Transgender Equality at Work Nathan Gale Scottish Transgender Alliance Nicola Swan Stonewall Scotland
What do transgender and trans mean? The terms transgender people and trans people are both umbrella terms. Include all those whose gender identity and/or gender expression differ from the sex they were labelled at birth. Gender Identity = an individuals internal self-perception of their own gender. Gender Expression = an individuals external gender- related physical appearance and behaviour.
Gender identity is not the same as sexual orientation Everyone has both a gender identity and also a sexual orientation. Your gender identity is your personal view of your own gender. Your sexual orientation is your personal view of who you are attracted to. Transgender people can be straight, gay, lesbian or bisexual - just the same as everyone else!
How many people? Over 10,000 transgender people in Scotland 1000 people in Scotland have undergone gender reassignment* * Estimated from ID change requests
Transgender Umbrella Transsexual Women (Male-To-Female) Transsexual Men (Female-To-Male) Intersex People Cross-Dressing People Non-Binary Gender People
Transsexual people Transsexual people are usually distinguished from other transgender people by their strong desire to live completely and permanently as the gender opposite to that which they were originally labelled at birth. A male-to-female [MTF] trans woman is someone who was labelled male at birth but has a female gender identity and therefore transitions to live completely and permanently as a woman. A female-to-male [FTM] trans man is someone who was labelled female at birth but has a male gender identity and therefore transitions to live completely and permanently as a man
Non-Binary Gender Some people do not feel comfortable thinking of themselves as simply either men or women. Instead they feel their gender identity is more complicated to describe and is non-binary. They may describe their gender identity as a mixture of aspects of being a man and being a woman or alternatively they may reject defining their gender at all. Some non-binary gender people may undergo gender reassignment in a similar way to transsexual people. Some may use a combination of male and female names or an androgynous name. May also use various other terms such as genderqueer, third- gender and androgyne.
Cross-dressing people Some people cross-dress in public occasionally, or more regularly, just because they feel more comfortable expressing themselves in particular masculine or feminine clothes. Cross-dressing is more about gender expression rather than gender identity. Most cross-dressing people are happy with their birth gender and have no wish to transition (undergo gender reassignment).
Intersex people Sometimes a persons external genitals, their internal reproductive system or their chromosomes are in between what is considered clearly male or female. There are many different intersex conditions. Most intersex people will self-identify clearly as men or as women. Doctors often guess which gender to assign to an intersex baby. Sometimes the intersex person will turn out to have a different gender identity from the doctors guess so the intersex person may have to transition as an adult in a similar way to transsexual people.
Gender Reassignment A person has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment if the person: is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning the person's sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex. The Equality Act 2010 also provides protection for those perceived as having, or associated with, the protected characteristic of gender reassignment.
Name Change It is usual to change the name and title on all records (except their birth certificate) right at the START of a persons gender reassignment process. All that is needed is a formal request for the change signed by the person.
Gender Recognition Certificate An option available to transsexual people after they have lived in their new gender for at least 2 years. Not required to have had any surgery but required to end any existing marriage or civil partnership. Allows birth certificate to be corrected and to enter a marriage or civil partnership in the new gender. Possession of a gender recognition certificate provides additional privacy protection by making it a criminal offence to reveal someones gender recognition history without their permission if that information was acquired in an official capacity. There are various exceptions though, including policing, receiving legal advice and in court.
In the Workplace While still working in original gender role: –Fear of coming out as trans –Risk of harassment from generalised comments –Discretely seeking signs employer supports trans equality While out as trans or transitioning: –Access to toilets and changing areas –Respect and dignity, especially name and pronouns –Empower to shape personal workplace transition process
In the Workplace Staff with trans backgrounds –Much more to them than being trans –May need time off in the future for surgery –Accessing references and achievements –Right to privacy!
Good Practice Guidance Always let trans people decide which toilet is the most appropriate for them to use. Legally, they are allowed to. Dont make assumptions about how trans people view gender – listen carefully to what they actually tell you about their gender identity. Dont make assumptions about the sexual orientation of a trans person or their partner, they could be gay/lesbian, bisexual or straight.
Good Practice Guidance Be proactive in demonstrating commitment to transgender workplace equality and inclusion. Always use a persons preferred name and pronouns. Change name and gender on records at first request. Do not ask unnecessarily intrusive questions or make comments about their physical body or gender history. Maintain confidentiality about their gender history.
