"The workplace has become the next frontier for gay rights, " stated a Fortune magazine cover story, and this book -- based on a series of groundbreaking interviews with more than 100 gay and lesbian alumni of the Harvard Business School -- is the most complete and most in-depth study ever made of gay and lesbian managers, executives, and employees in this country.
Straight Jobs, Gay Lives frankly examines issues such as coming out versus being closeted in the workplace, harassment, discrimination, health and insurance benefits, resources and support groups, and the differences between the experiences of gay men and lesbians. With hundreds of personal stories -- from men and women of all ages and races -- Straight Jobs, Gay Lives provides readers with the encouragement, information, and support that they need to navigate today's fast-changing business world.
The authors, both lesbians and graduates of Harvard Business School, tracked down and interviewed some 100 homosexual fellow alumni. While nearly one out of three of the gay businesspeople they surveyed had experienced on-the-job discrimination, most of those who revealed their sexual orientation in the workplace reported minimal or no repercussions and felt they had achieved the same promotions and income levels as heterosexuals. Virtually all of the openly gay interviewees said their openness resulted in greater closeness to co-workers and bosses. By contrast, closeted respondents who were suspected of being gay at work suffered the greatest discrimination. Combining interviews and analysis, this well-organized, optimistic report contains a wealth of practical information for gay and lesbian businesspeople--and their heterosexual associates--on overcoming stereotypes and intolerance, coming out at work, getting hired and promoted, mentoring and helping others. An extensive resource guide covers online information services, gay professional and networking organizations, employee groups, books, statutes and ratings of companies' policies on nondiscrimination and domestic-partner benefits. Friskopp is COO of Boatracs, a satellite communications and vessel-tracking company; Silverstein is a consultant.