Before Zscaler, Mr. Chaudhry founded four other tech companies that were all acquired: SecureIT, CoreHarbor, CipherTrust and AirDefense. Mr. Chaudhry has been honored as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Southeast USA), an Information Week Innovator & Influencer, an SC Magazine Market Entrepreneur and has been named to the Goldman Sachs 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs.

Sundar Pichai, Google

Top CEOs 2021 Ranking: #90

CEO Approval Rating: 90%Sundar Pichai was born into humble beginnings in Chennai, India, where he didn’t have a computer, telephone or family car and slept on the living room floor. He’s now the CEO of Alphabet Inc. and its subsidiary Google, which he joined in 2004. Under his leadership, Google has focused on developing products and services powered by the latest advances in AI, invested in new opportunities such as Google Cloud and has innovated around advanced technologies, including machine learning and quantum computing. Mr. Pichai is helping India battle the coronavirus crisis by pledging $18 million in aid from Google and its employees to provide critical supplies like oxygen and testing equipment, as well as technical expertise and other resources.

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Top Women CEOs for 2021

Even in 2021, women only make up 6.0% of CEO positions at S&P 500 companies and 8.1% of all Fortune 500 CEOs, demonstrating there’s still a sizable amount of work to be done to create more equitable workplaces and to achieve gender diversity within the C-Suite. Among our Top CEOs in 2021, 5 women CEOs are among the top 100 U.S. large list, and most have graced our Top CEOs award before! Aside from leading their organizations with innovative and meaningful strategies, these trailblazers are breaking down barriers for women everywhere. Read on to learn more about the 5 powerhouse women who won our Top CEOs award!

Lynsi Snyder, In-N-Out Burger

Top CEOs 2021 Ranking: #21

CEO Approval Rating: 99%

Open Jobs: 201

Lynsi Snyder is no stranger to our Top CEOs award! Year after year, she’s consistently earned her place among the Top CEOs list due to her vast managerial experience and sharp strategy —this is her 5th win! At 17 years old, she started her In-N-Out journey as a line cook and at 35, Snyder took full control of the company, becoming the youngest female billionaire in the world in the process. Although COVID-19 has affected employee morale at various organizations, In-N-Out employees boast about their strong company culture, solid compensation and commitment to growth opportunities. 

Employees say senior management really cares for them and they feel supported, while also maintaining top professionalism not always seen in other fast food workplaces.

Work with Lynsi Snyder

Abby Johnson, Fidelity Investments 

Top CEOs 2021 Ranking: #44

CEO Approval Rating: 94%

Open Jobs: 4.9K 

As a first-time winner on the Top CEOs 2021 list, Abby Johnson is at the helm of investment firm Fidelity Investments and chairman of its international sister company Fidelity International (FIL). Fidelity was founded by her grandfather Edward C. Johnson II. Abby got her start in the family business in 1988, working summers at Fidelity through college and joined full-time as an analyst after receiving a Harvard M.B.A. Since taking over the company from her father in 2016, Johnson has pushed the company forward by embracing cryptocurrencies and, in 2018, Fidelity launched a platform that allows institutional investors to trade bitcoin and ether.

Work with Abby Johnson 

Tricia Griffith, Progressive Insurance

Top CEOs 2021 Ranking: #61

CEO Approval Rating: 93%

Open Jobs: 743

In 1988, Tricia Griffith joined Progressive as a Claims Representative and has held several key leadership roles. Prior to being named CEO, Griffith served as Personal Lines Chief Operating Officer, overseeing the company’s Personal Lines, Claims and Customer Relationship Management groups.

In 2016, Tricia was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer and elected to the Board of Directors. This year marks her second time gracing our Top CEOs list! She believes with the right people, culture and values, you can accomplish great things. 

Work with Tricia Griffith 

Jane Fraser, Citi

Top CEOs 2021 Ranking: #91

CEO Approval Rating: 90%

Open Jobs: 11K 

This year marks Jane Fraser’s first time ranking among the Top CEOs. She’s the Chief Executive Officer of Citi, the world’s most global bank, serving millions of consumers, businesses and institutions across 160 countries and jurisdictions. She is the first female CEO in the firm’s history.

With her deep experience across Citi’s consumer and institutional businesses and, in many ways, she helped shape Citi into the company it is today. Before becoming CEO in February 2021, she was President of Citi and CEO of the Global Consumer Bank, responsible for all of Citi’s Consumer businesses, including Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Credit Cards, Mortgage and Operations and Technology in 19 markets. Citi employees rave about having work life balance and thriving professionally within a collaborative work environment. 

Work with Jane Fraser 

Martine Ferland, Mercer

Top CEOs 2021 Ranking: #100

CEO Approval Rating: 90%

Open Jobs: 588

Meet Martine Ferland, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mercer. She leads Mercer’s 25,000 colleagues in providing trusted advice and solutions to build healthier and more sustainable futures for their clients, colleagues and communities. She’s passionate about working with clients to solve their toughest challenges of today and tomorrow, and in leading purposefully through sustainable growth to create a better society and provide better outcomes for people.

Before being named Mercer’s President and CEO in 2019, Martine served as Mercer’s Group President and was responsible for leading Regions and Global Business Solutions. Before that, she served as President of Mercer’s Europe and Pacific Region, delivering consistent profitable growth and leadership in the institutional investment space, with assets under delegated management passing $100 billion, and a strengthened market position through strategic acquisitions.

Employees say Mercer has great people to work with, and senior management cares about them as people, not just employees.

