Diversity; it’s the buzzword of the decade and for good reason. Having a diverse culture that is also trans and gender inclusive within workplace, helps to enrich the experience of all staff. It brings different views, backgrounds and experiences that help to enhance creativity and create an attractive place of work among existing and new recruits.
Building a workplace culture that is inclusive of trans and gender equality is not only morally important, but a legal responsibility.
Treating employees with dignity and recognising that while people may have many things in common, they will also have differences that should be acknowledged and respected.
Employers have a legal obligation under the Equality Act 2020 to ensure fairness and equality is upheld, and to ensure that individuals are protected from discrimination. Here are a few simple things to keep in mind when building trans equality into your workplace.
But first… what do we mean by trans?
Trans, refers to transgender – a term that includes the many ways that people’s gender identities can be different from the sex they were assigned at birth. This could be someone who is non-binary, someone who has had, or is planning, medical interventions. It could also refer to those not planning medical interventions, but rather who do not align with the gender they were born with.
And second…. What is meant by gender equality?
In a nutshell, it means having equal rights. No matter who you are, what you do, whether you were born male or female, or identify as such. Equal means equal – and this becomes especially important when it comes to rights and opportunities. In the workplace, this means every person must have equal rights to opportunities like a promotion, career progression, but also equal access to role-specific salary rates and benefits.
How to build trans equality in your workplace
Start with your company policy. When it comes to equal opportunities and diversity policies – have it down in black and white so that you communicate clearly what sort of behaviour and treatment is and isn’t deemed fair or acceptable.
You could even go a step further and weave your company’s approach to gender equality within the workplace into your EVP so that the message is absorbed, lived, and perpetuated on every level of your organisation.
However, some organisations have recognised that there may be a need to create a separate policy supporting transgender at work, since this can help to reinforce the need for equality, and promote the idea that gender equality is INCLUSIVE of trans. In addition, having a separate policy can also give some practical guidance for line managers and for those who are due to undergo gender reassignment treatment.
A final note on workplace support
Regardless of how an employee identifies, treating each member of your team with respect, dignity and confidentiality is of utmost importance. Any information you receive regarding an employee’s sexual orientation and health is classed as protected data under the UK GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018. Since gender reassignment would be considered health data, any sensitive information about your employees’ transition would also be included in this category and would be best handled with extra precaution.
For more information on how to build trans quality into your workplace contact our expert HR team – Hertfordshire’s leading HR consultancy, bringing your business the benefits, protection, and experience of an entire HR department.