5 tips to create an inclusive work environment for Trans employees
How can you support your Trans employees?
The 31st of March marks International Trans Visibility Day. The purpose of this day is to celebrate the achievements made by this community but also to bring awareness about the discrimination that still prevails in society.
According to the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 27% of trans people have suffered discrimination when at work. This number shows that there is still significant work to be done in order to educate people on this matter and that companies have a role in preventing this sort of behaviour.
So what can companies do to create a safe work environment for Trans employees?
1.Allow the use of the “commonly used name”
Depending on the country, getting one’s legal name changed can be a struggle. It may take many months and require a series of steps that make the process difficult and painful. When at work, a good practice is to allow trans people to use the name they feel most comfortable with, without having to stick to the name on their passport. Allowing the use of the commonly used name without requiring specific documentation can alleviate the transition process they have to go through.
2.Having a flexible dress code
In some companies the use of specific gendered uniforms is mandatory. These uniforms often contribute to replicating traditional gender roles and stereotypes. Allowing all employees to use the uniform they wish, without sticking to a specific gender, can be a good practice. The latest company which implemented gender-neutral uniforms was Virgin Atlantic and this led to an increase in the job applications for the company.
3.Inclusive recruitment procedures
Having specific training for recruiters and managers on designing inclusive recruitment processes is key to attracting and retaining trans people. It is important to learn the right procedures when it comes to avoiding biases, asking the right questions, and accompanying the candidates through their process. Other good practices can be to partner up with LGTB+ associations or collaborate with specific job boards that help Trans people enter the workforce (for example: MyGWork).
4.Gender neutral bathrooms
Going to the bathroom is an action that doesn’t cause any stress nor discomfort to most people. However it is often seen as a cause of stress for the Trans community. It’s a place where they often feel judged and unwelcomed. Therefore, to avoid this, companies can either create gender neutral bathrooms or give the option to employees to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with. Having a specific sign in the bathroom or having this explained during the onboarding process is key for making Trans people feel at ease.
5.Non discrimination policies
It may seem obvious but your company must have non-discrimination policies with specific steps to punish discriminatory behaviour. When it comes to LGTB-phobia, it can be expressed through unpleasant jokes, comments or actions. All these must be typified in order to avoid misinterpretations and to encourage the victims to report such aggressions. Way too often the victims avoid reporting these situations because they’re not sure how to interpret the offence and they don’t know if they’ll be taken seriously by the HR department.
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