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Welcoming Transgender People in the Workplace

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Here are some thought provoking questions which might help you to envision how to make your workplace more welcoming to transgender people.

Published in: Recruiting & HR
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Welcoming Transgender People in the Workplace

  1. 1. Welcoming Transgender People    How welcoming is your organization to transgender people? How does your organization measure up when it comes to transgender acceptance? 1. Do you have formal diversity training for your employees that includes gender as a protected class? 2. Do you regularly require your employees to study and pass a diversity training? 3. Does your business promote the whole person concept (Mortimer J. Adler)? Promoting whole person means allowing people to be themselves at work and that includes gender expression. Whole person improves productivity because people are much happier when they can be themselves. 4. Are your managers and executives familiar with the common issues of transgender rights? 5. Do you have a gender neutral bathroom which is easily accessible to transgender employees. A gender neutral bathroom can be a single stall handicapped bathroom meant for use by one person, or it could be a multi stall co-ed bathroom. 6. Does your organization train managers in how to handle coming out issues specific to transgender individuals? 7. Do your managers know how to handle middle path gender identities in the workplace? 8. Are you aware of how gender expression plays into hiring and promotion within your organization? 9. Are individuals penalized for nonconformity to traditional ideas about gender expression by non promotion, substandard office or job assignments, moving their desk to remote locations, or in extreme cases, the firing of individuals because they do not conform to mainstream expectations of gender expression? 10. Does your organization either knowingly or subconsciously profile transgender people as being fraudulent, inauthentic, or untruthful due to societal prejudices of transgender people as being deceitful because they are gender nonconforming? This is particularly relevant in banking institutions where identities need to be verified before opening accounts, or during routine verification of activity to prevent fraud. It can also be relevant to police and other law enforcement personnel who may profile people based upon their gender identity or presentation. Do you unfairly require transgender people to perform more identity verification than you would someone perceived as conforming to your gender expectations? 11. Are your personnel aware that a transgender client or employee’s government identification may not match their gender expression or presentation when they are initially transitioning, and do you unfairly discriminate against them because of that. 12. Do your personnel automatically assume gender identity, pronouns and preferred gender labels when speaking with someone on the phone? Since the quality of a person’s voice is not necessarily an indicator of their gender, do you educate your employees to not automatically attribute Sir or Ma’am to a person, without first determining their preference? 13. When your personnel are helping people who they “read” or visibly identify as transgender, are they so uncomfortable that they tremble, act visibly afraid, use offensive language, or otherwise make the transgender person feel very unwelcomed? If they do not feel comfortable, due to personal beliefs, etc., without making it obvious, can they ask another more welcoming person to help the individual? 14. Do you have a pro-active policy that prevents transgender individuals from abusive language, sexual harassment and ridicule from fellow employees? Adapted in part from http://www.uua.org/documents/lgbtq/trans_inclusion_qs.pdf which was created by the Unitarian Universalist Association for the purposes of their Welcoming Congregations program and from http://www.t-vox.org/index.php?title=Cisgender_privilege and from my own personal experience as female to male transgender. Copyright 2014 by Konnor T. Crewe http://www.transgenderlifecoach.org  Email: gethelp@transgenderlifecoach.org 

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