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Supporting non-binary and transgender equality in the workplace

Author: Shelagh Prosser

Summary

  • Employers should be be mindful that language around gender identity matters and they should be sensitive to the fact that the terminology is continually evolving. (See Terminology)
  • Difficulty in gaining and retaining employment, discrimination and harassment, a lack of awareness about gender identity, prejudice and an absence of effective confidentiality procedures are some of the problems that non-binary and transgender people experience in the workplace. (See Problems experienced by transgender employees)
  • Creating an inclusive working environment where everyone, regardless of their gender identity, feels welcome and motivated to perform to the best of their ability makes good business sense. (See The importance of creating an inclusive workplace)
  • Visible commitment from senior management to creating an inclusive workplace for non-binary and transgender people helps to demonstrate that equal treatment and equity are core business values. (See Senior-level commitment)
  • All employment policies should be trans inclusive. (See Inclusive policies)
  • Employers should provide guidance for line managers on how to support an employee who expresses their gender in a non-binary way or who is proposing to transition, is transitioning or has transitioned. (See Guidance)
  • Information about an employee's gender identity must be kept confidential. (See Confidentiality)
  • Employers should support an employee who is transitioning and be led by them on how they wish this to be managed in the organisation. (See Supporting an employee who is transitioning)
  • Training and guidance for employees on gender identity and discrimination will help to minimise misunderstandings and encourage inclusive behaviour. (See Training on gender identity)
  • The recruitment process should be fair, transparent and inclusive of all applicants, regardless of their gender identity. (See Recruitment)
  • Employers should ensure all employees, clients, suppliers and contractors know that the organisation has a zero-tolerance approach to bullying and harassment on the basis of gender identity, and what the procedure is for making a complaint. (See Bullying and harassment)
  • Staff networks (also referred to as employee resource groups) and other informal structures can provide support to non-binary and transgender employees and help raise organisational awareness. (See Staff networks)
  • Monitoring in relation to gender identity will help to identify workplace barriers and inform action to remove or mitigate these. Employers should protect employees' anonymity during any monitoring exercise. (See Monitoring)

Overview

This section of the XpertHR good practice manual explores the key steps that employers can take to ensure that non-binary and transgender employees feel supported at work and able to be themselves. It provides practical guidance on how employers can recruit, progress and retain non-binary and transgender employees, encourage effective performance and minimise the potential for discrimination.