Written by Chloe Brundish
You can’t just put a rainbow on your socials and website and make your logo colourful to show that your business is LGBTQ+ inclusive, it must be shown in the workplace by leaders and employees.
There are many workplaces where transgender employees don’t feel included and comfortable and the statistics regarding transgender inclusion in businesses are shocking.
- Transgender adults are twice as likely to be unemployed compared to cisgender (a person whose identity and gender correspond with their birth sex) adults.
- Cisgender employees make 32% more money a year than transgender employees.
- More than half of transgender employees say that they are not comfortable being out as transgender at work.
- People who identify as transgender feel far less supported in the workplace than cisgender colleagues do.
There are many ways that a business can become a safe and inclusive place for a transgender individual and the practices can do more than help cisgender individuals be more trans-inclusive at work, they can also help them be more mindful in everyday life outside of the workplace:
You should create gender-neutral bathrooms so that transgender employees feel much more comfortable going to the bathroom instead of having to choose whether to go in the female or male-only bathrooms.
Instead of doing this, you can also encourage those who identify as transgender to use the bathroom that aligns with the gender they identify as.
Training is available for cisgender employees to educate them on how to be welcoming and comfortable with transgender employees using the bathrooms.
If your business has a dress code, you should make it so that all employees can wear whatever they feel comfortable in. They should be able to choose from a range of work attire so that they can be dressed appropriately for work but also feel like themselves.
This would make transgender employees feel much more comfortable in the workplace as there wouldn’t be an expectation that men and women should wear a specific uniform.
Help cisgender employees to understand transgender transitions and what they should or shouldn’t say as they may not have ever had an interaction or relationship with a transgender individual before.
Many cisgender employees may need help with understanding everything and training would be a great way to educate them.
A great thing to do is to train employees to pull someone aside if they hear them treating a transgender employee poorly, as this would help them feel included and like they’re a valued member of the team.
On the other hand, trans employees may not want anyone to stand up for them as they would prefer to do it themselves, so also train employees to ask what they would prefer.
You should teach and train your employees the right pronouns for your transgender employees. Tell them what they would like to identify as and what they would like to be referred to as.
Being intentionally misgendered is unfortunately really common in the workplace and it makes the transgender colleague feel as if they are not being taken seriously or are not being listened to. Although, if you genuinely accidentally misgender someone, don’t make a big deal out of it, just apologise, move on, and make sure you get it correct next time.
There are pronouns such as she/her and he/him if someone identifies as a woman or a male but if someone identifies as genderfluid or nonbinary, there are pronouns such as they/them/theirs and ze/zir/zem.
It is easy to make your business transgender-inclusive and every single one should do it because it isn’t enough to say that your business is LGBTQ+ inclusive if the workplace doesn’t reflect that.
When you make your business inclusive, everyone has a better chance to enjoy their work and succeed.