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Transgender Training In The Workplace

4 Mins read

Many states have employment laws that provide protection for transgender individuals. More ofthen than not, this is simply not enough. Transgenders individuals are often discriminated and experience stigma around their individuality. This kind of discrimination can trigger psychological reactions that have devastating consequences for transgender individuals’ well-being, which is where transgender training for the workplace can come in as a handy method of respecting each individual as well as preventing such unfortunate situations.

A job place can often be stressful on its own. Adding fear to express a fundamental aspect of one’s identity such as gender, makes a work environment more harmful and damaging. 

Although numerous campaigns have raised public awareness on the inclusion of transgender individuals, there is a notable lack of transgender training in the workplace and a workplace culture that is willing to support fellow transgender employees. Harvard Business Review has conducted a study with over 1000 transgender participants only to reveal four main points that will contribute to a more inclusive and transgender-friendly work environment:

  • Literal signs of transgender inclusion, such as unisex bathrooms, dress codes, and pronouns usage;
  • Support for gender transition procedures and experiences;
  • Gender identity sensitivity training for the workplace and 
  • Interventions to build resiliency.

Further in this article, we will focus on the third point mentioned above: Transgender training in the workplace. 


As a manager, if you want your employees to respect your policies – you need to show them why and train them how to follow them. Gender identity sensitivity training should be clearly received in order to ensure appropriate and respectful work behaviour towards transgender individuals. 

What To Include In Your Transgender Training In The Workplace

Aside from your state or country’s employment laws, we suggest the following points to be included in your training: 

Explain Gender Identities Definitions

Simply said, many people have no idea what gender identity is. Regardless of their biological sex, a person’s gender identity is the gender they identify with and not necessarily the same as their biological sex. You may occasionally hear the phrase “gender expression.” This speaks to a person’s gender-specific appearance, mannerisms, fashion sense, or clothing. For instance, someone with long hair and makeup is viewed as feminine, whereas someone with short hair is viewed masculine. It’s possible that a person’s gender expression does not always correspond to their biological sex.

Penalties For Breaking The Anti-Discrimination Policy

What will happen if a member of staff or a fellow manager transgresses your anti-discrimination policy? At the end of each training session, ensure that your staff members are aware of the standards that are expected. Also, remind them of the repercussions that will result from breaking the policies

Clear Examples Of Discrimination Based On Gender Identity

There are typical examples of discrimination based on gender identity. For example, if a manager doesn’t hire or fire someone based on their gender identity, this is a clear example of discrimination. But, in the daily workplace, there are also some examples that are not so clear that you can present in your training. 

For example, let’s say that an employee gets a poor evaluation on the performance review. The report mentions that that employee has failed to comply with the dressing code of the company. If that specific dressing simply doesn’t comply with the manager because of the gender identity of the employee – then we’re dealing with discrimination against transgender individuals. 


Explain The Financial Aspect

Another point you should mention in your transgender training in the workplace is to explain the financial aspect and benefits that such policies bring. If your fellow managers or employees are having a hard time aligning with such policies, briefly explain to them that discrimination against transgender persons can lead to costly lawsuits and other financial costs. 

Companies that have a reputation for not being LGBTQ+ friendly have often noted a decrease in sales and difficulties to attract and retain a talented workforce. 

Health And Lifestyle Benefits

As part of your transgender training for the workplace or better said as part of the ultimate change, you should also consider your health and lifestyle benefits. In order to suit transgender employees’ lifestyles, you should consider customizing your lifestyle and health benefits for all your employees, regardless of their gender identity.  

Preferred Pronouns For Transgender Staff At Your Business

Everybody has a preferred set of pronouns. We have grown accustomed to referring to persons who are biologically feminine as she or her and those who are biologically male as he or him. But rather than using the pronouns connected with their biological sex, transgender people frequently prefer to use those with their gender identification. Some people also favour they/them. Asking your transgender employees about their preferred pronouns is crucial. All staff should make an effort to utilize someone’s preferred pronouns as frequently as possible, while people may occasionally kindly forget.


Final Thoughts

All employers and managers should put preventing discrimination and fostering a courteous workplace as their top priority. Several states forbid discrimination based on gender identity. But more significantly, it’s morally right to treat your employees properly and allow them to work without fear of discrimination. Additionally, a courteous work environment fosters a culture of cooperation and gives you access to a larger talent pool.

Implementing anti-discrimination policies and conducting gender identity sensitivity training is always a good idea. All and all, such training will help your employees treat everyone with respect, which is great for every environment. 

Further Readings:

Understanding Psychological Screening Inventory (PSI)
Expertise Mapping – Understanding Employee Skill Matrix Charts
Lifestyle Benefits for Employees
How to be a Leader Without Being Bossy

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About author
Fatjona Gërguri is the content writer for Employee Experience Magazine, covering the relevant topics about employee experience, organizational culture and general HR topics.
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