Ten steps to begin workplace trans inclusion 1.Include transgender equality as an equality strand in general equality policies. 2.Ensure that transphobic bullying and harassment is included in your workplace bullying and harassment policy. 3.Set up a staff LGBT support network and ensure that transgender support info is available to staff. 4.Create a name and gender change procedural guidance note to enable records to be quickly updated upon request. 5.Ensure your workplace absence management policy includes allowing time off for gender reassignment medical assessments and treatments.
Ten steps to begin workplace trans inclusion 6.Be proactive in supporting the right of trans people to use workplace toilets in safety. 7.Identify a senior member of staff to champion transgender equality. 8.Include transgender issues within your staff diversity training programme. 9.Carry out a staff attitudes survey including questions on attitudes towards transgender people. 10.State commitment to transgender equality in recruitment advertising and by advertising in LGBT media.
Discussion of Scenarios James Morton & Nathan Gale Scottish Transgender Alliance Nicola Swan Stonewall Scotland
Scenario A Mike transitioned from female to male six years ago and is not out to anyone about his gender history in his current workplace which he joined two years ago. He has finally received NHS funding approval for genital surgery. He is terrified of revealing his gender history to his direct line manager but needs to find out how to arrange time off for his forthcoming surgery. What good practice might his employer have already implemented that could help Mike?
Points to Consider What would be the safest and most confidential ways for Mike to find out about taking time off for his surgery? What level of detail does Mikes direct line manager need to know about his forthcoming surgery? If Mike were to undergo four operation stages over an 18 month timescale, in what ways could absence management and disability policies be relevant to him? What further support and assistance might Mike need beyond simply time off?
Scenario B Three colleagues are discussing a television reality show: –She looked a bit masculine. Do you think shes one of those trannies? –Aye, maybe, weirdos. –Yeah, what a munter. Bet it was really a bloke. The conversation shifts to an individual who has recently joined the team. One of the colleagues begins to speculate: –Do you think Janes a tranny too? When does the conversation become inappropriate and how should their line manager react?
Points to Consider What does this conversation reveal about the workplace culture? How could it have been different? Does whether or not Jane actually is a trans person make any difference to how a manager should deal with the conversation? What are the potential consequences of this conversation for the employer, Jane, the three colleagues, and other employees who heard it?
Scenario C You receive a request from another employer to provide a reference for a Mr David Cunningham, sales assistant. You check your records and find that the only sales assistant with the same surname was a Miss Gemma Cunningham. How would you proceed with the reference request?
Points to Consider Would you respond to the request straight away stating that you only have record of Miss Gemma Cunningham? Would you reply saying that you dont have record of having employed that person? Would you ask for more details such as a date of birth or National Insurance number? Would you get in touch with the former employee and find out whether the reference request relates to them?
Trans Monitoring & Evidence James Morton Scottish Transgender Alliance
Scottish Specific Duties For the setting of public sector equality outcomes, its required to consider relevant evidence relating to trans people. When doing equality impact assessments, its required to consider relevant evidence relating to trans people. As part of gathering information on workforce composition its required to take steps to gather evidence about numbers of trans employees. These steps should involve careful preparation stages rather than a rapid addition of new monitoring questions.
Gathering Evidence Can use a range of internal and external sources, such as: –Individual case studies –Staff attitude surveys and knowledge tests –Evaluation of policy implementation levels –Consulting staff groups and communities of interest –Reviewing complaints and grievances –Findings from quantitative and/or qualitative research –Diversity monitoring information and administrative data –Commissioning mystery shoppers –Information and advice from equality organisations. You dont need to gather evidence in exactly the same way for each protected characteristic – do what works best for each.
Key Trans Evidence GEO trans survey of 412 UK trans people in 2011 found: 88% cited workplace ignorance of trans issues as major problem 86% cited employers fearful of possible customer/client reaction towards a transgender employee as a barrier in employment 50% had been harassed or discriminated against because of their gender identity in their previous or current job –63% of those complained to manager –30% said their complaint was handled poorly 57% said their current or last employer did not have an employment policy to support transgender employees. 31% said that gossip, as a threat to their privacy, had the greatest impact on their life. 72% did not feel their current identity was secure from disclosure.
Key Trans Evidence STA trans survey of 665 UK trans people in 2012 found: 55% have a HND/Degree or Post-Graduate Degree qualification 35% suspected theyd been turned down for a job due to being trans –26% more than once –1% within last week,17% within last year, 18% over 1 year ago 54% worry theyll be turned down for a job in future due to being trans 39% are open about being trans at work 38% employed full time, 12% employed part-time, 12% self-employed 19% in education, 7% retired, 37% currently unemployed 52% experienced problems with work due to being trans 16% avoided applying for jobs due to fears of harassment/discrimination 9% had not provided references because of their gender history. 7% had resigned from a job due to harassment or discrimination even though they had no other job to go to.