Work with Martine Ferland

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Glassdoor’s Top CEOs for 2021 Announced; Boston Consulting Group CEO Rich Lesser Earns #…

Intentional, consistent and empathetic leadership during a global pandemic. An unwavering dedication to employees’ well-being while upholding the company’s mission and culture. Accessible, transparent and reliable. These are all qualities and themes that describe a top CEO and inspire employees to rate their CEOs highly over this past year.

There is no executive playbook for a pandemic. Yet, the winners of Glassdoor’s Employees’ Choice Awards honoring the Top CEOs in 2021 threw out the “business as usual” mindset and embraced the changes required to lead their employees through uncertainty. The exceptional leaders featured on this list are not only driving their companies forward with innovative strategy and execution, they are engaging and uplifting their employees during challenging times, clearly demonstrated by the reviews employees have left on Glassdoor.

This year, the Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards for the Top CEOs feature six distinct company categories across the U.S., Canada, UK, France and Germany. In the U.S, Glassdoor has revealed the Top 100 CEOs (honoring CEOs at employers with 1,000 or more employees) and the Top 50 CEOs at small & medium companies (honoring CEOs at employers with fewer than 1,000 employees). Glassdoor’s Top 100 CEOs in 2021 award features winning chief executives across diverse industries spanning technology, health care, finance, manufacturing, retail and more. 

“Over the past year, company leaders around the world faced unprecedented challenges to support employees during the COVID-19 crisis. Now, the employees have spoken and it’s clear that these CEOs excelled and found new ways to support their people when the world of work flipped upside down,” said Christian Sutherland-Wong, Glassdoor chief executive officer. “Through a challenging year, it’s inspiring to see Top CEOs who, according to their employees, adapted to change, redefined visions and led with transparency while putting the health and safety of employees first. I extend my sincerest congratulations to this year’s Employees’ Choice Award winners.”

This year, Boston Consulting Group’s innovative CEO Rich Lesser claims the top spot as a first time winner with a 99% approval rating. Lesser is no stranger to leading amid crisis, having led BCG through the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Great Recession. During COVID-19, according to employees on Glassdoor, BCG employees felt supported,  trusted BCG’s leadership team to carry them through the pandemic and saw how Lesser and his team led the company as a “masterclass in best practices.” Lesser and his BCG leadership team also embody the company’s core values, which include integrity, diversity, social impact and more.

More than half (56 CEOs) of this year’s Top 100 CEOs, including Rich Lesser, are on the list for the first time. Other newcomers include lululemon’s Calvin McDonald (No. 19, 96 percent approval), SurveyMonkey’s Zander Lurie (No. 40, 94 percent approval) and Slack’s Stewart Butterfield (No. 82, 92 percent approval). Five women are honored among the top 100 this year, including In-N-Out Burger’s Lynsi Snyder (No. 20, 96 percent approval), Fidelity Investments’ Abby Johnson (No. 44, 94 percent approval) and Progressive Insurance’s Tricia Griffith (No. 65, 93 percent approval). Apple’s Tim Cook (No. 32, 95 percent approval) is the only CEO to be honored all eight years.

The ten Top CEOs in 2021 in the U.S. are:

1. Boston Consulting Group’s Rich Lesser (99 percent approval)

2. Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen (99 percent approval)

3. MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Peter Pisters (99 percent approval)

4. Southwest Airlines’ Gary C. Kelly (98 percent approval)

5. Visa Inc.’s Alfred F. Kelly, Jr. (97 percent approval)

6. Microsoft’s Satya Nadella (97 percent approval)

7. H E B’s Charles C. Butt (97 percent approval)

8. Delta Air Lines’ Ed Bastian (97 percent approval)

9. Red Hat’s Paul Cormier (97 percent approval)

10. Booz Allen Hamilton’s Horacio D. Rozanski (97 percent approval)

See All U.S. Large Winners

The five Top CEOs at Small & Medium Companies in 2021 in the U.S. are:

1. 6sense’s Jason Zintak (99 percent approval)

2. Logical Position’s Michael Weinhouse and John Ganey (99 percent approval)

3. Apeel Sciences’ James Rogers (99 percent approval)

4. Lower’s Dan Snyder (99 percent approval)

5. South Carolina Federal Credit Union’s Scott Woods (99 percent approval)

See All U.S. SMB Winners

Congratulations to all of the CEOs honored, and thank you to the employees who shared their feedback on Glassdoor — it is due to both of you that organizations worldwide are becoming better, more transparent places to work.

Think your CEO deserves to make next year’s list? Share a review, and it will be considered for Glassdoor’s 2022 Employees’ Choice Awards.

Employers — wondering why your CEO didn’t make the list, and how you can become eligible for next year’s awards? Read here.

*Each list was compiled using Glassdoor’s proprietary algorithm, and each CEO approval rating determined based on the quantity, quality and consistency of reviews during the period of eligibility. For the full methodology, visit here

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9 Ways To Be An Ally And Advocate For Your LGBTQ+ Colleagues

The LGBTQ+ community faces discrimination in their personal lives and the workplace — from microaggressions, such as being misgendered or incorrectly identifying a romantic partner, to outright harassment and discrimination, such as being left out of insurance plans or even fired. 

And that makes having allies and advocates in the office very important to the LGBTQ+ community. Both allies and advocates are important to LGBTQ+ employees “who may feel their voices are not being heard,” or who face more overt forms of discrimination in the office, says Heidi Duss, a gender equity and LGBTQ+ inclusion consultant and founder of Culturescape Consulting.

