51% of trans people have hidden their gender identity at work for fear of discrimination. This is a headline from this year’s Trans Report for Stonewall, despite the legislation in place to protect trans people in the Equality Act 2010 and The Gender Recognition Act 2004 and at a time when organisations are talking constantly about diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Trans discrimination at work comes in many forms, from the outright refusal to allow a trans person to use the toilets associated with their gender identity, to the more subtle effects of unconscious bias during recruitment or promotion processes. Colleagues and managers can be insensitive to the challenges facing trans people, misunderstand what it means to be transgender or view that transgender is offensive to their religious beliefs, resulting in bullying and harassment.
As it’s Transgender Awareness Week, here are a few simple steps you can start to take now in your organisation to overcome the barriers experienced by trans people at work:
- Take any complaint about harassment seriously.
- Review your existing policies and procedures to check whether they may disadvantage trans people in any way
- Put a Transgender policy in place which details how trans people are supported and is clear about the consequences of unacceptable behaviour towards trans people. You can obtain a copy of a template policy to adapt for your organisation using the button below
- Demonstrate a commitment to trans people in your recruitment advertising and employer branding
- Include trans awareness in any equality, diversity, inclusion and unconscious bias training and education you provide to managers and employees
- If your organisation is large, work with trans employees to set up trans networks