Diversity Insight

How to Combat Transphobia in the Workplace

According to one report by the National Center for Transgender Equality, 90% of the 6,450 transgender and gender-nonconforming people who were surveyed reported “experiencing harassment or mistreatment on the job or took actions to avoid it.” And a whopping 47% of the individuals surveyed reported being fired, not hired, or denied a promotion because of their gender identity.

transgender

Source: voinSveta / iStock / Getty Images Plus

With those kinds of statistics, it seems pretty apparent that employers still have a long way to go when it comes to combating transphobia in the workplace. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Transphobia?

Transphobia is when someone or a group of people exhibit an intense dislike of or prejudice against transsexual or transgender people. It includes a range of negative attitudes, feelings, or actions toward transgender or transsexual people or toward transsexuality.

Here are a few things you can do to combat transphobia in the workplace.

Curtail Transphobia During Recruitment and Onboarding Phases

As you recruit new employees, tell them about your policies regarding discrimination against transgender individuals in the workplace, and ask them whether they’re able and willing to abide by such policies. And when you onboard new employees, be sure to thoroughly cover your policies and procedures regarding harassment against transgender individuals in the workplace and share resources employees can consult in case they’re harassed or in case they know of someone else who’s being harassed.

It’s also important to remember that it may not be obvious if someone is transgender and that such resources should be provided to everyone across your organization. It’s not only transgender employees who could benefit from such training or resources. Building awareness around what it means to be transgender can generate a more inclusive environment and can also help curtail transphobic tendencies.

Develop Supportive Policies and Promote Them

Not only should you develop inclusive human resource policies, procedures, and resources that support transgender employees across your organization, but you should also promote them.

Make sure everyone knows what your policies are regarding discrimination in your workplace, and make sure all employees know who they can consult and where they can go if they or someone they know is being harassed or unfairly treated because he or she is transgender.

Help Mitigate Institutionalized Gender Norms

To better accommodate transgender employees, work to actively mitigate transphobia in your workplace by doing the following:

  • Allow employees to refrain from disclosing their gender on forms they fill out.
  • Provide single-stall bathroom facilities that are available for any person to use.
  • Don’t require a dress code that endorses traditional gender norms, such as requiring females to wear knee-length skirts.
  • Remove discriminatory health insurance exclusions from your benefits packages.

As you work to keep your workplace free from discrimination, consider the ways you can combat transphobia listed above.