Metro Weekly

Human Rights Campaign is a “White Men’s Club” according to new report

Trans people are frequently misgendered, straight women and lesbians get sexist treatment


A damning new report, obtained by Chris Geidner at Buzzfeed News, has uncovered a myriad of problems at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

An internal report, collated from survey responses, at the prominent LGBT organisation has shed light on a culture of sexism and exclusion, with a leadership culture described as “homogeneous — gay, white, male.” The working environment was described as “judgemental” and was of particular concern with regards “women and feminine-identified individuals.”

“Trans* people are frequently misgendered with the wrong pronouns, after repeated corrections,” it said. “Straight women and lesbians get sexist treatment from gay men at HRC. Younger staff in particular are exploited and not rewarded financially.”

Sexism affected job promotion, with under a quarter of males who have been promoted working at the organisation for less than two years, some twice in that time, while “no women under two years have been promoted.”

One section of the report was titled “White Men’s Club,” while a summary of the reports findings deemed that most concerns stemmed from the opinion that there was “an organizational culture rooted in a white, masculine orientation which is judgmental of all those who don’t fit that mold.”

“Diversity and inclusion work is never an end,” said HRC president Chad Griffin in a statement, “it’s always a journey and while it’s clear that we have a long way to go on that journey as an organization – and as a movement — the important and indisputable facts are that we realized the need for change, that we have done a significant amount of self-examination and reflection, and that we have put plans in place that are resulting in positive changes.”

Griffin states that the report’s data was collected last year and since that time, several initiatives have been enacted to improve diversity at HRC. Those include specific resource groups for transgender employees, employees of color, female employees and others, additional recruiting efforts, a proactive compensation review, and a restructured HR department.

“There is no doubt that we still have much work to do,” Griffin said. “But progress has been made.”

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