Key Trans Evidence How supportive have the following been? Not at all / Not very / Somewhat / Very My co-workers 30% 4% 16% 19% (Not applicable as not out 58%) Not at all / Not very / Somewhat / Very My supervisor/boss 4% 3%14% 23% (Not applicable as not out 55%)
STA Trans Quotes 2012 I didn't feel safe enough to use the bathroom at my last job as a result of being trans and people getting angry when I tried to use the bathroom. I was a senior manager at a software company, and the directors could not deal with the thought that I might transition – so we agreed redundancy as opposed to me taking them to tribunal. I got many interviews but only vague explanations as to why I didn't get any subsequent jobs. Due to staff members and management being unable to accept my transition, I was laid off after 17 years by a compromise agreement. I feel I cannot apply for other jobs in same sector as it is not pleasant for trans people.
STA Trans Quotes 2012 Found out from a friend who already worked somewhere I had been turned down for that the manager felt "He/She'd be a huge disruption to the rest of the staff. We'd have to make all sorts of changes. I mean, which toilets would he/she use?!" (a direct quote, I'm assured. Also of note is that there are unisex toilets on site). Manager sounded really keen on me on the phone, loved my experience, and answers to her questions. When I got there she took one look at me and her face fell, she barely asked me any questions and what she did ask was largely "How would you deal with a customer who had a problem with you being... er... You know." …Due to this kind of reaction at several interviews I've stopped applying for customer facing jobs to avoid this kind of treatment in future.
Counting Heads or Heads Rolling? Do visible trans equality awareness raising and make policies trans inclusive before asking employees to risk disclosing their trans status on monitoring forms. Work out how to analyse a question before asking it Ensure anonymity and restrict access to raw data Involve trans staff and external trans equality orgs in monitoring design process Ensure answering is clearly voluntary – especially at recruitment stage
10 Suggested Steps 1.Start doing visible trans equality work and ensure relevant employment policies are trans inclusive. 2.Arrange trans equality training to ensure that staff responsible for monitoring are aware of complexity and sensitivity of trans monitoring issues. 3.Examine your current monitoring data collection process to determine levels of data security and anonymity provided. 4.Seek guidance from a trans equality org to assist in resolving any data security and anonymity issues.
10 Suggested Steps 5.Together with a trans equality org determine most suitable question phrasing and clear rationale for analysis and interpretation of responses. 6.Create a short public information sheet providing details of how you will maintain data security and anonymity and how the data will be stored, analysed and used. 7.Distribute information sheet and news of forthcoming monitoring via external trans & LGBT groups and internal staff networks. 8.Carry out the monitoring and analyse data received. 9.Review learning in partnership with a trans equality org. 10.Implement improvements.
Gender Identity Monitoring Question Many trans people get very offended by being directly asked what their birth sex was. Therefore, STA recommends asking how people currently think of themselves and avoiding asking directly for original birth sex details unless absolutely essential (such as in some health contexts). We currently recommend asking: Which of the following describes how you think of yourself? Female Male In another way: _________________ Rather not say
Trans Monitoring Questions We originally recommended asking: Is your gender identity different to the sex you were assumed to be at birth? o Yes (Please describe difference:_________________ ) o No o Rather not say However, our testing in real life situations has revealed that these alternative phrasings might be better able to reduce confusion due to language barriers, learning difficulties and lack of awareness: Is the current gender (or sex) you identity with different to the gender (or sex) you were described as at birth? Is your current gender (or sex) different to the gender (or sex) you were born with?
Gender Reassignment Status The EHRC has suggested the following pair of questions but we are concerned about the level of phrasing complexity and therefore recommend caution: Have you gone through any part of a process (including thoughts or actions) to change from the sex you were described as at birth to the gender you identify with, or do you intend to? (This could include changing your name, wearing different clothes, taking hormones or having gender reassignment surgery). o Yes o No (If Yes) Continuing to think about these examples, which of the following options best applies to you? o I am thinking about going through this process o I am currently going through this process o I have already been through this process o I have been through this process, then changed back o None of the above: _____________ o I prefer not to say
More specific categories Where a respondent indicates either that their current gender differs from their birth sex in some way or that they identify other than simply male or female, you may find it useful to ask them what specific terms they use. Which of the following describes how you think of yourself? Man with a transsexual history Woman with a transsexual history Trans man Trans woman Gender variant/ non-binary person Cross dressing/ transvestite person Intersex person In another way: _______________________ Rather not say
Q & A Scottish Transgender Alliance Stonewall Scotland