You don’t have to be LGBTQ+ yourself to be an ally: In fact, “an LGBTQ+ advocate who does not identify as LGBTQ+ often has more power than someone who identifies as LGBTQ+ to bring about change in an organization, because managers and co-workers may assume that their advocacy isn’t ‘personal,’” explains Heath Fogg Davis, the director of gender, sexuality, and women’s studies at Temple University and author of Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter?

Heather Hansen, a self-advocacy expert and the author of Advocate to Win agrees, and offers  this comparison: “Just like men are often the best advocates for women,” she says, “straight people are often the best advocates for LGBTQ+ community members” and coworkers.

Allies and advocates are friends, listeners, and supporters, Duss says. Specifically, “advocates can speak up when they witness hurtful language” in the office, says Emily Frank, owner of Career Catalyst, “and can draw other colleagues’ attention to their unconscious biases.”

Here are nine ways to be an ally and advocate for your LGBTQ+ colleagues at work.

Educate yourself on the meaning of LGBTQ+.

“To be able to advocate for a marginalized group, you first have to educate yourself on the terminology used to describe the group,” says Davis. For example, you can research “what do the letters mean? Which letters have been added and dropped over time, and why? How has the definition of ‘gay’ and ‘queer’ changed and evolved, and why? And what are some of the tensions between the groups flagged here?” he says. That educational foundation is important: “To advocate on behalf of LGBTQ+ coworkers can mean a lot of things, but in general, I think it means being aware of how bias against LGBTQ+ people manifests and speaking up in ways that can bring about positive change for us and the organization,” he says.

Make your own pronouns apparent.

Pronouns — she, he, they, etc. — help us identify ourselves. And by publicly using your own pronouns, you can normalize their use and help create a culture of acceptance and inclusion.

One easy way to display your pronouns is in your email signature, which “can help establish an organizational norm that it isn’t only trans and non-binary people who share their pronouns,” explains Davis. While this practice sends a positive message to trans and non-binary coworkers, it is also beneficial in email exchanges with people who have androgynous names, such as Taylor and Bailey. It lets people know which pronouns to use in their emails.”

You can also add pronouns next to your name in a Zoom the meeting, suggests Bridget Sampson, CEO of Sampson Coaching and Consulting. “This lets people gender diverse know you are aware of and respect the need to clarify pronouns, including for cisgender people,” she explains.

Be a good listener.

“So many of my clients think advocating is speaking and presenting,” says Hansen. And while that is part of being a good ally, “listening and receiving comes first.” Hansen encourages you to ask LGBTQ+ what they need: “What do they want you to advocate for? How can you be a better advocate for them? What is a win for them?” she asks. “Then listen to the answers, with your mind and heart open.” Whatever you do, please don’t assume you know their needs. “When we assume we know what people want, we are often wrong, and we can make things worse,” Hansen says.

And be open to feedback from your LGBTQ+ coworkers: “You’re likely not an expert,” Frank says, “so when you get new information or suggestions, adopt them, and keep learning.” Frank points to her own experience as an example: A transgender client recently advised her that she didn’t have a spot on her intake form for a person’s legal versus preferred name, “so I changed the document accordingly, with thanks to my client for pointing out something that, in hindsight, seemed obvious,” Frank explains.

Use inclusive language and imagery in your communications. 

When sending communications to coworkers, use language that includes all people rather than language that can create division. For example, don’t send emails that mention gender — like an email inviting “the guys” for a happy hour. And, “if you write a newsletter, make sure the pictures you share on it include examples of same-sex couples and people in a variety of dress,” says Frank. “Visibility is important, and visual images are an easy way to show your support.”

Ask questions when you’re unsure.

When something isn’t clear to you, it’s OK to ask questions. For example, “if a coworker’s gender appearance changes and you are unsure of which pronouns to use, you can simply ask the person, ‘What pronouns do you use?’” says Davis. But don’t be invasive: “Your role is that of a coworker, not a close friend with whom it might be appropriate to ask more questions,” he adds.

Questions that veer into the too-personal territory — without a clear invitation from your LGBTQ+ coworker to do so — can require “a lot of emotional labor” for them to address, says Sampson. “It may be difficult and unpleasant to discuss traumatic experiences such as being rejected by one’s family or going through medical transition,” she says. “Please respect people’s privacy.”

If you see something, say something. 

If you witness microaggressions at work, speak up. For example, “if your coworker continues to use an incorrect pronoun for someone else, keep correcting that person,” says Frank, who suggests you say something such as, “remember, [the coworkers] uses ‘they/them pronouns.”

It’s important to speak up: “Keeping your coworkers aware of these points behind the scenes will remind them to use supportive language to and with your LGBTQ+ colleagues,” she says. “You are also signaling you’re not letting them get away with microaggressions behind closed doors.”

However, Frank shares a caveat: Don’t speak for your LGBTQ+ coworker. “It’s more beneficial to support your coworkers than to speak for them when they’re right there since speaking on their behalf implies that they aren’t capable,” she explains.

When you hear derogatory comments — even subtle ones — about LGBTQ+ people at work say something, encourages Sampson. “Make it clear that you don’t agree, don’t approve, and that comments of that nature at work could be hurtful to members of the community,” she says.

And when an LGBTQ+ coworker says that they have been discriminated against, “believe them,” says Sampson. And more than that, lend your support and “investigate in any way you can,” she says, which can include helping them to bring “their complaints to the powers that be.”

Be visible at advocacy events.

Frank suggests that you attend events that support and uplift LGBTQ+ people outside of the office, such as Pride parades. Here’s why: “If you are straight and cis[gender], being visible at these events chips away at the old stigmas attached to LGBTQ+ status and demonstrates to your colleagues that you aren’t afraid to be associated with those people,” Frank explains.

Change the language you use.

When you engage in a casual or personal conversation with coworkers, take care to use inclusive language. For example, “when you ask about others’ lives, say ‘spouse’ or ‘partner’ so that you show you are not assuming that partners are the opposite sex,” Sampson says. “In other words, I wouldn’t ask, ‘What does your husband like to do for fun?’ if I’m speaking to a woman who I know is married because she may be married to a woman or nonbinary person.”

“If someone shares information about their sexuality or gender identity with you, don’t assume they are fine with you telling others,” Davis says. “Your intentions may be good. You want to let others know that [your coworker] has a husband or that [another coworker] is bisexual, thinking that this will make it easier for [them] to fit in. But it is always important to ask whether the person is comfortable with you doing so,” because if not, you could do more harm than good.

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How To Talk About COVID-19 In Job Interviews

It’s exciting to feel like we’re turning a corner with the pandemic! Summer looks like it’s back on track: restaurants packed with happy diners, gyms buzzing with athletes, and farmers’ markets alive with shoppers.

Job seekers are gearing up for a frenzy as well. The Society of Human Resource Manager’s (SHRM) Roy Mauer, refers to a “Turnover Tsunami,” explaining: “More than half of employees surveyed in North America planned to look for a new job in 2021.”  Likewise, Microsoft’s Work Trend Index notes that 40 percent of the global workforce is contemplating a job search this year.

If you plan to join the hunt shortly, it’s important to consider how supporting your employer through the pandemic has impacted your professional experience and how it has grown your skills. What did you learn while you powered through the pandemic? How did it make you a stronger, more resilient employee? How has the experience enhanced your professional skills?

It was a challenge to meet the demands that the pandemic heaped on workers from multiple directions. It takes debriefing, reflection, and soul searching to figure out what we learned and how we changed because of what we weathered. Here’s what to consider as you prepare for your post-pandemic interviews.

Check in with yourself.

Before you update your resume, revise your Glassdoor profile, and start searching for your ideal role; take some time to check in with yourself.  Before you gear up your reinvention, take a long pause.

Think about what you’ve been through during the last 15 months. What did your best day of the pandemic look like, and what made it so great? What did your hardest day of the pandemic look like-what made it so difficult?

Recognize, before you set your sights on the project of a job search, that we’ve been through a national trauma. We’ve all had to stretch our skills, patience, creativity, optimism, and resources to make this work. This is a hard experience to go through, but it grows us in important ways. Think about those. Give language to those.

Reclaim your center of gravity. Be honest with yourself about what you’ve learned, where you were challenged, and how you rose to the occasion. Get the help you need as you make sense of your experiences. Meet with a life coach, career coach, or therapist. Find clarity before starting your search, and use that to fuel your next chapter.   

Emphasize “soft skills” you honed.

These deserve a better moniker because “soft” doesn’t describe these capabilities. The only thing soft about these skills is that they stand in opposition to their counterparts; marketing, presentation, design, and project management are considered “hard skills.”  

Soft skills can be innate capabilities. They can also be learned and enhanced. They have been much discussed in recent years because these skills give human job candidates an edge over their AI competition.  Some soft skills include

  • Communication
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Adaptability
  • Resilience
  • Agility
  • Teamwork
  • Innovation
  • Work ethic
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving

Many employees likely found that the pandemic was a crash course in soft skills development and enhancement. Some employees, for example, who were not in leadership roles before working remotely, may have found themselves stepping up and helping their teammates rise to the occasion.

Maybe you were among them. If you found yourself helping colleagues find their remote-work sea legs, or you helped fill communication gaps, these leadership skills are definitely worth mentioning in your next job interview.  Perhaps you recognized your own skills gaps and upskilled to meet the moment. The efforts you made to rise to the pandemic’s challenges are likewise important to discuss during your post-pandemic interviews.

Agility, flexibility, and resilience are also key soft skills. Many employees leaned on these heavily as they adjusted to the demands of the pandemic workload. “The global pandemic was the world’s biggest experiment in remote work, and it definitely has changed the way both employers and employees view work and the workplace. And, these views will likely continue to change as we all adjust to the post-pandemic workplace, which will likely be different than what existed before.” Explains Lori B. Rassas, HR Consultant, executive coach, and author of It’s About You Too: How To Manage Employee Resistance to Your Diversity Initiatives and Improve Workplace Culture and Profitability.  

Showing your potential employers that you are flexible and you know how to manage a crisis is impressive deftly. “[I]ndividuals seeking new roles should be certain to let prospective employers know that they are adaptable and understand the need to remain flexible as new policies and procedures are established. The reality is that most employers do not yet know what their future workforce will look like.” Rassas explains.

Make the case You can help prospective employers shape a future that is still emerging for them, just as you did during the pandemic. Look at the results you were able to achieve thanks to your soft skills. Then come to your post-pandemic interviews ready to discuss those skills and that data.

Discuss new hard skills you learned.

Maybe you had to greet customers, clients, or students. Perhaps your role was taking temperatures and ensuring that all guests, students, and participants followed protocol. Maybe you had to learn a new app or program to cover for a colleague who was taxed with another dimension of service. Perhaps Zoom was new to you, and now you’re using it to teach daily classes or facilitate meetings or workshops.

