As transgender issues have grown prominent in the public political debate, with conservative lawmakers across the country increasing efforts to legislate against trans and LGBTQ rights in education, healthcare, and other arenas, it is important for employers to recognize the need and benefit of creating a trans-inclusive workplace. Creating a culture of inclusion is essential for promoting diversity and inclusion, ensuring equality, attracting and retaining top talent, complying with legal obligations, and fulfilling social responsibility. Creating a trans-inclusive workplace requires a commitment to supporting and valuing employees who are transgender or gender non-conforming. Here are some ways to make your workplace more trans-inclusive:
Implement trans-inclusive policies
Review your workplace policies to ensure they are inclusive of transgender and gender non-conforming employees. This includes policies related to hiring, dress code, bathroom access, pronouns, and healthcare benefits. Establish and enforce a “no tolerance” policy, as you should do with all protected groups. If the policy is not enforced, it only serves to protect the harassers. It is also helpful to use gender-neutral language in job descriptions, employee handbooks, and other workplace documents. This includes avoiding gendered terms like “he” or “she” and using more inclusive terms like “they” or “their.” Also, consider offering gender-affirming healthcare benefits that include coverage for gender-affirming treatments, such as hormone replacement therapy and gender confirmation surgeries.
Ways to Create a Culture of Inclusion
Provide training for all employees about gender identity and expression, including the use of appropriate pronouns and language. This training should also cover anti-discrimination policies and how to report incidents of harassment or discrimination. Establish safe spaces for transgender and gender non-conforming employees to meet, connect, and discuss workplace issues. This can include support groups, social events, or mentorship programs. Respect the privacy of transgender and gender non-conforming employees by not disclosing their gender identity without their consent. Also, ensure that all employees have access to private and gender-neutral restrooms and changing facilities. Celebrate and acknowledge the contributions of transgender and gender non-conforming employees to create a culture of inclusion and diversity.
These are just a few ways to create a trans-inclusive workplace. By taking action to support and value transgender and gender non-conforming employees, you can help create a workplace that is welcoming and supportive for all.