“Is that a man or a woman?”
Have you heard this line during any water-cooler conversations or remember saying something similar yourself?
The harsh truth: Transgender professionals still face discrimination at work. Many gender-diverse people never even share the fact about their identity over the fear of being “harassed” or “victimized” – or get “outed” at worst.
Yes, the world has become more tolerant, but there are societies that still leave transgenders feeling vulnerable. Alternatively saying, gender discrimination at workplace still persists.
According to Gallop Poll Hate Crime Report 2020, “3 in every 10 trans people face discrimination at work.” This discrimination can come from fellow employees who have anti-trans views. Some employers contribute in gender discrimination too. According to a survey conducted by Crosslands Solicitors’ HR Hub 2018, many employers stated, “they were less likely to hire transgender.” 43% said they were “not sure.”
To avoid this attitude, employers must do more than before to develop a transgender-inclusive workplace culture.
Steps for HR to develop a transgender-inclusive workplace culture
Step #1. Declare your organization as “trans-positive” everywhere
If you are a trans-positive organization, you must declare it bluntly everywhere.
You may even work on a pledge that can go something like this:
“Our organization stands shoulder to shoulder with the LGBTQ+ community and invites them to be a part of our workforce.”
As an HR manager, you must strive to ensure that this message reaches every length and breadth of your organization clearly.
Additionally, ensure that you give them an equal opportunity to rise and grow within the organization.
Step #2. Remove stigma and discrimination
Research suggests that stigma and discrimination can lead to greater mental health challenges. This may lead to diminished satisfaction at job and a greater desire to quit. Companies in the United States lose an estimated $64 billion annually for replacing employees who depart under discriminatory circumstances, says a report by Center of American Progress.
Support your trans workforce and create a friendly atmosphere that welcomes the way they want to speak, dress, or present themselves.
Step #3. Establish easy policies
Audit your existing company policies and processes to ensure whether they are transgender inclusive or not. A transgender-inclusive workplace policy covers everyone including binary trans feminine, trans masculine, non-binary, or gender-fluid.
Step #4: Ensure that your systems are not gender-specific
It’s time to de-gender the language you use in your software or business communications.
Create the practice of supporting gender-neutral titles, name changes, and gender pronouns.
Step #5: Involve them in leadership
It goes without saying that they are equally better in performing any form of responsibility or role. Placing them in positions that bring out their leadership qualities can help the organization tap new opportunities of success.
If your organization is led or staffed by transgender employees, you are more likely to succeed in your endeavors. Work towards creating a transgender-inclusive workplace and give everyone the opportunity to be at thier best.