Transphobia is rife. Just 3% of the 1,000 employers polled from a cross section of industries have an equal opportunities policy that openly welcomes trans+ people to apply for jobs, and out of the third of employers that would consider hiring a transgender person, just 8% think they should have the same rights to be hired for a job as everyone else. Few employers think that their workplace is actively liberal enough to ‘tolerate’ trans workers, with only 4% declaring their workplace culture diverse enough for trans people to ‘fit in’.
At The Future Laboratory, we’ve always believed that we are trans+ inclusive especially with a diverse team that already includes trans employees. But it’s unwaveringly false to conclude that we’re trans-inclusive because trans+ people already invest their time in The Future Laboratory and feel comfortable enough to potentially be ‘out’ as trans. This continues to fuel stagnant acceptance of the status quo while never dismantling the barriers that are in place for marginalised groups.
It’s important to note here that businesses do not need to wait to have trans+ employees to make these places trans-inclusive and safer for trans+ people. Secondly, simply having a diverse trans-inclusive workforce does not automatically mean that we are actively inclusive and championing trans+ people.
As with the inclusion of any marginalised group, it’s a constant commitment and investment that requires active allyship. There are immediate things that we can do to signal to potential and current trans employees, clients and suppliers that we unequivocally support trans people.
Our Diversity Strategy
As part of our Diversity and Inclusion strategy we’ve taken the first few active steps of a longer-term plan for inclusion, equity and justice to make it clear that we support and prioritise the needs of trans people to feel safe, supported and empowered within The Future Laboratory.
Education: In our previous blog post outlining our Diversity and Inclusion strategy we affirmed that education is a key component of our ‘deprogramming’. As part of our efforts to dismantle transphobia, our education strategy will seek to include and prioritise trans+ experiences and narratives so that cisgender members of the team can have the knowledge and skills to support and champion trans+ colleagues.
Healthcare: We’re reframing our ‘sickness’ policy into the broader scope of ‘wellbeing’. Some trans+ employees will be seeking vital gender-affirming procedures and healthcare services; by broadening the definition of our healthcare policy we continue to support the physical health, mental health and resilience of our trans+ team members. In addition, our Wellbeing Policy will seek to include details about transitioning in the workplace.
Facilities: While most of our toilets in Elder Street have been historically non gendered, we still have a few gendered toilets. As part of our initiative to support trans+ members of the team, we will be making all our facilities non gendered.
Identity: We are introducing an opt-in/opt-out system for everyone, including cisgender members of the team, to add their pronouns to their emails. This continues to normalise the conversation around pronouns, while also giving space and support to any trans+ members of the team who are not ‘out’ yet. Every email we send internally and externally reaffirms that we support trans rights and self-determination of gender.
Safety: Many trans+ people do not feel safe enough to be themselves or ‘out’ at work, and most businesses don’t even realise they have trans+ employees or clients. In the workplace in particular, trans+ people continue to face additional discrimination because of their gender. It’s important that we specifically outline trans+ discrimination and harassment policies within our wider discrimination policies, with input from trans+ members of the team or outside consultation.
While immediately seeking to be inclusive to our current trans+ members of the team, and anyone who visits us at Elder Street, we are also looking at our role in the long term in supporting trans+ people.
Many trans+ people face discrimination, invalidation, violence and harm, while also having their rights limited. To ensure that we continue to be engaged in the matters that impact our team and beyond, The Future Laboratory is proud to have signed the Trans Rights Are Human Rights statement, an initiative by Stonewall and Mermaids, alongside many of our clients.
GLOSSARY AND CONTEXT
Trans+: an umbrella term used to include transgender, agender, non binary, genderfluid, genderqueer and all other relevant non cisgender identities.
Cis/cisgender: a term used for those whose gender matches the one assigned at birth.
Self-determination/self-identify: trans+ people have been seeking the right to be able to determine their own gender without the need for medical intervention.
Gender Recognition Act: the current Act states that anyone can change their gender, provided they have two medical opinions and a diagnosis of gender dysphoria. It came into effect in 2004.
Gender Recognition Act Consultation: after calls from trans+ rights activists, the UK government sought a consultation in 2017 to de-medicalise the process of changing your gender.
Get in touch with our Diversity and Inclusion coaches at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about our strategy. Read more on our Intersectionality series where we cover important trends, big ideas and opinions on inclusion and equality.
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