More than half of trans people in Britain have hidden their identity at work for fear of discrimination, a new report has found.
Stonewall, a charity that campaigns for the equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people across Britain, carried out a report which found one in eight trans employees have been physically attacked by colleagues or customers in the last year.
Dr Jill Miller, diversity and inclusion adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), is calling on organisations to tackle the discrimination that exists against the trans community at work.
She said a zero tolerance approach to transphobic bullying or harassment is essential, and until this goes without saying, we need to have clear policies in place that spell this out.
Miller added: “Policies then need to be brought alive by the behaviour of everyone in the organisation to ensure the workplace is an inclusive and safe space for everyone. Awareness sessions for staff can be helpful and it’s essential that any instances of bullying or harassment on the basis of someone’s gender identity are addressed.
“At a business level, if people don’t feel able to be themselves at work, effort is put into trying to ‘fit’ with others’ expectations, which ultimately detracts from the effort put into work, damaging productivity. And why would someone stay with an organisation if they don’t feel they belong, when they could take their talent and skills to another organisation where they are valued as an individual?”
The CIPD has been using Stonewall’s trans inclusion resources to develop its own Transitioning at Work policy which sets out how it will support staff at any stage of their transitioning process to the gender or non-binary identity they identify as.
The institute also carries out a regular review of its general people management policies, and has ensured they are written in gender-neutral language, with particular attention given to its parental policies to ensure they are inclusive.