Whatever new skills you had to adapt to make operations run smoothly, those are important to mention during future interviews. You rose to the occasion. You made it work. You did all of this on the fly, and you learned about yourself, your skills, and your talents along the way.

Kyle Elliott, founder and career coach behind points out: “Employers are looking for candidates who can join their company and hit the ground running. Be ready to share a recent example of when you displayed your adaptability. If your current employer quickly shifted from in-person work to telecommuting, for example, you may consider sharing how you supported your team and customers in swiftly shifting gears.”

As you share these examples, make sure to mention any new hard skills that you learned or refined, which positioned you to take on new work.

Stay positive.

It’s revealing to navigate a crisis with an employer.  What do you learn about your employer and your colleagues by experiencing the pandemic together? Was the experience positive, negative, or a mix of both?

Why have you decided to search for a new role now? Mauer’s piece points to factors like disengagement, burnout, and the need for greater advancement opportunities, enhanced compensation, and increased benefits. Some common reasons that employees are looking for new opportunities. His article also points out that the pandemic delayed searches that employees likely would have launched if the pandemic had not disrupted their plans.

Whatever reasons you have for the timing of your search, it’s important to think about why you’re targeting a new role before you hit the interview circuit. This is always a delicate narrative to shape. You want to highlight any skills or leadership growth that you experienced while navigating the challenges that came with the pandemic.

While It may be true that your employer did not handle the pandemic well. Perhaps you and your colleagues were not managed or supported well enough, or isolation set in while your team worked remotely. Maybe your work on a team that was designated “essential,” and you had to remain on-site, where you did not feel that the team was well-enough protected from Covid. While these may have been negatives, they may have led to growth opportunities for you. The trick is to find a way to talk about the growth without speaking negatively of your former employer, which doesn’t reflect well on you during an interview. 

It’s healthy to do that emotional work and to decompress from your experience. You have room to reflect on where you think that your employer might have made different choices. But do that work outside of the interview situation.

Elliott offers this advice: “avoid the mistake of focusing on the negative aspects of the pandemic. Employers are seeking employees who are willing to roll up their sleeves during these unprecedented times. Demonstrate a willingness to remain flexible, open to change, and positive”.  Get whatever support you need as you let go of the trauma and put that into perspective. Then find a tidy and genuine answer about why you’re job searching.

You’ve got this!

Surviving and succeeding through a global pandemic is no small feat. While it felt exhausting and unrelenting, it can also build strength, skills, and focus. Make sure to acknowledge the rewards you’ve earned for weathering these challenges and emphasize them as you advance in your career. You’ve earned them.

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5 Ways To Show Your Pride This June

“So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.” –Tim Cook, CEO of Apple

Happy Pride month! Each June presents us with an opportunity to grow as individuals, professionals, and allies. Pride month gives us the chance to learn more about ourselves, our families, and our colleagues.  

Diversity is important at work, and it requires our ongoing support and attention. Diverse professional cultures have an edge, a multi-dimensional reach. Companies that cultivate diversity have a gravitational pull that moves internal and external stakeholders alike.  Diversity is no token gesture; companies that prioritize diversity incubate a wide breadth of understanding that attracts vast audiences who each see themselves in that workforce, message, mission, and company.   

Fully engaging in the invitation that each June extends means becoming more informed and, ultimately, more authentic. This fuels engagement which benefits staff as well as the recipients of an organization’s mission.

“Money and career growth are obvious factors in employee engagement, but there is so much more to it. If you want engagement at the highest level, you need to align employee interests with management and ownership. One way you can create this alignment is through genuinely sharing core values, interests and priorities. Celebrating pride at work is one way to show that management cares and supports LGBTQ+ employees and the community.” Explains Michael Alexis, CEO of TeamBuilding

Celebrating Pride enhances our personal education, our relationships, and our professional culture. This year, the occasion might look a bit different, as we may be showing our pride while working remotely.

It’s still important to embrace the opportunity. Alexis points out: “For remote staff, Pride celebrations (and connection in general), are even more important. Your people don’t see each other face to face on a daily basis, and so you need to invest time and resources in making sure they can build relationships, trust, communication and more. Pride celebrations are an excellent way to achieve this.”

Whether you’re working remotely, in the office, or you have a hybrid arrangement, consider these five ways to show your Pride in 2021. 

Learn something new.

This year marks the fifty-first anniversary of June’s annual LGBTQ Pride celebrations. We honor pride in June to commemorate the Stonewall uprisings. The Library of Congress explains:

June 28, 1969, marks the beginning of the Stonewall Uprising, a series of events between police and LGBTQ+ protesters that stretched over six days. It was not the first time police raided a gay bar, and it was not the first time LGBTQ+ people fought back, but the events that would unfold over the next six days would fundamentally change the nature of LGBTQ+ activism in the United States.”

The first Pride March took place on June 28, 1970, marking the anniversary of the start of the uprising. The story of LBGTQ individuals in the US is an important history to learn. Their fight and the ongoing struggle for civil rights are seldom taught in schools. Make this your year to get more deeply versed. Make a commitment to advancing your understanding of what that struggle was like. It’s a vital part of our American story.

Educating ourselves is a great way to show our pride as individuals and as a community. Plus, when you make your own commitment, you can show your pride from anywhere. That’s especially helpful if you’re working remotely this June.

Do something fun.

