• LGBT Chamber and Human Relations Commission Ask Metro Government to Collect More Employee Demographic Data

    Contact:  Mel Fowler-Green
    LGBT Chamber and Human Relations Commission Ask
    Metro Government to Collect More Employee Demographic Data
    Nashville, TN (June 1, 2016) – The Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce and the Metro Human Relations Commission are recommending that Metro allow employees to voluntarily self-identify by sexual orientation, gender identity and other socio-demographic markers such as disability status, veteran status, and religious affiliations. 
    Although equal protection laws for LGBT community are inconsistent across the United States, many employers (including Metro) have non-discrimination policies. Organizations that have committed to diversity and inclusion must also commit to evaluating data related to recruitment, retention, and productivity.  One obstacle to these efforts is the inadequate information available about LGBT employees. 
    Typically, employers capture data related to race, ethnicity, gender and sometimes military and disability status to evaluate recruitment and retention.  Now, many employers are starting to allow employees to self-identify along other demographic markers to gain a more complete picture of the workforce and to enhance diversity and inclusion initiatives.
    Several employers here in Middle Tennessee—including Cummins and KPMG—have implemented self-identification through anonymous engagement surveys or confidential employee records.
    In a joint policy paper, the LGBT Chamber of Commerce and the Human Relations Commission suggest that Metro should follow the lead of the Federal Government by allowing employees to self-identify through a confidential employee satisfaction survey conducted by a non-partial third party. The recommendation is also endorsed by Empower Tennessee, who promotes opportunities for independent living for people with disabilities.
    “Employers measure outcomes,” said Lisa Howe, Executive Director of the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce.  “That is how business decisions are made which may include determining policies, budgets, promotions, salaries, and much more.  If an employer is not measuring their LGBT employees, then those employees do not factor into basic business decisions.”
    After the Metro Human Relations Commission issued its first IncluCivics Report studying the demographics of Metro’s Workforce based on race/ethnicity and gender, in January of 2015, the MHRC received questions about other employee data points.  “Many people in the last year have asked for data about Metro’s LGBT and disabled employees,” said Mel Fowler-Green, director of the Commission. “Unfortunately,  Metro does not have this data.  We think that measuring really does matter, and combining the confidential request with an employee survey will help us reach our goal of equitably representing the communities we serve.”
    A full copy of the policy recommendation can be found at: