For transgendered employees, one of the most difficult decisions to make is transitioning in the workplace. When we speak of transgenderism, we are talking about a person whose gender identity or expression differs from conventional expectations of masculinity or femininity.
The number of trans employees is not large and is a topic that is rarely covered in the employee handbook. Often the transgender is left on their own to educate their colleagues and this can sometimes lead to dire consequences.
“I had more anxiety about transitioning at work than I did about any other area of my life because I had worked there for five years before transitioning, and people knew me as ‘she.’ Coming out at work for me meant transitioning pretty publicly, because all of the faculty and staff would know, and also all of the students. I felt like a target because I was getting harassed before coming out because I was gender non-conforming. I had to teach HR about trans issues, which was difficult; it is not easy to be an advocate for yourself during such an intense experience. I knew I was opening myself up to criticism, but I didn’t expect people to be so rude about it.”1
Without any appropriate policies in place, the workplace can be a detrimental place for transgendered employees. Often targets of discrimination, transgendered people experience insurmountable stress on the job and this can affect employee morale and productivity.
In 2009, the National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force surveyed 6,450 transgender people and found that 97% reported harassment or mistreatment on the job. 2
Whether the employee has already made the transition to a new sex or the employee is transitioning on the job, it’s important to understand what the best practices are for managing any workplace implications.
Our Workplace Training Workshop – Transgenderism in the workplace – centres on helping employees and organizations develop enhanced awareness, tolerance, and respect of transgenderism. One of our leading subject-matter experts will consult with your company to assess your organizational needs and set up a meeting with the transitioning employee to make a plan. This plan may include:
- Addressing leadership issues
- Consulting with the legal department
- Coaching people leaders
- Providing sensitivity training for employees
- Identifying other areas of support as needed
No matter what industry or job function, we make the transition for the trans employee, coworkers and your organization a smooth one. Our expert consultants put everyone at ease from the start, guiding the trans employee together with leaders and coworkers through the transition every step of the way. Leaders have expressed gratitude and relief that they consulted our Workplace Training services. Everyone gains awareness and sensitivity, and the organization instills trust and respect in employees, increasing morale, engagement and productivity.
With a balanced, personal approach, we encourage conversation with all employees so they can ask questions, voice their concerns and show support towards their transitioning colleague. An event like this affects the whole workforce and our highly skilled team demystifies the subject of transgenderism and makes sure everyone in the organization is put at ease. It’s our high personal touch and dedicated compassionate experts that sets us apart and makes this workshop a great success time after time.