Providing a safe, inclusive workplace is not just the law, it should be the goal of every business and employee that values the contributions, wellbeing and productivity of everyone in the organisation. In today’s society, individuals are of many personal communities. In addition to being heterosexual or “straight”, there are also LGBTQI2SAP persons – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, two-spirited, asexual and pansexual. “Transgender” essentially refers to gender identity, whereas the other terms describe primarily sexual orientation.
Ideal for managers, business owners and HR officers, Transgender Employees – Creating an Inclusive Work Community is a professional development course that will help you understand how transgender persons identify as a gender rather than the one they were assigned to at birth.
In this transgender employees course, you will learn about the power of language, beliefs and attitudes, how to foster an inclusive community, and develop and source policies and valuable resources. You will also study how to create cultures of belonging, boost your self-awareness, become active and advocate for your employees, and develop inclusive workplaces that foster profit, performance and higher engagement.
Outcomes achieved by undertaking a transgender employees course include:
- Learning how to create an inclusive work community
- Exploring transgender people in the workplace
- Studying how to create a safe and inclusive workplace
- Understanding the terms of identification
- Gaining insights into beliefs and attitudes
- Learning about the power of language
- Exploring how to maintain a safe work workplace
- Gaining an understanding of an inclusive community
- Examining resource location and development
- Understanding how to be an inclusive leader
- Learning how to create cultures of belonging
- Exploring how to create an inclusive workplace where everyone can thrive
- Studying how inclusive workplaces experience higher engagement, performance and profits
- Gaining insights into understanding and supporting inclusion
- Understanding how to boost your self-awareness and taking action
- Learning how leaders can become better versions of themselves in the process
- Exploring how to transition from unaware to advocate
- Studying how to start your journey
- Gaining insights into being aware and unaware
- Understanding how to be active and an advocate
- Learning how to stay committed to the journey
Sex Discrimination Act 1984
Equality and freedom from discrimination are fundamental human rights that belong to all people, irrespective of gender identity, sexual orientation or because they are intersex. Unfortunately, LGBTQI2SAP persons in Australia can experience harassment, discrimination and hostility in many areas of everyday life.
This includes bullying and discrimination in places of study and work, difficulties accessing appropriate health and aged care services, and community attitudes that can lead to harassment and even violence. They can also face barriers to getting legal recognition of their sex in government records and official documents.
Legislation surrounding the rights of LGBTQI2SAP persons, including transgender employees, has undergone numerous changes over the past decade. From the 1st of August 2013, it became unlawful to discriminate against a person on the basis of gender identity, sexual orientation and intersex status under federal law. Same-sex couples also became protected from discrimination under the definition of “marital or relationship status”. The Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Bill Act 2013 amended the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 to introduce these changes.
The Australian Human Rights Commission has also recognised that terminology can have a profound impact on a person’s self-worth, identity and inherent dignity. The use of acceptable and inclusive terminology empowers individuals and enables the visibility of important issues. The Commission has also advocated for stronger Federal laws that protect people from discrimination on the basis of their gender, identity, sexual orientation and intersex status. The Commission currently accepts complaints alleging discrimination on the new grounds that occurred after this date and outlines information in this guide.
Creating a Transgender-positive Workplace
Most of us spend a significant portion of our lives at work, so a positive workplace culture is important for everyone’s health and wellbeing. The keys to creating a safe and happy environment for transgender employees are support, education and empowerment. Here are some of the ways leaders can enhance positive change.
Educate Yourself and Your Staff
Education and communication is key, so it is worth meeting with staff to explain transgender issues, including how to talk to a transgender person and treat them in the authentic life they are living. It is also important that staff are aware of the reasons why people gender-identify differently.
Valuable resources include those found on the Gender Centre’s website. It offers training and education and has an extensive collection of kits and fact sheets that cover everything from gender, identity, surgery and sexual health to anti-discrimination and human resources.
A not-for-profit employer support program, Pride in Diversity, can also offer support for employers. It specialises in workplace diversity and organisational change. Membership gives you access to a dedicated account manager who provides LGBTQI2SAP awareness training and ongoing support.
Promote Acceptable Behaviour and Language
Another valuable strategy for promoting exclusiveness for transgender employees is by using the correct pronouns. Employees should be called by the name that he or she associates with. For example, if they have transitioned from a male to a female, then “him” and “he” is no longer appropriate — “her” and “she” should be used.
Transgender people also have the right to access toilets and change rooms that match their affirmed gender. There is no legal basis to deny an employee access to a toilet that matches their gender identity.
Support and Empower Your Transgender Employees
Allies are important in the workplace. Everyone can model the appropriate behaviour and language and demonstrate they are accepting of different lifestyles. If they see inappropriate behaviour or hear inappropriate language, they can also challenge it.
Leaders can also show their support by commemorating milestone days in the LGBTQI2SAP community like World AIDS Day on the 1st of December, and the Transgender Day of Remembrance on the 20th of November. They can also launch initiatives to support transgender employees, including taking part in the Pride in Diversity’s Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI). This is the definitive national benchmark on workplace inclusion across all sectors and a fantastic blueprint for Australian employers to look at how they’re dealing with the LGBTQI2SAP community.
LGBTQI2SAP Festival Calendar 2021
Another way leaders and colleagues can support transgender employees is by supporting their involvement (and attending!) in a variety of events that occur every year. Some of the most popular ones in Brisbane this year include:
Brisbane Queer Film Festival – 11 to 21 March
The festival is a highlight of the Queensland queer community calendar since its inception in 2000. It aims to present and empower LGBT, queer, intersex and gender diverse film, screen content and filmmakers.
MELT: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture – 19 to 30 May
Held at the Brisbane Powerhouse, it is designed to celebrate LGBTIQ+ arts and culture. It also promotes inclusivity and visibility among the queer community. It runs for 12 days and will feature a mix of cabaret, theatre, visual arts, music, forums and storytelling.
The Annual Queens Ball Awards – 27th June
The longest-running LGBTIQ event in the world, the Queen’s Ball has celebrated the inclusion, diversity and resilience of communities for 59 years! This year, the awards will be held virtually due to COVID-19. Voting is open now!
Build, support and sustain a safe, inclusive and productive business environment for transgender employees with our Transgender Employees – Creating an Inclusive Work Community course.