As a transgender man who guides corporations through building inclusive workspaces, I’ve learned that trans inclusion requires changing hearts, minds, and systems. All too often, trans employees are left to do this work on their own. Truly inclusive companies seek the counsel of trans and gender diverse individuals to create solutions that respond to all employees’ needs. Here are four core principles for navigating this work:
1. Trans inclusion is not a niche issue. Oftentimes, companies make the mistake of focusing solely on trans inclusion and not embedding it into a larger inclusion strategy. When trans inclusion becomes part of a broader, intersectional agenda, we are able to create solutions that work for everyone. For example, developing a streamlined approach to name changes helps not only trans individuals but also individuals who change their names because of marriage, divorce, or other life events.
2. Truly fulfilling your company’s values means including trans employees. If inclusion is a core company value, this value should be applied in practice. For example, if your company is committed to the wellness of its employees, make sure your medical benefits fulfill the healthcare needs of the trans community.
3. Members of the trans community must advise on trans inclusion. When your company seeks out professional guidance on trans inclusion, make sure you hire trans and/or gender diverse consultants. This ensures your company is coming up with solutions that truly meet the needs of our community. TSC has a national faculty of all-trans professionals with extensive experience in policy, human resources, grassroots organizing, and more.
4. Your culture cannot be trans inclusive without trans employees. Hire trans people. We are thriving and excelling in literally every field. If you are having trouble finding trans or gender diverse candidates to fill roles, consider broadening your recruiting practices. If you don’t know how to broaden these practices, hire a trans individual who can advise you on how to do so.
A trans inclusive workplace is one where trans people can thrive, excel, and contribute their most innovative ideas. By committing resources to building a trans inclusive workplace, you will be making an investment in the overall health and growth of your company.
Nico Calvo Rosenstone is a faculty member for TSC. He is also the founder of The Inclusion Practice, LLC, a firm that advises corporations on diverse and inclusive workplaces committed to equity.