Many people tell us that they want to know how to champion trans inclusion where they work.
Here are a few things you can do to make a start!
There are lots of other ways to take action where you work too. Find out about what the best employers are doing.
1. Find out the facts
The first step is to make sure you are educating yourself – so be sure to learn about trans identities and experiences.
2. Engage with senior leaders
Senior leaders are key to achieving trans-inclusive workplaces.
You can support them to understand trans identities and issues in many ways, for example by sharing research, inviting them to events to learn about trans inclusion, and sharing information about the experiences of trans people in the workplace.
An important thing that senior leaders can do is give a strong message of support to trans communities – stating that your workplace is one where trans people should feel that they can bring their whole selves to work, and where there is a zero tolerance policy for transphobic bullying, harassment or discrimination.
It’s important that this isn’t a one-off box-ticking exercise, but something sustainable so that all staff know that there is senior support for trans inclusion.
Senior leaders can lead up LGBT inclusion strategies, review LGBT monitoring reports and actions, speak at internal and external LGBT inclusion events, and generally lead the charge from the top!
3. Call for more inclusive HR policies
You can reach out to the team that sets your HR policies, and any bodies that feed into them such as trade union groups, staff networks or employee forums.
These are some of the policies every company should have:
- Bullying & Harassment policies that explicitly ban transphobic bullying, harassment and discrimination, illustrated with clear guidance and examples.
- Trans Inclusion policy, which should set out a clear commitment to supporting all trans people, provide information on language, terminology and trans identities. The policies should provide inclusive guidance on facilities and dress codes, and a commitment to confidentiality and data protection for trans staff.
- Transitioning at Work Policy, which should provide work related guidance for an employee who is transitioning, as well as guidance for their line manager and colleagues on how to support them.
- Leave policies, which should include provision for transition-related absence.
- Other HR policies such as special leave and family policies should be trans inclusive. For example, avoiding gendered language and explicitly stating that they apply to employees regardless of gender identity and expression.
4. Reach out to your LGBT Network Group
Network Groups can be really important spaces for peer-to-peer support, shared learning, and making sure your organisation follows through on their commitments.
Set up an LGBT Network Group or ask your Network Group what they are doing to support trans inclusion in your workplace, and also how the group itself is striving to be inclusive.
Groups should have a terms of reference that is explicitly inclusive of trans people, and a formal mechanism to ensure trans issues are engaged with (for example, a trans rep). It’s important that the terms of reference sets out that the group should be inclusive of trans people, even if the network group is small and informal.
If your workplace doesn’t have a Network Group, why not explore starting one up? Sector-wide network groups, as well as internal employee Forums and Trade Unions can also be great spaces through which to champion changing policies and procedures.
You can also bring your policies to life through our Digital Empowerment Workshops.
If you want to do more, you can encourage your employer to become a Diversity Champion, which is the leading employers' programme for ensuring all LGBT staff are accepted without exception in the workplace.