Not just equal pay, equal job security

3 MIN READ | #blog

The LGBTQ+ community has had major victories recently, with the Respect for Marriage Act being signed into law in 2022 and a cultural shift embracing diversity. While this is a major success for the community, important work still needs to be accomplished before members of this community can feel secure.

Establishing job security

Historically, job security has been a major concern for members of the LGBTQ+ community. In 2020, the United States Supreme Court ruled that LGBTQ+ individuals cannot be fired based upon their sexual orientation or gender identity under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  However, federal law does not protect individuals who work for an employer with fewer than 15 employees

To rectify this situation, the Equality Act was introduced to Congress in 2019  which aimed to expand the Civil Rights Act of 1964.1 The Equality Act was reintroduced to Congress in 2021 but remains unpassed in 2023. While the future remains uncertain for this bill, members of the LGBTQ+ community can improve their own financial future and develop confidence by taking steps to improve their personal financial security.

Addressing financial insecurity

Astudy completed by Guardian2 in 2021 found that 20 percent of working Americans feel seriously financially stressed. Only five percent of individuals in this category feel they are on track to meet their financial goals, and only 23 percent work with a financial professional.

According to the study, 67 percent of LGBTQ+ individuals feel discouraged from working with financial services organizations. The top reasons for this include the belief that financial professionals have insufficient knowledge to best support their family’s needs, the fear of being treated differently by customer service representatives, and the lack of products or services fitting their needs.

A few simple steps can lead LGBTQ+ individuals and families toward improved financial confidence. This starts with basic budgeting and planning.

  • Write down your income and expenses to bring clarity to your cash flow situation and provide an outline of where you may be able to save more money.
  • Meet with a financial professional to educate yourself and to establish achievable goals.  Together, review a long-term view and develop a written strategy to guide your future actions.
  • Establish an automatic savings system to save 15 percent of every paycheck.
  • Pay off any short-term or credit card debt as soon as you can, then stick to the practice of paying those bills in full each month.
  • Participate in your employer’s retirement plan(s)
  • Consider term life insurance and whole life insurance to help protect your family and provide for the future.
  • Talk with a financial professional or insurance agent about appropriate products for your needs.

Taking charge of your financial health can lead to a greater sense of confidence in other aspects of your life.

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2 The Guardian Study of Financial and Emotional Confidence, 2021.