Creating a transgender-inclusive hiring process
Monster’s 2021 Future of Work Report revealed that two-thirds of employers have D&I strategies in place, and the top priority is gender-related issues. One of the biggest areas of focus? How to create transgender-inclusive hiring practices.
As more and more transgender candidates come out at work and during the interview process, it’s important for companies to make sure they’re not only being compliant in terms of employment laws, but also creating a welcoming atmosphere for job seekers.
Here’s where we are legally: In February, the House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, banning discrimination against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expanding the areas in which those protections apply at a greater scale. That bill is currently in the Senate for debate and you can read more about its status here.
“While we have achieved significant legal advancements and protections for members of the transgender community, critical gaps remain, leaving transgender people vulnerable to discrimination and violence,“ according to the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund. “Many of these legal gaps would be filled by the passage of the Equality Act,” they say.
Some states have broader LQBTQ protections than others, and it’s incumbent on hiring professionals to know your local laws, but beyond the legal implications, we wanted to share some guidance on how to create transgender-inclusive hiring practices and workplaces.
Start by reviewing your policies
Make sure that your company has transgender-inclusive policies, and make sure you are able to speak to them if asked in an interview by a potential new hire. If your policies need to be created or improved upon, prioritize proactively getting these into place – do not wait for an out transgender employee to be hired to do so.
Take a look at your pronouns
When meeting an applicant, whether by phone, video call, or in person, start off introductions including name and pronouns. For example, you can say, “Hello, I’m (first name) and I use she/her pronouns.” That indicates to the applicant that your company is welcoming, and that the applicant is welcome to share their chosen name and pronouns with you.
The company should strive to include employee pronouns wherever possible. For example: E-mail signatures, website bios, business cards, and in the virtual space: your Zoom/Video Call name.
Audit your forms for gender identity
For application materials, consider removing questions about an applicant’s sex. If that is not an option, and the sex designation is necessary for the application, include an additional designation for one’s gender identity, and have these questions be write-ins instead of dropdown/check boxes.
Create trans-friendly workspaces
Even while working remotely, we need to make sure that transgender and non-binary staff feel safe and comfortable at work. One way to do this is to follow the guidance above: include employee pronouns wherever possible.
Returning to your physical office spaces is a great opportunity to re-state policies and procedures. Make clear that employees can use the multi-stall restroom that aligns with their gender identity or wherever they feel safest, and make sure single-stall restrooms have gender-inclusive signage.
Foster a more welcoming and inclusive workplace culture
Acknowledge and celebrate transgender and non-binary people not only during annual holidays including Trans Day of Visibility, Pride, and Trans Day of Remembrance. Build in opportunities to discuss transgender issues and best practices in the workplace all year.
Strive to use gender-inclusive language in all communications. For example, greeting a group using “Hello all” or “team” or “everyone” or “folks.”
Provide training and education
Do not leave it to transgender and non-binary employees to carry the burden of educating everyone about transgender and non-binary issues. Get educated and make sure everyone from the CEO down is knowledgeable about best practices for an inclusive workplace. If you’re not sure how to do this, TLDEF provides corporate trainings, as do many transgender and non-binary DEI consultants.
Create opportunities for mentorship
Provide mentoring to all of your staff. All staff members can benefit from mentoring and training opportunities to help them to move up the ladder. Transgender and non-binary people can benefit from this, just like anyone else, and may feel more inclined to stay and grow with the organization.
Hire more transgender workers
One of the most impactful things you can do is hire more trans and non-binary people. Representation matters, and if you have multiple members of your team who are transgender and/or non-binary, the workplace can feel more inclusive.
Ready to start hiring?
If you feel like you’ve created a transgender-inclusive hiring process and are ready to welcome new talent to your company, start the hiring process today. If you’re new to Monster, you can even try a free job posting.