In April last year, the Guardian reported that the mental health of the transgender community was at crisis point. This was following the news that the UK government sought to exclude trans people from a ban on conversion practices.
Anti-abuse charity Galop also stated that its helpline saw an increase in calls from ‘trans people who feel exhausted and dispirited by their exclusion from the government’s proposed conversion therapy ban, and the surrounding conversation on social media and in the news”.
That being said, the media may paint one picture, but results from YouGov show that most people are still pro trans and non-binary inclusion. The business world is generating significant momentum when it comes to creating inclusive workplaces.
But how can businesses maintain this momentum for trans and non-binary inclusion in this really difficult time? Here are some top tips:
Establish and work with your LGBTQ+ network
This is the first and most essential aspect for businesses. Make your trans employees and their allies feel heard. Don’t have conversations or make policies about trans people without them.
Make sure your systems and onboarding processes are inclusive
Are you allowing for non-binary identities in your onboarding? Does the process make it easy for people to define their personal pronouns? Do the systems you work with include options for those outside of the gender binary?
Use inclusive 3rd party providers
Pensions providers, health care, dental, benefits. Work with all your different providers to discover what their approach is to being trans inclusive. And either work with them to make it better or choose another.
Bathrooms and who can use them have been something of a strange media obsession. This is a tough one if you are at the mercy of your building layout and regulations in individual countries.
If you’re in the UK and you have individual single occupancy bathrooms, there’s no reason they can’t be gender neutral. Your non-binary employees would love to be able to use the facilities without misgendering themselves and no, using the disabled loos is not an answer for both inclusion and possibly legal reasons.
Review your policies and their wording
In the light of some recent highly confusing legal cases in this area, it is more important than ever to make sure they are tightly worded such that they are inclusive of trans and non-binary people. Give examples of transphobia when you refer to harassment in your policies.
Encourage your people to declare their pronouns where they feel comfortable to do so. But don’t make it mandatory, there are plenty of reasons not to share them, that have nothing to do with transphobia and some trans people may prefer not to.
Mark the big days
Whether that’s Trans Pride as well as your local LGBTQ+ Pride season, or Non-Binary Visibility Day or Trans Day of Remembrance. It doesn’t need to be external, at least mark them internally.
Get senior leaders involved
Nothing lends more credence to a culture of inclusion than your leaders banging the drum about it. Get them to put their name to initiatives and supporting content for those initiatives.
There’s so much amazing work being done by businesses across the world to make their workplaces safer and more inclusive for trans and non-binary people, but if you’re still a little unsure about what you can do, always ask a trans person.