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Committee on Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender-Related Issues
Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology

March 2008 Update
Committee Co-Chairs:
           Mikki Hebl, Rice University - hebl@rice.edu
Eden King, George Mason University, eking6@gmu.edu
 
Additional Members:
 
John Cornwell, cornwell@rice.edu
Lyne Desormeaux, desormeaux@comcast.net
Belle Rose Ragins, Ragins@uwm.edu
 
In April 2003 the Executive Committee of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) established an ad hoc committee on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) research and membership issues. The purpose of establishing this committee was to begin to encourage research on LGBT issues and promote LGBT voice within SIOP.
 
The LGBT committee has a Working Mission Statement, which is:
To increase favorable attitudes and awareness of LGBT issues within SIOP, to encourage research on LGBT issues, and to promote LGBT voice and support.
 
The LGBT committee reported Nine Goals for 2007-2008. Our progress toward meeting these goals is detailed below.
           
1.  Continue to update SIOP members about LGBT-related happenings via TIP articles.  We are pleased to report that a summary of our 2007 activities was published in TIP, and that we are also using TIP as an avenue through which to advertise our activities for the 2008 conference. In addition, we are utilizing the SIOP Newsletter to serve this purpose.
 
2. Utilize the LGBT Discussion Group effectively. The listserve has been used primarily as a vehicle for sharing current events, announcing relevant grants, and reporting on committee activities.
 
3.  Organize the LGBT meeting focusing on issues regarding SIOP and LGBT for SIOP 2008.  With the help of the program committee and Dave Nershi, we have scheduled an open meeting for the conference in San Francisco.
 
4. Organize a LGBT reception at the 2008 SIOP Conference. With the support of the executive and program committees, we are delighted to report that we will be holding an extended reception at the 2008 conference that will serve dual roles of social engagement and fundraising (see below).
 
5. Continue fundraising for Emerging Issues Award on LGBT Issues. We were delighted that the first SIOP award on LGBT issues was distributed at SIOP 2007. To ensure the continuation of the award, we are organizing fundraising efforts to raise the required $25,000. At SIOP 2008, we will hold the first-ever silent auction on behalf of the LGBT research award. A subcommittee is working diligently throughout the year to ensure that a successful auction is carried out. We have received donations of items including autographed books, consulting sessions, a hotel stay, restaurant certificates, and one-on-one meetings with influential IO psychologists (including the outgoing SIOP President!).
 
6. Advertise poster award widely.  The LGBT Research Award was advertised widely across listserves and to all IO program chairs. Several outstanding submissions were received and the award will be presented at SIOP 2008 to honor the submission entitled, "Think Manager, Think Male: Stereotypes of Gay and Lesbian Managers.”
 
7. Create a system for LGBT individuals and their allies to be identified and connected at the SIOP conference. Because an LGBT identity is not necessarily visible, it can be difficult for LGBT individuals and their allies to connect throughout the conference. The reception and committee meeting support this connection, but members have expressed a desire to create additional systems for connecting. We are continuing to consider multiple models to achieve this; one model for this is efforts made by international members of SIOP. These individuals have a designated meeting table where individuals can interact in person or via written messages. Another model is to provide stickers or pins that indicate LGBT or ally status. We will consider this and discuss the possibility for integrating such ideas at SIOP 2008 and beyond.
 
8. In addition, we will continue to increase the visibility of LGBT workplace issues at the 2008 SIOP Conference via the promotion of more research sessions. Members of the committee worked to ensure that LGBT research papers would be submitted to the conference, and we are pleased to note that several sessions in the program will include LGB-related research.
 
9. We would like to consider the possibility of creating an internal SIOP LGBT subject pool.  One of the primary challenges in conducting LGBT-related research is access to (often unidentified) LGBT workers. One strategy that might be used to overcome this challenge is to create a subject pool through which participants can be recruited. Addressing this issue is secondary to the establishment of the research award, and will continue to be discussed in our open meeting at SIOP 2008.
 
10. Finally, we would like the EC to consider releasing a policy statement condemning unequal treatment of individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity in employment practices. In conjunction with our representative to the APA (Jose Cortina), we have drafted a potential policy statement that would reflect SIOP’s position on discrimination toward LGBT employees (see below). We understand that such an action may be unprecedented, but are hopeful that the EC will consider this idea at the meeting in April.
 
Proposed SIOP Policy Statement
 
WHEREAS the spirit of legislation prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin is to ensure equality of treatment,
 
WHEREAS neither the federal government nor the majority of states have passed legislation prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity,
 
WHEREAS scientific research demonstrates that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity persists in the American workplace,
 
WHEREAS the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology seeks to monitor and address challenges to the understanding and practice of industrial-organizational psychology in organizational and work settings,
 
BE IT RESOLVED that the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology condemns unequal treatment of individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity in employment practices. Further, SIOP supports and urges the enactment of civil rights legislation at the local, and state and federal level that would offer gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered individuals the same protections now guaranteed to others on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.