How to Support Individuals that are Transitioning in the Workplace

We had the chance to catch up with Finn Grice who uses he/him pronouns, is the managing director of Rose Diversity Training and he provides training and consultancy about LGBTQA+ issues, specialising in transgender rights and issues. We covered all issues – transitioning itself, life in the workplace and how employers can better support trans employees. The full, video interview can be found here.

This snippet focuses on a question around the practical steps employers can take to make their workplaces more inclusive for trans employees.

Finn's answer…

Yes. So this is where the tangible action comes into play. So there are three categories of things that you can do and these are centred around policy, education, and culture.

So at a policy level, you should be reviewing your internal policies on making sure that trans people are specifically included. So, for instance, your gender pay gap reporting. Now it's not currently a legal requirement to include trans people in the reports. In fact the government guidance say that trans people can be specifically excluded from those reports, so as we know, currently businesses need to report the average hourly pay off their staff based on their gender, so including trans people in this report, is important for a number of reasons.

Gender pay gap reporting is about equality in the workplace. Therefore, everyone should be included and although the government has said that trans people can be excluded, that doesn't stop you from creating specific categories for trans people within your own reporting.

If you do this, it helps signal to the government that businesses are happy to collect this data and it pushes the government to make the necessary legal changes to make trans people being included a legal requirement. So, you might assume that trans people can just go into the categories of male or female, but apart from the potential for discrimination there, this can actually further suppress the wages of cisgender women by artificially inflating women's pay.

If we want to make the data more accurate, then we need to start, including trans people in their own separate categories. So where you could do this is to say we have a male and a female category, but we also have trans man, trans woman, non binary or gender non conforming, so therefore, although it's not a legal requirement, you should be including trans people in these reports, even if you think you don't have any trans people in your business, because again it signals to the government that you are adding those categories in because you're willing to collect that data. Now I'm happy to go into detail about specifically why including trans people within the binary categories.

Deflates women's pay. I won't go into it right now because it can get a bit complicated. But if by all means, if anyone's interested happy to go through that in a bit, and then in terms of your employee absence policy, do you have a cap on what can and can't be sick pay? If you do, could you consider including provisions for people receiving gender affirming surgeries, making note that employees will receive sick pay for time off?

If you have a health insurance provider, are they trans inclusive? Can you talk to them about provisions that they might have for trans employees? Accessing health care is one of the biggest issues facing the trans community right now. Healthcare and equity is a huge problem, both privately and within the NHS, but having a health insurance policy that specifically makes mention of trans people is a really good way to support the community, and then your dress code.

I know not all businesses have dress codes, but if you do, you could consider adding a note that employees can wear the uniform that best reflects a gender identity. Now, you could also write a specific policy that pulls together all of this information and restates your commitment to equality for your trans employees, what their legal rights are and what you can do as a company to keep them and their data safe.

So that's policy. Moving onto education, can you take part in specific training sessions about the trans community and gender awareness? Education is a key tool for promoting equality, and I urge you all to use it. Even if you can't afford training, there are other things you can be doing. So, for instance, stonewall has a diversity champions programme where, you know, in exchange for you updating your policies, being more inclusive, proving that you're being more inclusive of trans people on the trans community, you can access certain training and resources from stonewall directly.

Additionally, you could be sharing reading lists, you could be sharing things on your social media, you could be following trans activists, you could be reading books on the topic. There's there's lots of things you can do in terms of education that aren't necessarily, you know, expensive training.

And then, in terms of culture, do you have a staff LGBTQA+ network? If you don't, can you make one? Are you celebrating key diversity dates? So, for instance, trans day of visibility on march 31st international day against homophobia, bi-phobia, transphobia or interphobia on the 17th of May, and there's trans day of remembrance on the 20th of November.

We know what good recruitment looks like, our partners know what inclusive looks like. Check our friends Rose Diversity Training, if you want to increase the LGBTQA+ representation in tech and work with the experts who know how.

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