Get involved in a company activity honoring pride. It’s a way to learn more, invite your team’s participation, and enhance your corporate culture. Your efforts can be especially meaningful if you can tie your work into the larger community by supporting a local non-profit that assists the LQBTQ community. Alexis shares this example: “Our staff members created a Pride themed trivia session that we are doing as an internal team building event. The trivia is a way to bring people together for fun and education, and we further the impact with charitable giving. The winning team selects relevant charities, and our company will donate $50 on behalf of each of our 100+ employees. This combination of internet recognition and external community support is an excellent pairing.”

Pull together some trivia questions, play some Pride bingo, or watch a move together that enhances your LGBTQ knowledge and understanding. This also stands to serve as a bonding experience for your team.  

“Celebrating Pride at work shows employees, LGBTQ+ and otherwise, that they are an important part of your organization. The result is happier team members, higher productivity, increased retention and more — it’s win-win for everyone.” Alexis shares.

Let your ERG lead the charge.   

Glassdoor’s  Employee Resource Groups have contributed much to our culture. If your company has a similar program, consider pursuing membership. If your company does not, see what it takes to establish a similar program at your workplace.

Historically, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) have served and supported corporate America’s culture since the 1970s. Typically organized around a shared, immutable identity, such as race, gender, age, or mental health, they serve as a haven of belonging, offering a space for underrepresented employees and their allies to find one another.

Employees who decide to be part of an ERG usually join to experience a reprieve from the daily micro-aggressions they endure inside the workplace and out. ERGs are internal advocacy organizations to help employers become more equitable and inclusive. People who decide to join ERGs are aiming to make an impactful change within their companies.

ERGs can also be instrumental internal leaders and partners when it comes to planning awareness events including Pride celebrations. ERG members are the employees who are best positioned to understand how to honor an awareness event associated with their identity; because they are members of a voluntary resource group, it insulates employees from being tokenized during a certain time of the year when an awareness event is celebrated.  

This positions employee resource group members to lead the celebrations in ways that are safe and meaningful for them and for their colleagues.  ERG members can take the lead in writing trivia questions, identifying meaningful speakers, or selecting meaningful movies to view as a team. ERGs empower colleagues with a shared identity to bring celebrations around their shared identity to the workplace without tokenizing them.  

Wear your pride on your sleeve.  

Hang your Prides flags in your office. Add a Pride logo on your company profile picture. Share your favorite Pride or civil rights quotations on agendas you distribute during June. Wear your “Love is Love” t-shirt to the office in June.  

Radiating your support in a host of ways sends a powerful message: this is a safe space. This is a welcoming space. Everyone is invited here. Allies are standing by.

Alexis points out: “For allies, navigating ideas like gender and sexuality can be awkward, especially at work. While you may be very supportive, you may also not know how to show that support — it may be weird to randomly tell your LGBTQ+ colleagues ‘I support you’ — you may not even know how they identify. However, when the entire office or remote team is celebrating Pride, you cut through those barriers and allow everyone to be supportive in an open and understood environment.”

Arrange or participate in a program.

If you’re in a position to arrange a speaker for your team or workplace, a great speaker can have a tremendous impact on a culture. While many offices are still virtual, this is a great way to create a virtual or an in-person program. Inviting that perspective is a helpful way to deepen your understanding and that of your team. A speaker can offer insight and perspective that can enhance culture for LGBTQ employees and their colleagues. 

When it comes to planning or participating in programs that are truly impactful, it’s helpful to balance fun activities with those that build knowledge and awareness. “Your celebrations can educational in both direct and indirect ways. For example. hiring a speaker to lead an LGBTQ+ themed lunch and learn for your team would be more direct. Watching a themed movie together would still be educational and could lean more toward entertainment. I recommend finding a balance of both.” Alexis shares.

Whether you are planning or participating in June’s events, aim to find a balance that builds your knowledge base and gives you the chance to have fun with your colleagues.

Embrace June 

The pandemic has been a long difficult experience. Finally, we can return to our social lives and, increasingly our workspaces. It’s an ideal time to renew our commitment to diversity and to each other. Actor George Takei remarks: “We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference, and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity.”

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Asian@Work Dairies: Alvin Kuang, B2C Engagement Product Designer At Glassdoor

May is Asian and Pacific American Heritage (APAH) Month, which offers an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the multitudes of Asian history and culture. Garnering this deeper understanding feels especially important this year. The AAPI community has experienced 6,603 hate incidents against them from March 19, 2020, to March 31, 2021, according to Stop AAPI Hate’s national report. According to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, there has also been a 164% increase in hate crimes against the AAPI community in 2021 alone. 

For Asian and Pacific American Heritage (APAH) Month, we wanted to create an editorial series that showcases the faces of our Asian employees to gain their authentic perspective of how it’s like to be Asian at work. Our goal for the Asian@Work Dairies campaign is to capture internal employees’ raw and honest experiences juggling working from home, taking care of their families, and witnessing hate crimes within the Asian communities. 

Glassdoor Asian Impact Network – our Pan Asian Employee Resource Group’s mission is to celebrate and support Pan Asian multiculturalism and cultivate a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace. GAIN aims to elevate Glassdoor’s Asian community’s voices and empower our members in business decisions, product development, recruiting, and workplace culture. Additionally, they strive to foster professional development, mentorship, and leadership opportunities for their members.

We want to capture these transparent and genuine conversations and share them externally to act as an example of how other employers should shed some light on this issue by offering support to this subgroup of employees. Learn more about Alvin Kuang, B2C Product Designer at Glassdoor.

