This is a preview. To continue reading please log in or Register to read this article

Supporting transgender equality in the workplace

Author: Shelagh Prosser


  • Employers should be sensitive to the evolving nature of terminology around gender identity and transgender issues. (See Terminology)
  • Difficulty in gaining and retaining employment, discrimination and harassment, a lack of awareness about gender-identity issues, prejudice and an absence of effective confidentiality procedures are some of the problems transgender people experience in the workplace. (See Problems experienced by transgender employees)
  • Creating an inclusive working environment for transgender people where they feel welcome and are 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 transgender people demonstrates that equal treatment is a core business value. (See Senior-level commitment)
  • HR policies should be inclusive of transgender issues. (See Inclusive policies)
  • Employers should consider providing guidance for managers and employees on how to support an employee who is proposing to transition, is transitioning or has transitioned. (See Guidance)
  • Employers should respect the privacy of transgender employees, especially in ensuring that information about an employee's gender identity is kept confidential. (See Confidentiality)
  • Employers should support an employee who is transitioning. The employee and their line manager should agree a plan for managing the transition process in the workplace. (See Supporting an employee who is transitioning)
  • Training for employees on transgender issues will help to minimise misunderstandings and encourage employees to behave appropriately towards transgender people. (See Training on gender identity)
  • The recruitment process should be fair, transparent and inclusive of applicants who are transitioning or have transitioned. (See Recruitment)
  • Employers should communicate to employees and third parties their zero-tolerance approach to bullying and harassment on the basis of gender identity, and they should have a process in place to enable employees to make a complaint about bullying or harassment in confidence. (See Bullying and harassment)
  • A staff network for transgender employees can be a source of mutual support for its members and help raise awareness of barriers to transgender equality within the organisation. (See Staff networks)
  • Employers should monitor progress on transgender equality but take care to protect employees' anonymity during any monitoring exercise. (See Monitoring)


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