Even though June is Pride Month, it’s important to carry on the values of Pride through the rest of the year. Although Pride is a great way to celebrate the impact and history of the LGBTQ+ community, it’s important to remember that, as a society, there is still a lot of work to do in order to reach a more equitable and inclusive culture, especially in the workplace.
The National Center for Transgender Equality found that more than 25% of transgender people have lost a job due to bias, and more than 75% have experienced some form of discrimination in the workplace. Trasngender employees and people of color have reported higher rates of harassment, assault, instances of refusal to hire, and other workplace violations based on their identities.
Transgender workers are some of the most vulnerable and targeted individuals in the workplace, and in 2021, it’s a necessity that companies develop robust and comprehensive measure that ensure the safety, equity, and inclusion of transgender employees in the workplace.
[Read More: Creating an Inclusive Workplace]
Why creating a trans-inclusive workplace is important
There’s definitely a learning curve around LGBTQ+ issues in the workplace. For some employers, they may be wondering why this is such an important issue for them to address.
What might surprise them is that there are a slew of benefits to improving working conditions for not just members of the LGBTQ+ community, but everyone: improved company culture, ethical necessity, more inclusive culture, more positive workplace, less toxicity in the workplace, more productivity, and more earnings!
Below are a few reasons why it’s important to create a more LGBTQ+ inclusive workplace today.
- It’s better for employees - Companies want a healthy and vibrant company culture. A more inclusive workplace is more welcoming, positive, vibrant, and less toxic for all employees involved.
- Attract more talent - By reaching out to and appealing to LGBTQ+ applicants, you’re casting a wider talent net and reaching more qualified applicants.
- Higher retention rates - A Center for American Progress report found that companies in the U.S. lose an estimated $64 billions annually by having to replace employees who left because of discrimination in the workplace, many of whom are individuals who identify as LGBTQ+.
- Transgender workers are more vulnerable - While it’s important to focus on inclusivity for all members in the LGBTQ+ community, transgender people are often the most vulnerable and least protected in the workplace.
- Appeal to younger generations - Newer generations are more welcoming to all walks of life, and they are expecting company cultures to protect and celebrate individuals from non-traditional backgrounds, including workers who identify as LGBTQ+.
Whether you’re looking out for the safety and wellbeing of your workers or the efficacy of your business to succeed, creating a more inclusive workplace for members of the LGBTQ+ community is a win for everybody.
[Read More: Diversity in the Workplace]
Basic trans-inclusive policies
So how do companies implement policies that ensure transgender people feel welcome and protected in the workplace?
Below we’ll get into some clear, actionable policies you can start implementing today to create a more inclusive workplace for transgender workers.
- Bathroom access - No one should have to feel unsafe when using the bathroom, especially not at work. Providing gender-neutral bathrooms is an excellent way to ensure there aren’t any unnecessary restrictions around bathroom use.
- Dress codes - Several organizations have implemented gender-neutral dress codes that allow all employees to select from a range of options, including shirts, pant suits, and skirt suits.
- Pronoun and name usage - Misgendering of trans employees at work is a common occurrence and a sure way to create an unwelcoming environment for transgender workers. Some transgender workers might identify as either male or female and expect to be addressed by the he/him/his or she/her/hers pronouns, but others might prefer to be referred as they/them/theirs. Creating a pronoun and name-usage policy that protects trans workers from verbal harassment will create a more inclusive work environment and could save you a lawsuit.
- Diversity training - More training on trans and LGBTQ+ issues is essential for employers to create a more inclusive work environment in 2021. The truth is that a lot of employees are simply ignorant on LGBTQ+ issues, and education is a necessary step on the path to a safer and more inclusive workplace for transgender employees. Consider bringing in a transgender speaker to share their story, provide context on LGBTQ+ issues, and help build a sense of empathy from your employees.
When people feel safe, protected, and authentically themselves at work, they can begin to reach their full potential as employees. Creating a positive and inclusive work environment isn’t just good for LGBTQ+ workers, it’s good for everyone in the office.
Companies who get this right will not only improve conditions in their offices, but they’ll be able to build a reputation as a caring, inclusive, and trusted organization for years to come.
Implement a healthy living and wellbeing company culture for all your employees
Protecting transgender and LGBTQ+ employees in the workplace is important for every company in 2021. Beyond policy and inclusivity practices, you can ensure all your employees are feeling well-rested, energized, and healthy through a state-of-the-art wellbeing program.
Grokker’s stand-alone solution brings wellbeing experts from all over the world directly to your employees. Allow your workers to benefit from thousands of health, wellbeing, fitness, nutrition, and sleep videos, and empower your employees to take control of their wellbeing with Grokker’s comprehensive solution today.