Glassdoor: Thank you so much for choosing to participate in the Asian@Work Diaries series. Could you please introduce yourself and how you identify?

Alvin Kuang: Thank you for having me! I choose to identify as a second-generation, Gay Chinese American who grew up in the East Bay of Northern California. I work as a Product Designer on the Glassdoor consumer engagement team.

Glassdoor: If comfortable, could you speak about the intersectionality of being gay and Asian, and can you share any personal experiences?

I think for me, one of the biggest things is navigating this intersectionality, where it’s a combination of race and sexuality together. My parents are immigrants to the United States. They don’t really have a lot of context or understanding about LGBTQ history or even the experience of who identifies in the LGBTQ community. When growing up, my parents were very supportive and gave me everything I needed to survive, but there came a certain point when I realized that there were specific things they didn’t really know how to support me in.

I personally don’t feel any anger towards them because I felt given the context of how they grew up and what they’ve been through, it was hard to expect that they would be able to proactively discover resources for me while raising their children, taking care of their own families, and building a new life in a foreign country. So, instead I had to lean heavily on my chosen family, which consisted of a lot of my friends who were extremely supportive, understanding, and open to me discussing my discovery process pertaining to my intersectional identity, particularly being queer and asian. To this day, I weigh the importance of my chosen family almost on the same level as my biological family since they both contributed greatly to my self-development and who I am today albeit from different aspects of my personhood.

Glassdoor: Thank you so much for sharing. It’s pretty layered. Leading into more into the person of color side, have you ever encountered them model minority myth in your career? And if so, how, how has it affected you?

Alvin Kuang: This question is a little bit harder to answer because the model minority myth is not always so explicit. It has become almost integrated into these normalized interactions or expectations, especially within corporate settings. It’s tough to identify if it’s actively happening to you or maybe something that was part of a behind the scenes discussion that you weren’t included in. I think where the model minority myth comes in is that sometimes it doesn’t matter if you actually do speak up more in meetings, if the other person is already biased in their way of viewing you, even if you’re doing it more, they won’t see it due to their own biases that are beyond your control. You can be doing the work, but if the other person isn’t trained to understand their biases, then you are essentially at a roadblock. That’s why I think it’s important to raise awareness and educate others like policy makers around these concepts to bring in the perspective and impact positive change. It’s also important because I believe there are likely many Asian-Americans who grew up benefiting from the model minority myth without realizing what it was, how systemic it is, and how harmful the effects are on their own and other marginalized communities – ultimately leading to the perpetuation and normalization of it. Increasing educational awareness within our communities and outside of our communities helps to benefit everyone so that they can develop more self-awareness, check their own biases and begin to look internally, questioning the things that they were taught or brought up with that they didn’t even realize or question as the status quo.

Glassdoor: I know that the model minority myth is specific to Asian culture, but those bias undertones can be seen across the POC spectrum. It’s so important to, like you said, bring awareness to dismantle these oppressive systems that we as people of color are intrinsically buying into because it leads up to success and stability. With that said, how do you think companies can mitigate and solve biases when it comes to the Asian community?

Alvin Kuang: I truly believe that only through unity can we create a larger impact and change towards building a better world. Creating the spaces where we can have people learn vulnerably and be willing to sign-up for educational programs like Glassdoor’s allyship workshops that have been being conducted are great examples of how to foster this dialogue and be more open to discussing it and asking questions.

And then hopefully, those that are in control of creating those policies can have more insight into those decisions being made since they are better equipped to empathize with those they would be effecting. Additionally, other folks from marginalized communities can share their perspectives and get a more shared common understanding leading to more solidarity. A lot of times, there are many more patterns and similarities that we share than we may realize, regardless of our cultural upbringing or background.

Glassdoor: Totally, we’re more alike than different. Pivoting to what’s going on in the world. There’s been really an unfortunate uptake of hate crimes against the Asian community, as we’ve seen in 2020 and now in 2021. How do you feel about these recent hate crimes against your community, and how has it affected you?

Alvin Kuang: Honestly, it’s been very disheartening. I think it’s excruciating because this family concept is just very huge in Asian culture. So, when you see on the news that there are other folks who look like your relatives being attacked, whether they’re older women, young kids, fathers, etc. it feels like it is a member of your own family. I think that’s how a lot of our community processes these incidents. So you can imagine that if you’re constantly hearing your family members are being attacked, it makes you feel really fearful because members of your community are seen as relatives who have taken care of and raised you.

I think it’s really shocking for many Asian Americans to realize that the very thing they’ve been doing, which is “playing by the rules,” isn’t necessarily working and is actually demonstrating the model minority myth in action. Asians are starting to take a more active role in defining their existence and presence which is inspiring. As difficult as it’s been to see all of these hate crimes, what gives me hope is that there’s a lot more awareness being raised within the Asian community around the model minority myth and how far that expands as well as amongst other marginalized groups.

The unity that I’m starting to see in terms of support both within the Asian community, that is so diverse, and outside of the Asian community is incredibly compelling. Prior to the influx of hate crimes, the model minority myth was working so well that a lot of Asians didn’t even really know where they stood within the social fabric of the country. Now, things are becoming clearer and folks are taking a more proactive role in amplifying their voices. Unfortunately, it has taken something as serious as what’s going on right now to have this sort of deeper acknowledgment.

Glassdoor: Thank you. That was so beautifully said. Lastly, how has Glassdoor been supportive of your community during this?

