The GSBA Blog

Transparent Inclusion at Work: How to Build a Safer Workplace

| Apr 01, 2019

Want to be a more welcoming and inclusive business or organization, but don't know where to start? We've put together a list of simple tips to help everyone feel more included and supported in the workplace, especially our transgender, gender-diverse, and entire LGBTQ+ community members.

1) All-Gender Everything

all-gender signA great place to start is by changing all gendered pronouns (he or she) to gender-neutral pronouns (they or them) across your workplace's internal and external language and communications. You should also change any mention of gender (ex: pregnant women) is changed to be more gender-inclusive (ex: pregnant people and/or employees). Make sure this gender-inclusive language is in every aspect of your business.
- Do you have all-gender bathrooms?
- Do you have an all-gender dress code?
- Do you have all-gender employee policies?

2) Clarify Your Policies

Define who you protect under your harassment and discrimination policies. When you're clear about who your "no-tolerance policy" actually includes, you're setting a tone for inclusion.
- Do you offer cultural competency training?
- Does your staff know where to report harassment?

3) HR Support & Confidentiality

People's identities may be private and legally protected information. Create systemsOffice-29-512 where identities are on a need-to-know basis and self-identification is optional.

4) Allow for Self-Identification

Giving folks space for self-identification is important: provide a place for employees to opt-in to sharing their pronouns. This way, everyone will be able to use correct pronouns without assuming gender or identity.
- Do you have a spot for pronouns on name tags, email signatures, phone trees, and staff directories?
- Do you allow preferred names to be listed everywhere except where legal names are legally required?
- Do your job applications ask for a preferred name?

5) Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Create an environment which authentically attracts diverse talent.
- Do you make it a priority that your employee healthcare policy include coverage for transition related healthcare?
- Have you invested in systems that incorporate multiple genders, not just the binary (male and female)?
- Have you created and maintained a Gender Transition Guide for your business, including points of contact, timelines, and training?

6) Be An Ally

Support-GLSENBecoming an ally is your own responsibility. No marginalized community is responsible for your education. There are many trans people who are open and want to talk about their identity, although not all people who identify as trans are, and there are many experts willing to share their knowledge. Listen to these voices instead of forcing people who don't want to talk about their identity to have that unnecessary burden. 

*One easy way to show you're an ally: If you make a mistake, apologize, change your actions, and move on. Real allies don't make the conversation about themselves, which is what dwelling on a mistake can do.

Need a Hand?

GSBA is here to help you build a safer workplace. Email us if you would like some guidance in implementing trans-inclusive policies and practices.