For most people, work-life is stressful. Imagine, an added weight of having to deny and subdue one of the critical aspects of you are – your gender identity. That’s because it does not comply with society’s standards concerning gender expressions.
How would you feel if your authentic self is revealed to the people with whom you live or work? These difficulties are ubiquitous for several trans people, who usually experience discrimination, hostility, stigma, and pressure to govern their identities in social surroundings – including the workplace – just to match the expectations of the general public.
Having to conceal gender identities is terrible and can have a devastating impact on the trans individuals’ emotional well being, job satisfaction, and tendency to adhere to a particular organization.
Still, most employers are ill-equipped to introduce policies and workplace cultures that would provide equal rights to trans employees. One primary reason behind this would be a lack of awareness regarding the challenges faced by trans people.
All employees work hard and contribute to the success of any organization. Anyone should not feel fearful or stigmatized coming to work each day. Moreover, this kind of discriminatory behaviour in the company can also hurt your brand image.
Build a trans-inclusive workplace by considering the tips mentioned in this article.
Allow Gender-Neutral Dress Codes
Move against gender neutrality, specifically with regard to any employee dress code. We should avoid gender-stereotyped perceptions in the dress code and implement it continuously. If an employer’s uniforms should have a “male” and “female” version, the company must allow its employees to dress in line with their gender identity.
Some big organizations have started to enforce gender-neutral dress codes regionally. By making it unambiguous that all workers may select from a wide array of options, including dress shirts, skirt suits, and pantsuits. Organizations can help fight stigma changing expressions of gender. Such policies could also support recruitment and retention by indicating that normativity is not anticipated.
Ensure Proper Name And Pronoun Usage
Another approach to indicate trans workers that they are appreciated is to pay keen attention to their proper names and pronouns. Several trans people distinguish on the traditional binary scale – as either male or female – and therefore use he, his, and him or she, hers and her as pronouns. However, several others who also belong to the broad category called “trans” – including gender-fluid, genderqueer, and nonbinary people – use different pronouns, like they, theirs and them or ze, zem, and zir.
Research says that the “misgendering” of trans workers, whether intentional or unintentional, is very common in the workplace. A one time slip up – like calling with an incorrect pronoun for a coworker who has lately transitioned – can be considered a genuine mistake. (In this case, one must apologize, move on, and ensure not to make the same mistake again in future).
Using the correct names and pronouns regularly can be more worthwhile than one might believe. When asked to think over courageous step colleagues had performed in favor of the rights of trans workers, most of our members reiterated incidents in which a cisgender worker directed others on correct pronoun usage. A simple “Olivia uses ‘she’ as a pronoun” works, as does an easy correction: “Have you seen him?” “Yes, I saw her in the boardroom.”
Employers can tackle this matter in numerous ways, including:
- First, they can maintain records of their staff’s chosen names and proper pronouns; this helps assure that to the maximum extent possible, correct terms will be used for administrative purposes, including email addresses, directories, and business cards.
- Second, motivate all workers to use name badges and email signatures that incorporate their coveted names and proper pronouns; this allows people to ascertain those names and pronouns and creates awareness of the diverse gender identities that the staff may possess.
- Third, fetch benefits of onboarding initiatives, employee handbook content, and training programs to ensure that proper pronoun usage is a component of establishing an environment in which all workers feel treasured and respected.
Establish Gender-Neutral Bathroom
Introducing gender-neutral bathrooms or promoting trans workers to use bathrooms that string along with their gender identity, is a crucial way to indicate that you value them. Diversity training could instruct other employees on the significance of being welcoming and accepting when they discover themselves in a bathroom with a trans coworker. Don’t make your trans workers feel humiliated in your workplace. Otherwise, their survival in the company would be at stake.
Some people believed that allowing staff to use bathrooms that string along their gender identity could elevate the risk of sexual assault and harassment against women. But later it was found that such incidents in bathrooms are extremely rare, irrespective of any gender identity policy on using bathrooms. In fact, the experiences of sexual harassment or assault are usually committed by straight, cisgender males to straight, cisgender females.
Take Care Of Their Privacy
Asking the surgical status of any trans employee is inappropriate and unacceptable. When trans employees happen to be the core of conversation requesting to disclose their details, they feel as if they are in the minority, exotic or bizarre. Remember, not to ask anything that would make you feel uncomfortable when being asked to yourself. They are not strange, but a beautiful variation of homo sapiens. Moreover, you have no right to humiliate anyone on the basis of their gender. Respect everyone and build a safe workplace for everyone!
Support Them In The Best Way Possible
When you are superior to someone who is transitioning, start by listening to them. Express your promptitude to discover the best way you can support them – this could mean helping them come forth to a few colleagues as required, or disclosing the information to others on their behalf with their consent. Ensure that they know their rights in your workplace and in the city or state they live. Be benevolent and follow the individual’s lead.
Develop a culture of using language in an inclusive way
Company executives and leaders need to develop cultural norms that go over the gender binary. A straightforward way to gut-check yourself is to check the company-wide language that addresses staff as “girls”, “guys” or “ladies” Rather, use gender-neutral language and tags such as “team.”
Make health care benefits more inclusive
Check your company’s medical coverage and policies associated with transition-related care and reproduction. Medical care benefits and procedures must reflect the requirements of trans workers for their entire lives and have extensive and inclusive coverage for transition-related treatments and surgery, fertility, and family planning.
If a plan provides coverage to all these essential procedures, ensure that there aren’t exclusions that prohibit trans individuals from retrieving them due to their gender label. For instance, a transgender man should not be deprived of a routine pelvic exam because health insurance will only cover this facility for female patients.