Alvin Kuang: Glassdoor has been really great in the sense as they’ve been highlighting a lot of the GAIN ERG work that’s being done. The organization of the connection circles for current events and sharing what’s affecting various other marginalized communities have been a great way to connect with humanity. I was amazed by the difference that it made for me and being able to actually have these candid conversations with other colleagues who I may or may not work with regularly and to be open about how tired we may be feeling or how we’re processing all the events that are going on while still coming to work. To share and connect across experiences that may or may not be similar to you is something truly amazing.

Glassdoor: Thank you so much, Alvin. I appreciate your time. And just your honesty in sharing your experiences.

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LGBTQ+ Employees Are Less Satisfied Than Colleagues at Work

As we stride into Pride Month, working for equitable companies is top of mind for many job seekers and employees. Despite some progress being made, LGBTQ+ employees still face an abundance of challenges at work, making their workplace experience less than ideal. In fact, Glassdoor data shows that LGBTQ+ employees are less satisfied at work compared to their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts, and while certain companies and industries are highly rated by LGBTQ+ employees, others still have progress to make. For anyone wanting to work for a company that truly celebrates Pride Month, Glassdoor has made it easier than ever to research companies and see how LGBTQ+ employees really feel about their workplaces.

What We Did

Last year, to help improve equity in the workplace, Glassdoor launched new Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) products and began allowing users to voluntarily share their demographic information. This allowed LGBTQ+ employees, and other groups, to see company ratings and pay data according to other LGBTQ+ employees within a specific company. Today, the Glassdoor Economic Research team examined U.S.-based employee reviews from users who anonymously shared both their sexual orientation on Glassdoor and submitted a 1-to-5 star rating of their current or former employer as of 5/3/21.

LGBTQ+ Employees are Less Satisfied at Work

LGBTQ+ employees gave their companies an average overall company rating of 3.27 stars out of 5 – that’s below the average overall rating for non-LGBTQ+ employees (3.47). And, across Glassdoor’s six workplace factor ratings, we see that LGBTQ+ employees are less satisfied with their companies. Most notably, LGBTQ+ employees are less satisfied with the company’s Senior Leadership (2.88), along with Career Opportunities (3.03) and Compensation & Benefits (3.13) when compared to non-LGBTQ+ employees.

“Unfortunately, it’s not surprising to see that LGBTQ+ employees rate their workplace experiences lower across the board when compared to non-LGBTQ+ employees,” said Scott Dobroski, VP of Corporate Communications and a member of Glassdoor’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group. “While many companies will turn their logos and social profiles to rainbows for Pride Month, creating a more equitable company is more than just symbolic or superficial moves. It’s about action. Company leaders should take time to solicit feedback from their LGBTQ+ employees to better understand what’s working well and what needs improvement to further support their workers.”

Glassdoor Economic Research – Includes at least 3,000 LGBTQ+ ratings for each workplace factor rating as of 5/3/21.

Industries Rooted in Creating Change are More Highly Rated by LGBTQ+ Employees

When we take a closer look at how LGBTQ+ employees rate their companies, Glassdoor data shows LGBTQ+ employees are more satisfied working in industries recognized for giving back and creating change. LGBTQ+ employees rated companies in Government the highest, with an average overall rating of 3.74 out of 5 stars, followed by Education (3.69) and Non-Profit (3.47).  Conversely, LGBTQ+ employees rated companies in Telecommunications the lowest with an average overall company rating of 2.93, followed by Health Care (3.02) and Business Services (3.07). Other notable industries, like Internet Technology, landed in the middle of the pack, with a 3.33 rating from LGBTQ+ employees. Each industry listed has over 100 ratings from LGBTQ+ employees.

How Companies Compare According to LGBTQ+ Employees

Among the companies with at least 25 ratings from LGBTQ+ employees, we also examined how LGBTQ+ employees rate their companies overall. Among the 10 companies listed below, LGBTQ+ employees are more satisfied at four companies, including Kroger and Walgreens, and less satisfied at six, including Amazon and Target. In addition, we see that LGBTQ+ employees at Apple rate their employer the highest (4.14), while LGBTQ+ employees at Wells Fargo rate their employer the lowest (2.65) among this group.

“Choosing where to work is an incredibly important and personal decision, especially for those who identify as LGBTQ+,” said Dobroski. “There are a variety of factors that can make their work experiences potentially more challenging, from differences in health care coverage to cases of employment discrimination and more. To find a company that is truly the right fit, we encourage job seekers to go deeper into the employee experience on Glassdoor and leverage LGBTQ+ company ratings and pay data to help them make more informed decisions about where to work.”

Company Average Overall Rating by LGBTQ+ Employees Average Overall Rating by Non-LGBTQ+ Employees
Amazon 2.85 3.45
Apple 4.14 4.05
Kroger 3.29 3.20
McDonald’s 3.21 3.14
Starbucks 3.56 3.85
Target 3.31 3.67
The Home Depot 3.29 3.67
Walgreens 3.19 2.97
Walmart 2.70 3.20
Wells Fargo 2.65 3.27

Glassdoor Economic Research – Includes at least 25 LGBTQ+ ratings per company as of 5/3/21.

LGBTQ+ Employees Deserve to Be Themselves Work

At Glassdoor, our mission is to help people everywhere find a job and a company they love, and that includes helping people find companies where they can be their authentic selves at work. We believe research is a critical first step for finding the right company, and there are millions of insights and resources on Glassdoor to make it easier. Glassdoor also published two free guides that can help LGBTQ+ professionals and employers wanting to create a more inclusive workplace for LGBTQ+ employees.

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